Today’s Standards

What has the economy – starting in say 2008 – done to today’s standards compared to yesterday’s? Have we made compromises because we have had to do so?

In my town, we are “historic”; therefore we have standards. Sign standards, building standards, and yes even light post standards.

This summer, we replaced our traffic signals at 3 main intersections. In order to do this – and receive historic aka federal funding we had to change our sidewalks. Why? Because they were not up to ADA code. Ok, so now they are presumably safer. I get that and “good on you hometown” for that. These new ones are not as nice and they don’t follow the “standards” of high quality image that the town worked so hard to develop and mandate to home and business owners along the historic corridor of the borough.

But, now… we digress even further and farther way from our expectations of quality and image; where is this degradation of standards you ask?

It is right at the intersection where we are seen by most – and I mean the main criss-cross intersection of “Main and Main” as it were (not the real names). Where hey, we are not all that “historic nor standard” because we have 2 gas stations, a park and a newly renovated restaurant, which used to be – yup, you guessed it, a gas station.

So many times, as I sit in my car, waiting for the light to change – I look around. (I can’t text or read e-mail anymore, so I have to observe…) and well, I used to be a lighting designer. True fact. It was fun, too; however, because of this role means that I look more closely at things. It also makes me think about how things should look. Or how they do look. It made me think of our “high standards”.

Being standard is good for an image – whether it belongs to a town or a brand.

So, lets get back to Main and Main. Do you know there are not 2, not even 3, but 4 different types of historic lantern style street lights? The posts are not even close to being the same – and that is the simple part… the height, color, patterning – all different.

What the hell happened to standards?? How did this happen and do people care? They “look nice” (sarcasm font in use even if not visible online) but if we want to set standards to achieve a certain look, why do we approve or allow a deviation from this?

If we are going to say that we have standards, then demand them. If you own a brand and/or you have employees or you teach children or are a parent… Make sure that they uphold the image or the standards you have set. (If you are a franchisor, make sure your franchisees do the same.)

These standards (as opposed to the ones mentioned yesterday based on standardization) are good. After all, children are not light posts… but they are a bright light in our future.

~ Dawn aka Hat Girl

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