A Raleigh man's design for the new normal of COVID-19 safety while shopping and dining out

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- As North Carolina gets closer to the day when restaurants will be open again for dine-in customers, hair salons and other retailers will be free to invite their customers back in, a Raleigh graphic designer has come up with a universal way for the public to know the level of COVID-19 protection being practiced inside.

"Currently we're in print production because we believe we're going to make these (signs) available within the next ten days," said Michael Brunson, owner of Raleigh based University Print.

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Brunson's ready to roll the presses on his idea for businesses to communicate to the public that it's safe to come back after the COVID-19 shutdown.

"Everyone's kind of scrambling right now to figure out how to do that. We wanted to be able to help small businesses and non-profits and for that matter, my business," Brunson said.

Like the percentage scores a business gets from a county health department, Brunson's COVID-19 safety posters are designed to hang in the windows of businesses. He's built mock-ups for Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill stores using the United Nations-recognized symbols for face coverings, social distancing, temperature checks and sanitizing. Next to each symbol, there's a box for a business to show what staff and customers are required to do upon entering.

"And what we do is provide the establishment with four checkmarks that they would place themselves into the box appropriate for their establishment," Brunson said. "Not only to the staff, but their constituents that are coming in, the posters communicate to them the levels of protection that the establishment is taking."

Brunson's company, University Print and Graphics is nearly 20 years old and is earning a reputation for building brand concepts for small businesses. With so many businesses large and small on the brink because of the pandemic this may be the company's most important branding effort yet.

"The brand specifically is 'Your City Cares'," Brunson said. "That we really care about you coming in as a client and we also care about you as a staff person."

Brunson's pitching the idea to various Chambers of Commerce around the Triangle to build interest. The company's website launched this weekend for businesses to buy the signs.
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