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City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, exterior directional sign concepts

CITY OF FORT LAUDERDALE

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA

 

New Wayfinding Program for the City and it's Beaches.

 

Having shed its reputation as the 'spring break capital of the world', the City of Fort Lauderdale Beach is in the midst of a development renaissance aimed at repositioning the area as a world class leisure destination. As part of this re-birth, we were tasked with developing a new gateway and wayfinding program for the City that would re-brand the beach and much improve the visitor experience. Although our initial scope was to focus on the Central Beach region, the City requested that the strategies and designs that we developed be expandable city-wide. We performed an extensive survey and analysis of the existing conditions which not-surprisingly revealed that there was a lack of cohesive signage in the City, and that much of the current signage was either ineffective, unattractive, in poor condition, or non-existent.

 

City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, exterior directional sign along A1A
City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, exterior directional sign concept
City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, wayfinding  sign concepts
City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, pedestrian kiosk sign concept
City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, gateway  sign concept

BUILDING CONSENSUS

Understanding the City's priorities and needs was crucial to developing solutions that would best serve both the community and its visitors. We collaborated closely with a core team of representatives from the City including the City Manager, City Planners, Parking Department, Parks & Recreation, the Beach CRA, and area stakeholders to insure that our vision aligned with their expectations. In order to be sure that the plans and designs that we developed for the beach could eventually be implemented city-wide, we studied many different factors that would affect our proposals including major traffic patterns throughout the City, area public transit, current marketing and branding, existing masterplans, public parking locations, City destinations and attractions, existing nomenclature, relevant sign codes, and funding sources. We compiled all of our research, analysis, conclusions and recommendations into a comprehensive report that formed the basis for our proposed wayfinding strategies and designs.

City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, wayfinding analysis
City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, wayfinding analysis, vehicular routes
City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, wayfinding analysis, design vocabulary
City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, wayfinding analysis, public transportation
City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, wayfinding analysis, vehicular decision points

IMPACT AND RELEVANCE

From the start, the City wanted the new gateway identity signs to be an iconic representation of their new vision for the beach. The different gateway sign locations posed significant environmental challenges from harsh UV exposure, potentially heavy winds and sandblasting, flooding, FDOT codes and rights-of-way, and strict regulations due to protected sea turtle habitats. With these conditions in mind, we explored many different alternative gateway designs ranging from traditional, modern and unconventional forms. Some of our designs imagined these gateways as public works of art, while others re-interpreted elements found in the iconic curved white walls that line the beach walk. We felt that it was important that these gateways be both unique and yet relevant to their surroundings, and their character and tone would be the inspiration for all of the other components in the system.

City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, gateway concept
City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, pedestrian branding and gateway concepts
City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, pedestrian kiosk concepts
City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, public park identity concept

IMPROVED AND EXPANDABLE

The directional sign system's graphics and color palette are designed to be adaptable to different neighborhoods within the City. Parking directional and identity signs are designed to significantly improve wayfinding to beach parking lots, and with an eye towards the many different public parking conditions throughout the City. Pedestrian scale gateway signs are designed to provide branding along the beach front, and themed kiosks provide both orientation and information to area visitors. The beachfront regulatory signs are designed with highly durable materials that will better withstand their harsh oceanside conditions, and with re-designed graphics and symbols that are more friendly to international visitors. Throughout the design development we worked closely with the City and local sign professionals to establish fabrication budgets and funding sources. We obtained detailed fabrication estimates and time frames for all elements of the system, and proposed a phased prototype and implementation schedule. We met with the FDOT district office to review design details and sign locations, and incorporated the feedback we received. In the end we achieved the goal of creating a new wayfinding program that represents this evolving City—and can grow and expand into a comprehensive system that will benefit both Fort Lauderdale residents and its visitors.

City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, gateway design intent drawing
City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, gateway design intent drawing
City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, vehicular directional design intent drawing
City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, district vehicular directional design intent drawing
City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, vehicular directional design intent drawing
City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, beach regulations design intent drawing
City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, beach regulations design intent drawing

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