I think we need big, colorful, and clear signs at all the main offramps and prominent intersections near downtown. We are getting people from all over the region now to attend events, and due to decades of life away from our downtown, these folks need to know where to go. The signs need to look smart and have eye-catching colors like the following:
Each location could be color-coordinated for the section of the downtown it is located, or for a theme. For example, the Chevrolet Center would have a sky blue background, Mill Creek Park a pine green background, things on campus like the football stadium and the planetarium a rich red background, etc. Also some destinations such as the Children's Museum and the Steel Museum might get some additional advertising just by being part of the signage system.
I walked past the sign pictured below the other day in Maastricht. I like how there is an ornamental figure on the top. Maybe on our Youngstown signs, we can add a little sculpture with some local significance. Wouldn't it be cool to have a blue heron or some other majestic water bird on each one of these signs dotting the downtown?