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Town of Surfside, Florida Gateway Sign

TOWN OF SURFSIDE

SURFSIDE, FLORIDA

 

New Wayfinding for this South Florida Coastal Community.

 

Nestled between North Miami Beach and Bal Harbour, the town of Surfside was suffering from an identity crisis. The Town's outdated and mismatched signs did not represent the vision of a modern day Surfside. Visitors struggled to find parking, which hurt the local businesses. Access routes to the Town's public parks and beautiful beaches were unsigned, and known only to locals. We were asked by the Town to help establish a new identity for Surfside and develop new wayfinding to direct visitors to the business district, parking, amenities and beaches. Working in collaboration with the Town, its staff, residents and local area businesses, we established a new identity and wayfinding program for the Town that embodies the vision of today's Surfside.

 

Town of Surfside, Florida Gateway Sign
Town of Surfside, Florida Parking Monument Sign
Town of Surfside, Florida Parking Directional Sign

THE CHALLENGE:

TRADITION vs. PROGRESS

Designing new identity and wayfinding for a Town is a complex process. Established in 1935, the Town has long been a tranquil family community with a traditional small town business district. The Town's homes, apartments, condominiums and hotels are within walking distance of world class shopping and public beaches—as well as a number of public parks, recreational facilities and a new Community Center. It's small town lifestyle combined with access to world class amenities make it desirable to both it's 5,000 permanent residents and to seasonal visitors. Both the Town Commission and its long time residents were very protective of the Town's lifestyle and image. For our work to be successful, we needed to communicate with as many local leaders, residents and businesses as we could to understand their concerns, desires and vision for the community. Through meetings with Town officials, residents, the local business association, and Commission presentations we were able to establish a vision for re-branding the Town in a way that was consistent with wants and needs of the community.

Town of Surfside, Florida Walking Path Sign
Town of Surfside, Florida Community Center Sign
Town of Surfside, Florida Branded Shuttle Bus

OUR APPROACH:

PLANNING THE FUTURE

As the first step to solving the Town's wayfinding issues, we developed a wayfinding master plan for Surfside that established the goals, needs, and proposed solutions for improving the Town's existing signage and identity. To begin, we performed a complete analysis of the existing signage, and documented all issues and opportunities. We created a list of key public destinations throughout the Town, and then mapped both the pedestrian and vehicular circulation routes— as well as decision points—which helped us determine where direction and identity signage was needed throughout the Town. We examined the sign programs of the surrounding towns, and presented best practice examples of effective signage in other communities. The process of creating the master plan helped us explain and work through the issues with the Town, and reach a consensus about the solutions.

Town of Surfside, Florida Wayfinding Analysis
Town of Surfside, Florida Wayfinding Master Plan
Town of Surfside, Florida Wayfinding Master Plan

FROM CONCEPT TO REALITY:

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

As important as the process is for creating effective solutions to the Town's needs, in the end it is the final signs that must deliver the promised results. For this project we presented to the Town several different design options for the new branding and wayfinding. From selected concepts, we then developed detailed design intent documents, sign location plans and message schedules, and assisted the Town in bidding and selecting a qualified fabricator to build and install the project. During the fabrication process, we helped the Town review shop drawings, prototypes, colors and material samples—and provided continued support during the sign installation. Teaming with local officials and residents, we delivered a new and improved Surfside wayfinding program that re-brands the Town in a way that both respects the Town's residents and history, while attracting visitors.

Town of Surfside, Florida Wayfinding Design Intent Documents Gateway Sign
Town of Surfside, Florida Wayfinding Design Intent Documents Gateway Sign
Town of Surfside, Florida Wayfinding Design Intent Documents Parking Monument Sign

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