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Creative Director: Stephen Burton
Art Director: Lindsay Tucker
Created by: Lindsay Tucker, Stephen Burton
Programming and Development: Nathan Brown
Copywriter: Stephen Burton
Image Retoucher: Danny Joslyn
Video Producer: Ben Amos
Photo Credit for POMO Studio Image: Lucas Muro www.lucasmuro.com.au

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C-Square

QUEENSLAND

WAYFINDING SIGNAGE - STRATEGY AND DESIGN

Wayfinding is the process of finding one's way through an unfamiliar environment; signage is one part of a wayfinding strategy, the part that most of us rely upon. In this project, POMO was engaged to create a comprehensive wayfinding strategy for what was arguably the Sunshine Coast's most difficult to navigate urban precinct.

The owners of the precinct identified wayfinding as a very real need that, if addressed properly, could help improve people's experience of the space and play a key role in creating of a more vibrant urban centre.

The project involved early prototyping and modelling of the designs, checking at scale on location, and engagement with the fabrication company early in the design process.


 

PROJECT METHODOLOGY AND PROCESS

We used a human-centered design process where the specific needs of the users of the urban space formed the basis of the strategic design process. To that end, the project began with a public space study where we spent time in the space observing the behaviour of visitors. Observations around access points, navigation pathways, demographics of users (among other things) were recorded and analysed over a period of months. This process is known as a public space study and has formed the basis of many urban design processes globally since the 1970's. The data from this process was used to form the basis of the subsequent wayfinding strategy.

The wayfinding strategy was a comprehensive document that contained an in-depth analysis of the human factors in play in the precinct. These human needs were compiled against a similarly in-depth analysis of the site constraints - its physical limitations - which represented challenges to the wayfinding process from a built environment and regulatory perspective.

A wayfinding response to these challenges was mapped out with detailed work done around sign messaging, locations and physical form. The strategy flowed through to concept designs where sign prototypes emerged and were created at scale and tested on location.

Final steps of the design process involved detailed construction design of all signs including material selection, footing and fixing specifications, and completing engineering and documentation for local government building approval processes where required. Compliance with Australian Standards for accessibility and mobility was also managed by POMO.

Working closely with metal fabricators and other trades, the final suite of unique, folded aluminium signs were created and installed onsite in a number of phases.

POMO project managed the fabrication and installation to ensure accuracy and quality throughout the project.



 

COMPLETING THE PROJECT

Wayfinding signage for the entire precinct was created along with a series of branded signs whose purpose was to identify the precinct and define its key entry points. Environmental responsibility was a key strategic priority for this project and is something that POMO advocates as a starting point for all design projects. In this instance, the signs were created from materials that feature a high level of recycled materials and upon the end of their lifespan can be fully recycled. Any signs requiring illumination were powered with low voltage lighting.

The signs for this project were often placed on existing structures in the precinct to take advantage of their natural position in relation to strategic lines of sight and to add additional uses to previously purely structural features.

Many of the signs wrapped around poles and stair balustrades and others featured multiple sides with different wayfinding information. This strategy catered for the specific needs of visitors who were approaching from different angles and therefore looking for different destinations - information that could not have been identified had we not embarked upon a detailed public-space study at the outset which put human need at the centre of the design response.

The signage was just one part of the strategic response to this project with more traditional methods also identified as being important components of the strategy. This lead to new maps being created for the precinct website - understanding that some users prefer to print and take maps to certain location - as well as updating of Google information and other directional information online. In short, the needs of all demographics were specifically targeted during the process.

Existing built forms were used to serve as wayfinding features for custom made signs and environmental graphics.

PROJECT OUTCOMES

IMPROVED
USER EXPERIENCE

Vastly improved pedestrian navigation from all main entry points to all main destinations through a strategic messaging and sign-placement system.

ACCESSIBLE
 

Improved accessibility for mobility impaired and elderly visitors compliant with Australian Standards.

PLACE CREATION
 

Integrated and unique signs help users to experience a sense of place in the precinct.

ENVIRONMENTALLY
RESPONSIBLE

Signs created for this project are 100% recyclable at the end of their lifespan and are made from materials with recycled components.

POMO's design director Stephen Burton discusses the challenges and their response to this complex wayfinding project.

If you'd like to gain access to POMO's unique methodology for any project, don't hesitate to contact us today on 07 5441 6605.

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