Belfast Pedestrian Signage

 

Client

Belfast City Council

 

Project

Urban / Large

 

To enrich the visitor experience it is necessary to advance the understanding of the history, events and stories associated with a place. To increase Belfast’s legibility Belfast City Council commissioned us to work on a large scale navigational and interpretive signage project.

 

Firstly, a visitor management plan was developed in which we identified suitable locations on popular thoroughfares and at visitor clustering points for the 140 signs to be installed.

 

As a navigational aid the city was subdivided into four colour coded ‘quarters’. Each sign combined wayfinding and site-specific interpretive information. The mapping was all based upon 1:1250 OSNI data – the highest resolution that exists – and included 3D buildings and heads-up orientation.

 

The city centre maps included all major transport nodes such as Ulsterbus, Metro and NI Railway stations. For the suburban maps we obtained the GIS data from Translink for all the Metro stops in the greater Belfast area, and these were plotted on all map panels.

 

The signage consisted of three different types of sign: Primary Hubs that gave an overview of each city quarter, Navigational Blades that had a detailed map of the immediate area with interpretive information, and Building Blades that gave detailed information on a single building. Blade signs at major intersections incorporated wayfinding finger posts to provide base level orientation and encourage exploration.

 

We also included high quality illustrations based on contemporary photographs, carefully researched archive images and rigorously researched visitor information content. The sign content encouraged exploration by matrixing the city's key sights through extensive cross-referencing within the copy.

 

Over 140 vitreous enamel signs were installed. The Belfast Tourism Monitor survey recorded that “over 2 million visitors noticed the pedestrian street signs, with 95% of those visitors finding them useful”.

 

In addition the signage scheme has garnered the following:

 

  • Tourism Partnership Initiative of the Year - NITB Tourism Award 2008        

  • Centre Move Award - Association of Town Centre Management Awards 2008/09

  • Belfast City Centre Management Awards 2007, Highly Commended

  • Association of Public Service Excellence, Annual Awards, 2007, Highly Commended

 

Agency services

- Concept development

- Cartography

- Wayfinding strategy

- Interpretative strategy

- Sign design and material specification

- Research and copywriting

- Picture research

- Design and illustration