PRESS RELEASE: New Wayfinding Signs to Debut on Tybee Island

Press Release by Michael Bodine

Tybee Island, GA – (January 12, 2010) The City of Tybee Island is trying to make life easier for visitors, as well as residents, with the unveiling of a new series of wayfinding signage that will be going up in the next few months around the island. Every resident has a story about being asked by a visitor where the Tybee Lighthouse is while standing in its very shadow, or being stopped by someone in front of a Pay-and-Display meter asking where you go to pay for parking, or even “Which way is the ocean?”

To help make it easier to find some of the major landmarks, the Community Development Department has been working on getting effective signage designed, manufactured and installed since the creation of Tybee’s new Master Plan. With government budgets shrinking, thanks to the economy, original proposed high quotes put the project in jeopardy until Richard Adams, President of the Tybee Arts Association (TAA) found a creative “Tybee” solution.  Adams partnered with Shannon Marino of Tybee Island Customs, an auto and motorcycle customizer on Thunderbolt, to create a demonstration sign and a proposal to marry Tybee’s relationship with sea turtles and tourism to create a unique and eye-catching design. Each sign is a brightly colored loggerhead turtle with the words painted on its shell.

The prototype sign, pointing the way to the Tybee Lighthouse, from Van Horn near Meddin, was met with enthusiasm by the community and the City Council.  This enthusiasm quickly motivated TAA and Tybee Island Customs to get the project under way. There was some fine tuning of the design to make sure it conformed to local and state traffic safety requirements, such as changing the color of the sign posts, which resemble an anchor chain, from black to silver, and also modifying posts to break away. The first installation of these signs is scheduled to be at the corner of Tybrisa and The Strand, near the roundabout by the Walter J. Parker Pier and Pavilion this coming Friday, January 15th, at 2:00 PM.

A total of 22 turtles will help show the way on Tybee, with the project scheduled for completion before the 2010 tourist season begins. Just in time for the real sea turtles to start nesting on the Tybee beaches!

The Tybee Arts Association’s first major public art project was the Tybee Turtle Tour.  Several of the fiberglass turtles from that project are still on display around the island. Shannon Marino has been involved in several artistic endeavors in the Tybee Island area, one of which involved helping with the on-going maintenance and repairs of the fiberglass turtles, which use clear auto body finish to protect them from the environment. Thus, a successful collaboration was born.

To find our more about the City of Tybee Island, visit our web site at

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