Over the last 10 years, hundreds of cities and counties have launched wayfinding programs to enhance tourism and community development. Once reserved for expansive urban landscapes, communities of all sizes are investing in sophisticated signage to create a positive experience for visitors and residents.
A wayfinding program consists of gateway features, entrance signage, vehicular and pedestrian signage, public art, and exterior furniture. Since these are all very visual things, how they’ll look often dominates discussions. Committee members show up with pictures of signs, eager to discuss logo standards and other graphic elements and find out how long it will take to get concepts.
There’s much more to a successful program than how the signs look, however. Communities spend 7% to 10% of the project’s total cost every year to maintain these assets, yet almost none address what happens after installation.
Without proper planning, maintenance, and repair will become a burden on the city’s budget. That’s why public works must be involved from inception through completion as a member of the project’s steering committee.
Next page: Planning protects your city’s investment