After Chester town councilman Tom Becker discovered billboards are required to put up town-related news, David Stevenson got to work on the art and messages that would best represent his hometown.
Images will change seasonally, noting events in Chester. The messages will appear for eight seconds each.
Under Federal Communications Commission (FCC rules), billboards are required to give time for community service. Becker reached out to Lamar Company, who told him the town hasn't been taking advantage of this clause.
Stevenson explained his thinking when coming up with his first two messages, "The Heart of Orange County" and "A Beautiful Place to Be...."
"I noticed on a map that Chester was centrally located almost smack in the middle of the county, so I thought that might be a neat hook, that we're at the crossroads of the county, near everything, and embody the best the county has to offer," he said.
In "A Beautiful Place to Be....," Stevenson said "the ellipses are important because I wanted a dual meaning. One one hand is the obvious meaning of it being a great place to physically be. One the other hand, the ellipses imply the sentence is unfinished and can be completed with all the things you can be in Chester: a teacher, a child, a student, a senior citizen, a business owner, a worker, an artist -- you name it!"
Stevenson is a senior art director at Penguin Random House in New York City, where he designs book jackets. He has a freelance graphic design studio in Chester where he lives. More of his work can be seen at davidgstevenson.com.
Guy Hartnett gave permission to use his photo of Brookview Farm. The "Thanks for Visiting Chester" sign photo was taken by Hartnett, who Stevenson said generously gave his permission for its use. His website is fineartamerica.com/profiles/guyharnet.
Editor's note: This article has been slightly revised from the original.
"I noticed on a map that Chester was centrally located almost smack in the middle of the county, so I thought that might be a neat hook, that we're at the crossroads of the county, near everything, and embody the best the county has to offer." --David Stevenson