Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Oyster Bay Featured in Preserve America E-Newsletter

We were thrilled to get some recognition for Oyster Bay in the recent Preserve America E-Newsletter. See the complete E-Newsletter. The portion referring to Oyster Bay is copied below for your reading pleasure.

Community Spotlight: Oyster Bay, New York

Here are some ideas that may inspire you from the most recent Oyster Bay Main Street News. The Hamlet of Oyster Bay has been aPreserve AmericaCommunity since 2008.
Packaging Promotion Boosts Historic Destinations
The Oyster Bay Railroad Museum announces the "Spend A Day In Oyster Bay" tourist program, which runs through Labor Day weekend, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tourists can spend a day in one of the most picturesque and historic areas on the north shore of Long Island. The program's goal is to market and promote the area's historical, cultural and retail establishments.
The "Spend A Day" program is featured in the Long Island Rail Road 2011 "Long Island Getaways" package which includes discounted round trip rail fare and local ground transport provided by Oyster Ride's minivans. The van loop includes the major attractions: Oyster Bay Railroad Museum, Planting Fields Arboretum/Coe Hall, Sagamore Hill, Theodore Roosevelt Bird Sanctuary and Young's Memorial Cemetery. Also included is the use of "electronic wands" for a self-guided audio walking tour to the many historical attractions in the downtown, including the Oyster Bay Historical Society/Earle Wightman House, Raynham Hall Museum, Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park and the Waterfront Center.
The program, a long-held goal of many organizations to capitalize on the potential of Oyster Bay as a viable historical destination, is a collaborative effort of the Railroad Museum, Oyster Bay Chamber of Commerce, Oyster Bay Main Street Association, Long Island Railroad, and the organizations mentioned above. For more information, visit, or call (516) 558-7036 .
Public to Enjoy Works by Artists in Historic Landscapes
Teaching Studios 1st Plein Air Competition is being held in August at Sagamore Hill National Historic Site in Oyster Bay, New York - a setting with more than 83 acres of beautiful landscape, as well as the last home of Theodore Roosevelt, a 23-room Victorian structure of frame and brick. The historic site is located on the Gold Coast of northern Long Island. Entry is by application and is limited to 35 artists.
Demonstrations are scheduled and awards will be given out to those who make paintings of distinction. Selected works will be exhibited at the Oyster Bay Historical Society. For more information, visit

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Helpful Tips to Consider when Creating Signage & Interpretive Graphics

Here are some helpful tips and guidelines from Blumlein Associates, Inc. (, an Exhibition and Graphic Design studio on Long Island, to consider using when creating interpretive graphics and wayfinding signage.

  • Determine the communication objectives. It is important to identify the audience, research the subject matter (including keeping track of giving credits where they are due), and creating a narrative (style/tone for the storytelling).
  • Create a hierarchy of information to be conveyed based on its importance. Organization is key.
    > Level A information = Headers/Titles – Most important facts – define subject matter. Designers use a bolder or more unique font size, style and color make this information stand out from the rest.

    > Level B information = Sub-headers/Subtitles – Secondary information that complements and expands upon the Level A information.

    > Level C information = Complementary, descriptive copy – short paragraphs with more detailed information, explaining and expanding the level of information provided in Levels A and B. Captions are included here, and typically are the smallest font in the graphic.
  • Headers and Sub-headers are critical and should be concise and words chosen carefully. These identify subject matter and themes/concepts to be further described in the body of the graphics. They can be written in such a way that they deliver information that don't necessarily require a viewer to read beyond them.
  • You may have heard this before, but often with interpretive graphics this is a good rule of thumb... Less is More. Editing is critical, as you want to make sure that even if you only have someone's attention for a glance, they will see something that either will capture their attention or, better yet, stick with them. A major goal would be to have someone walk away from the graphic having learned something. You may only have 30 seconds to a minute of someone's attention, so make it count. It's always good to keep things SIMPLE.
  • Consistency is important, and a format should be developed and followed when creating multiple signs or graphics. Colors, materials, fonts are all things that should carry over from one to another. The development of an icon may also be helpful, as the graphic and signage 'system' will become easily identifiable by passers by.
  • For Wayfinding Signage, it's important to have clear, legible type that's easy to read from a distance.

Wayfinding signs from Cradle of Aviation Museum, Garden City, NY

  • Regarding interpretive graphics, it's a good idea to use color and images effectively. The most interesting panels should aim to include any combination of photos/images, illustrations/maps, and text. This way there's something for everyone.
> Text should be prepared in easily digestible blocks. If possible, no more than a sentence or two or a few bullet points.

> Images should be as interesting and engaging as possible, and should tell a story even without relying on captions.

> Maps should be simplified so they are easy to read. Color-coding and use of icons can help dramatically.

Interpretive sign samples from Sandminers Monument in Port Washington

  • Whenever possible, try to present the information so that it is relatable to the viewer. If someone can make a personal connection to the information, they will be more likely to remember it. This isn't always easy to accomplish depending on the subject matter.
  • Generalize the information being presented to accommodate a wide variety of ages and intellectual levels so that anyone can comprehend the story line. If you have the means to create a website or printed materials to achieve a deeper level of information to those who are interested, then take advantage of those opportunities.
  • Take an editorial approach to copywriting - and proof-read and have multiple team members review the content to make sure that it is well versed.

Here are some DON'Ts (things to avoid):

  • Don't try to put too much information into a panel. If it seems overwhelming, it probably is. The last thing you want is for someone to look at it and, without more than a glance, decide it's too much of a burden to involve themselves in it.
  • Don't mix too many fonts or visual styles as this will end up chaotic and disorganized.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Finding Your Way in Oyster Bay Service Learning Project

Oyster Bay, New York - Community leaders are pleased to announce that the Oyster Bay Hamlet is the recipient of a $70,000 grant through the Preserve America program. Oyster Bay is the 18th designated community in New York State to receive funding through the Preserve America grant program. Oyster Bay is also the only New York community and one of 22 communities nationally to receive funding in the second round of FY 2010. The "Finding Your Way in Oyster Bay Service Learning Project" will provide the resources that are needed to promote Oyster Bay Hamlet as a viable destination of historic interest.

The Oyster Bay Main Street Association has taken a leading role in attracting these grant funds to Oyster Bay and will also take the lead in administering the project. Main Street President John Bonifacio, said: "We believe this grant will reinforce positive improvements that have already been made including preservation of several landmark buildings, and help to attract the right kind of visitors to our historic downtown. This in turn will lay the groundwork for future prosperity and success for residents and businesses in our community."

One element of the project will involve an active partnership with students in local schools. Details of this partnership are still being worked out. One goal expressed by the Department of the Interior and the Preserve America program nationally is to engage youth in service learning opportunities. The idea behind this is to instill in young people a life-long appreciation for places of natural beauty and historical significance.

For this project youth will be asked to provide their own interpretation in the form of a few sentences about a historic building or site in Oyster Bay from a list provided. The results will then be incorporated into interpretive signs placed throughout Oyster Bay and in a website that is created.

Another goal of this project is to serve as a model nationally for how small and medium-sized communities can go about celebrating and promoting their heritage.

Those with any questions are welcome to contact the Oyster Bay Main Street Association at (516) 922-6982 or