June 9, 2023
Pensacola Welcome Sign Design Contest Winner Selected
The City of Pensacola is excited to announce the winner of the Pensacola welcome sign contest, with the new sign expected to greet as many as 100,000 visitors to Pensacola daily. Briana Spence of Spence Studios was selected as the contest winner, submitting a pelican design that will illuminate Bayfront Parkway and Gregory Street as drivers exit the Pensacola Bay Bridge.
"Our hope for this contest was to create a design that will greet visitors to the City of Pensacola for decades to come, and I'm excited to see Briana's design come to life and achieve that goal," Mayor D.C. Reeves said. "I appreciate the creativity and effort that went into every submission, but this design just stood out from the rest and has the potential to become an iconic symbol for our city."
Spence's design was chosen from 22 submissions through a blind selection and scoring process. The selection committee consisted of six individuals who did not know the identity of the designers until after the designs were scored and a winner was selected.
Spence is a full-time graphic designer and illustrator who owns her own design agency, Spence Studios. She decided to enter the city's design contest thanks to the encouragement of her family and friends, and she was thrilled to find out she was selected as the winner.
"I'm super excited, and I just think it's incredible that it will be an icon for the city," Spence said. "That's the part I can't get over – that this will be up for years and years, and it'll just be a recognizable part of Pensacola."
Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Spence grew up spending her summers in Pensacola visiting her grandmother. She decided to move to Pensacola about eight years ago, which further ignited her love of the area's beautiful waterways and beaches.
Spence said her inspiration for the design came not only from the many pelicans that inhabit Pensacola, but also from the iconic fiberglass pelican statues that can be spotted throughout Pensacola. She also incorporated lights into the design as a nod to the iconic light-up Pensacola Beach sign, which is loved and recognized by many.
Spence said she is excited to see her design come to life, and she hopes the sign is well-received by Pensacola residents and visitors.
"I really just hope they see it as a friendly welcome to the city, and as something that will be part of Pensacola for years to come," Spence said.
The city is working in partnership with Dalrymple Sallis Architecture for this project, with funding provided in part through a Joint Participation Agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation.
The selected design will be fabricated and installed by the city, to be placed in the area between Bayfront Parkway and Gregory Street facing south-southeast. Please see the project area map for location details.
The new welcome sign is expected to be fabricated and installed by early 2024.