City eyes wayfinding signs
As Mansfield transforms its downtown and the entire city becomes more of a destination, city leaders want to make sure drivers and pedestrians can get to everything easily.
Mansfield is developing a new wayfinding sign master plan that will direct people to attractions from Big League Dreams and Hawaiian Fall to the new Fieldhouse USA and future Dr Pepper StarCenter and other attractions.
“Wayfinding is a way of getting around the city literally by looking at signs,” said Shelly Lanners, deputy city manager. “As we continue to grow, we’ll have have visitors and even citizens trying to find their way around town.”
The proposed signs will be located in key locations such as the exit ramps on Texas 360 and U.S. 287.
The city paid consultants MERJE Design $10,000 and BrandEra $10,850 to help update the wayfinding sign master plan citywide while also coming up with consistent branding for downtown Mansfield.
“We’re trying to create a consistent communication tool,” said John Bosio, a principle with MERJE, which has worked with 75 cities nationwide, including several in Texas.
The new wayfinding signs would all have consistent colors, logos and branding.
“The existing wayfinding signs would come down to reduce clutter and better organize the information,” Bosio said.
MERJE had four focus groups totaling about 200 Mansfield residents in the past few weeks. They’ll take that information and narrow down the list of attractions to include and how best to route people there.
“The consultant will come back and tell us what he found, evaluate the signage we do have, he’ll tell us where we need signage and whether it should be a vehicle sign, a pedestrian sign where we should focus on putting them,” Lanners said.
Lanners estimates the report will be ready to present to the City Council by the end of July. At that time, they’ll have cost estimates and can start plugging it into future budgets.
“The plan would be to select what we want to start with and phase it in over time starting in 2018,” Lanners said.
Wayfinding can also be accomplished digitally by using an app, which is also being considered, Lanners said.
The branding for downtown Mansfield is about a lot more than signage–it’s about the look and feel of the whole area.
“We’ve got a lot of synergy going on in our downtown,” she said. “How do we want to create that as its own destination? We want to make sure when you go there you know you’ve entered a special place.”
The signs could direct people to parking lots, restaurants and shops.
The wayfinding sign plan is different than the existing kiosks that direct people to new neighborhoods. Those kiosks, constructed in 2004, mostly advertise for home builders. The new signs will be specifically for directing people to destinations.
Photo Courtesy of mansfieldtexas.gov