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Wherever commercial signs are used, signs should be subordinate to the overall character of the area and they should be subordinate to the individual buildings to which they are related. Traditionally, signs were relatively simple in character in Telluride. Historic photographs illustrate a limited range of types. Their placement and design should respect historic buildings and the character of the treatment area.

A. Signs must be located in a master sign plan for the project

1. The sign plan should designate the number, location, size and type of signs to be included.

2. In order to reduce the number of signs used in a single location, directory signs should be used.

B. Signs should be subordinate features

1. Signs shall not obscure historic building details.

2. Small-scale signs, either mounted on the building or freestanding, are encouraged.

3. Freestanding signs should not be so large as to obscure the patterns of front façades and yards.

C. Sign materials shall be similar to those used historically

1. Painted wood and metal are appropriate.

2. Plastic and highly reflective materials are not appropriate.

D. Use signs to relate to other buildings on the street and to emphasize architectural features

1. Position flush-mounted signs to emphasize established architectural elements. It is best to mount signs so they fit within frames created by components of the façade design.

2. Position projecting signs to highlight building entrances.

3. Pay particular attention to placing new signs on existing buildings when renovating. The signs should not obscure existing details.

4. Mount projecting signs so they generally align with others in the block. This helps to create a canopy line that gives scale to the sidewalk.

5. Other graphics applied to exterior walls, such as painted decorations and murals, also should not obscure building details.

E. Pictographic symbols are encouraged on signs

1. These add visual interest to the street.

2. They may be considered on awnings.

F. Illuminate a sign such that it complements the overall composition of the site

1. If signs are to be illuminated, use external sources. Light sources must be placed close to, and directed onto, the sign and shielded to minimize glare into the street or onto adjacent properties, and shall be very low wattage. If possible, integrate the lights into the sign bracket.

2. Internal illumination of signs will not be permitted.

3. Neon, moving or flashing signs are not allowed