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WSJ: “Fans Leap To Save A Road Icon” (sub req):
“Surveys showed that consumers preferred gas stations that were well-lit and had a “bright, clean look,” he says. Color experts hired by the company said a red and white palette conveyed this orderliness. The orange balls didn’t fit.
Starting in 2003, the balls started coming down and being replaced with flat signs with a small red-and-blue 76 logo. Kim Cooper, an author and cultural historian, noticed the new color scheme at a gas station near her Los Angeles house. “It made me feel unsettled,” she says of the new colors. A couple of hours later, she had registered the Web site www.savethe76ball.com.”