Branding Your Community with Signage and Wayfinding

As you approach a community, whether it is a small town or large city, what are the first things you see? A landscape of single family homes and grain elevators or a skyline of iconic modern architecture? Upon reaching the city limits, no matter what size or geographic location, every community has a welcome sign to greet you and extend a first impression. First impressions are very important because they can mean the difference in someone stopping in your community or continuing on to the next.

In a sense, the entry signs become a brand for the community, much like a logo does for a company. Beyond the entry sign, every municipality has a family of signs identifying features from parks to civic facilities. These signs are occasionally found in a myriad of unassociated signs on a single post, or lost in the sea of signs along the curb. Signage and wayfinding shouldn’t be considered an afterthought because of its value in celebrating what makes each community unique.

Signage and Wayfinding is a Small Investment with the Greatest Return

The best way to effectively represent your community’s character is to develop a family of signs to be used for every civic aspect from vehicular directions to destination identification, informational kiosks, and signs to be mounted on light poles; among many others. A sign family would be designed simultaneously with the entry sign, or it could be designed to resemble an existing entry sign and extend a common theme throughout the community.

Successful signage and wayfinding is capable of communicating the assets, strengths, and pride of a community to anyone, from a current resident through the first-time visitor. For example, if your community prides itself on close proximity to the greatest outdoor recreation in the state, then your signage and wayfinding could reflect the community ties to the outdoors. A visitor to your community will then be able to interpret the community’s connection to the outdoors from the signage and wayfinding family. After the visitor has experienced the outdoor recreation, they will be reminded of it again when leaving the community. This subconscious reminder can help them associate your community with the best recreation in the state and potentially convince them to return in the future.

Does your community need an upgraded signage and wayfinding family? Contact our expert landscape architects, civil engineers, and surveyors at Ruggles and Bohm to have your one-stop shop for successful community branding.