Best Of Regina celebrates the greatest people, places, events, amenities, shopping and services in this city as picked by you. After tonight there will only be eight days left to cast your ballots in this fun annual poll. On each of those eight days I’ll profile one of our new categories. Wheeeee!

Up tonight: Best Store Sign.*

This baby was prairie dog writer Paul Dechene’s suggestion and it’s a really good one. Well-designed signage is one of the delights of city living. A good sign can be a beautiful, electrified sculpture, a lush, colourful mini-mural or an elegant typographical construction, adding beauty and artistry to the urban landscape.

A gorgeous sign also sends a clear message: it tells you you’re in the presence of a playful, creative and lively business owner who is damn proud of what she or he does.

Never underestimate the importance of good signs to a business district’s image. And don’t underestimate the harm caused by artless, cheap, crummy, half-assed and/or generally soulless signage, either. Signs are always a statement and if that statement is “we couldn’t be bothered”, “we have no taste” or “we don’t care”, well, that’s a strike against a shop before a potential customer even walks in the door.

If they walk in at all.

This category might seem fluffy to some people but to me, it’s one of the most important ones in our poll. Smart business owners who care enough about their stores, shops or companies to invest in good signs deserve some attention, because great signs make Regina a better place to live.

Whether or not we’re conscious of it. They really, really do.

So vote for Best Store Sign, and reward a business with owners who care about the aesthetics of their little corner of Regina. It does matter.

*All Regina stores, shops, and businesses are eligible in this category with the exception of restaurants, who will get their own Best Sign award in the 2011 Best Of Food poll.

And now, for inspiration, some great storefronts found from idle Googling. (Yes, I’m an idle Googler.)