by Tammy Swanson
KANEVILLEâ€”A visitor’s first impression of a community often is its sign, a unique statement of welcome. The sign may show a townâ€™s history, where it has been and where it is going, and what makes it special.
When the Kaneville officials decided they wanted a new village sign, they invited Fox Valley Career Center (FVCC) students to enter a competition for its design. The winning entry would be the sign best reflecting the communityâ€™s hospitality along with its rich farming history, commerce and culture.
“We wanted something that reflected the … core values of the village,â€ Weiss said. â€œWe’re proud of our little community.â€
The village also wanted a sign that was easy to see and not too detailed, so that it would be easy for people to read as they drove by it.
FVCC instructor Nicole Larsen’s graphics arts class obtained the design parameters from the village. Later, about 30 students sent back their suggested designs. Village officials were impressed.
“Everything was unbelievable,â€ Village Clerk Sandi Weiss said. â€œThey were so good.”
With so many strong entries, the village committee making the decision had a difficult time choosing the best sign design.
“They couldn’t make a decision. There were two of them that everybody liked and couldn’t decide between them,” said Weiss.
The committee decided on two winners: Liz Hylland and Shanna Pack. The final sign will combine both of their designs.
Hylland, a Kaneland High School senior, based her sign design on how much Kaneville means to its residents, which she knows about firsthand.
“My Aunt and Uncle used to live in Kaneville. I go to church there. I know a lot of people that live there,â€ Hylland said. â€œI know how much the town means to everyone that lives there. I just tried to make it (the sign) represent how cool the town really is.â€
Both of the students’ sign designs have a rural theme.
â€œI definitely wanted it to be a farm kind of thing so I put a barn and silo and the life of corn. It (the corn) was smaller and went bigger kind of like the town,â€ said Hylland.
Village officials met with a contractor this week to discuss final plans and materials for the sign, which will be posted along roadways at the village limits, possibly within two months.
â€œWe would like to have a couple of them up before Kaneville Fest which is the end of August,â€ Weiss said.
The village presented each sign-competition finalist with a small trophy and gave all the graphic arts students who participated cookies and fruit.