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Miami River Greenway, Miami, Florida branding

CITY OF COLUMBIA

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA

 

A New Community Wayfinding Program for South Carolina's Capitol City.

 

In 1786, South Carolina’s legislature sought to establish a new state capital so that the citizens of the state could benefit from greater political representation. Planners carved out a two-mile square in the center of the state, and Columbia was born. Today, the city has grown into what the original planners had envisioned as the center of government, commerce, and education and is home to the South Carolina legislature, the University of South Carolina, and an emerging cultural and social scene. With an ever increasing volume of visitors to Columbia each year, the City sought to replace their old and outdated wayfinding program. We were hired by the City to plan and design a new branded wayfinding program to direct visitors to Columbia’s public destinations, vibrant Districts, and public parking. Working in collaboration with Experience Columbia, District representatives, City staff, and SCDOT we created a new wayfinding program for the City that promotes the attributes and attitude of today’s Columbia.

 

Miami River Greenway, Miami, Florida directional sign and branding
Miami River Greenway, Miami, Florida directional sign and branding
Miami River Greenway, Miami, Florida directional sign and branding

THE DISTRICT MODEL

Columbia is a city of Districts, and promoting and recognizing these Districts was a key element of the new program. Extensive planning was required to design a branded system that clearly distinguishes each District; promotes the City and it’s assets; and seamlessly directs visitor’s to important public and historical destinations. The program’s common layouts and sign forms are personalized for each District through the use of District-specific accent colors and the prominent display of the District’s name. Another important decision was to use the backs of all the sign panels as an ‘urban gallery’ that promotes the diverse character of Columbia, its Districts, attractions and ambiance. In the final program, over 100 carefully located and curated images—including several photographs shot by Yazi—are featured on over 200 signs throughout the City.

 

Miami River Greenway, Miami, Florida branding symbols
Miami River Greenway, Miami, Florida branded Historical Marker sign
Miami River Greenway, Miami, Florida branded Kiosk sign

BEATING THE CLOCK

The City had a goal of completing the program before the NCAA Basketball Tournament arrived in Columbia in mid-March of 2019. From start to finish the new program was planned, designed, fabricated and installed in just under 18 months. We achieved this goal by establishing clear milestones, and with great communication and assistance from all parties involved. Throughout the process we held regular meetings, presentations, and site visits with the Experience Columbia team, City officials, district stakeholders and SCDOT to keep everyone up-to-date and on schedule. We were fortunate to have a local sign fabricator Colite on board from the very beginning, and they were an active participant in the design and planning process, and proud to contribute to the evolution of this capital city.

Miami River Greenway, Miami, Florida branding symbol applied to park bench
Miami River Greenway, Miami, Florida branded mile marker sign in sidewalk
Miami River Greenway, Miami, Florida branded mile marker sign in sidewalk

CREATING SOLUTIONS

The sign panels are designed to meet SCDOT standards, and their modular format makes them easier to update or replace. Careful consideration was given to the size of the directional text, and the size of the sign panels, to ensure optimal legibility. With the help of onsite prototyping, we determined that using two different sizes of directional signs and text—influenced by the number of lanes and traffic speed of the roadway—was the best solution. Our final deliverable was a comprehensive guideline for implementing the approved wayfinding system and its design elements. We worked extensively

Miami River Greenway, Miami, Florida pedestrian sign concepts
Miami River Greenway, Miami, Florida kiosk design intent drawing
Miami River Greenway, Miami, Florida kiosk design intent drawing
Miami River Greenway, Miami, Florida applied branding design intent drawing
Miami River Greenway, Miami, Florida kiosk sign location drawing

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Miami River Greenway, Miami, Florida branding
Miami River Greenway, Miami, Florida directional sign and branding
Miami River Greenway, Miami, Florida directional sign and branding
Miami River Greenway, Miami, Florida directional sign and branding
Miami River Greenway, Miami, Florida branding symbols
Miami River Greenway, Miami, Florida branded Historical Marker sign
Miami River Greenway, Miami, Florida branded Kiosk sign
Miami River Greenway, Miami, Florida branding symbol applied to park bench
Miami River Greenway, Miami, Florida branded mile marker sign in sidewalk
Miami River Greenway, Miami, Florida branded mile marker sign in sidewalk
Miami River Greenway, Miami, Florida pedestrian sign concepts
Miami River Greenway, Miami, Florida kiosk design intent drawing
Miami River Greenway, Miami, Florida kiosk design intent drawing
Miami River Greenway, Miami, Florida kiosk sign location drawing
Miami River Greenway, Miami, Florida applied branding design intent drawing