Downtown Miami

Wayfinding & Placemaking Project

The vision of the Miami Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is to create a “new Downtown Experience” that will showcase all the quality of life advantages of urban living in an exciting Downtown Miami setting and community that has the diversity, sense of place, economic vitality, and “round the clock” activity that makes great cities.
The DDA contracted with the design team of MERJE and Gannett Fleming to develop a signage and wayfinding system for Downtown Miami. The program is designed to project a consistent image for the downtown area; ease vehicular congestion; guide visitors to landmarks, facilities, and services; promote walking, bicycling and mass transit; and be sustainable as well as expandable.
Wayfinding issues include the review of highway terminology, information sequencing, downtown gateways, districts, destination terminology, circulation, public transportation issues and pedestrian criteria.
Gateway elements mark the arrival to downtown and a color-coded icons mark the three primary districts. The sign materials and form are clean, simple and modern, fitting into the context of the downtown environment and style of Miami.

SCOPE: Wayfinding, Master Plan, Design, Planning, Documentation and Construction Administration
SCALE: Downtown Miami, FL (1.7 square miles)
FUNDING: Tourism Funds, Downtown Improvement District, Florida Department of Transportation
APPROVAL: City Council, Florida Department of Transportation

Yadkin Valley Orientation Map Kiosk

Yadkin Valley

The Yadkin Valley Heritage Corridor Partnership is a tourism and economic development collaboration among four counties in northwestern North Carolina, a region rich in vineyards, history, culture and recreational assets. The Partnership engaged MERJE to lead a team of multi-disciplined firms in designing an extensive wayfinding and branding program for the Valley, which spans a 129-mile corridor.

A new regional identity and website, as well as smart phone applications and printed brochures, are part of the wayfinding program developed for the Partnership. Other components of the program include new gateway and vehicular signage at multiple locations, information kiosks, municipal banners and an interactive trails exhibit.

Whistler British Columbia Wayfinding

Whistler, B.C.

Passion and resourcefulness characterize the residents of this mountain resort community. Drawn into the spotlight when Whistler hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics, the picturesque village with abundant trails, parks and woods has been strategically developed and maintained for a growing tourist and residential population.

To make the most of natural and man-made resources, Whistler engaged MERJE and Brent Harley Associates to develop a Wayfinding Master Plan and Arrival Experience strategy that begins at the Vancouver Airport. The strategy includes a set of recommendations designed to guide visitors to the resort and easily access the amenities during their stay. Both digital wayfinding and physical signage will be used to effectively support the needs of first-time and frequent visitors. The municipality’s aim is to improve functionality of wayfinding infrastructure and contribute to the overall enjoyment of the resort.


Tri-Cities, a growing metropolitan area in southeast Washington where 300 sun filled days offer visitors a year round outdoor paradise. Fun in the sun is a way of life in the Tri-Cities–one reason it’s among of the most popular spots for Washington vacations. The Visit Tri-Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau began to roll-out their new brand identity and slogan “ Brighter Bolder Better”, with a new website and marketing materials, the natural next step was the development of a new wayfinding program that would help connect the 4 major cities of Pasco, Kennewick, Richland and West Richland.

In addition to the comprehensive wayfinding program, MERJE is assisting with developing the strategies for the administrative aspects of this regional wayfinding program, including management, maintenance and funding opportunities. The project includes gateways, orientation maps, vehicular and pedestrian elements that reflect the new brightly colored logo and the Tri-Cities outdoor experience.

Downtown Tampa Welcome ID


Downtown Tampa is currently experiencing a resurgence of development interest including creating a continuous pedestrian walkway along its waterfront (Tampa Riverwalk), building residential towers, adding new museums, attracting larger conventions and hosting more activities to attract people downtown on nights and weekends.

Tampa Downtown Partnership has been joined by local, county and state agencies to develop a wayfinding and identity system to connect the clusters in the downtown urban core. The project’s Steering Committee, selected MERJE to design a wayfinding program that projects a consistent image, eases vehicular congestion, promotes walking and mass transit and be sustainable as well as expandable. Wayfinding issues include the creation of districts, clear direction to parking and large event wayfinding.

Spokane County, WA Map

Spokane County

Spokane is a vibrant city, with a roaring river that offers the best of urban living with a closeness to nature. White water rafting, Broadway shows and local wineries and craft breweries make this an exciting place to explore.

The Spokane Regional Wayfinding Program is a collaborative effort between Spokane County, the City of Spokane, City of Spokane Valley, City of Liberty Lake, West Plains Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Spokane, Washington Department of Transportation and the Spokane Regional Transportation Council.

The design incorporates natural materials, bright accent colors and opportunities to include artistic sculptural elements. Gateways will mark the entry to Spokane County, as well as each of the regional towns and districts. Within the City of Spokane color-coded directional signage will help guide visitors throughout the Districts.

Savannah, GA


The City of Savannah’s Department of Tourism and Film has retained MERJE for the development of a pedestrian focused wayfinding program for The National Historic Landmark District and Convention District. The Historic District encompasses one of the largest urban forests in the nation. The renowned city street plan of public squares and gardens offers a unique environment that is easily walk-able and a place where discovering the varied architecture, landscape and hidden details is all part of the journey.

The plan focuses on promoting multi-modal transportation. Visitors are directed first to parking garages and then encouraged to explore Savannah on foot with the aid of shuttle and ferry services. Along with pedestrian level directional signs, maps, and kiosks, the design utilizes custom Icons to guide visitors to their destinations.

San Diego Wayfinding

San Diego

The heart of San Diego beats in the Embarcadero, Gaslamp Quarter, Little Italy, Petco Park, and museums, boutiques and restaurants that populate Downtown. With the new wayfinding system, first-time visitors to America’s favorite city will have no trouble finding the pulse.

Designed by MERJE and Rick Engineering, the project includes 230 signs and markers that take the guesswork out of navigating downtown for both pedestrians and drivers. New kiosks feature easy-to-read maps that highlight tourist and historic attractions, several neighborhoods now have their own district signs, and brass compasses embedded in the pavement every few blocks aid the hunt for urban treasure. Maps include QR codes that direct smartphone users to attractions and civic landmarks. Developed after extensive community engagement, the new design captures intrinsic San Diego elements of sailing and the sea. The project also includes strategies for implementation, long-term maintenance and coordination with the California Department of Transportation.

Portsmouth NH Wayfinding Program

Portsmouth, NH

The City of Portsmouth scenic location on the Piscataqua River and its rich maritime and architectural history make it a popular tourist destination. There are numerous cultural organizations, historic sites, and other destinations that draw a significant amount of visitors to this part of the seacoast. Many of Portsmouth’s historic sites and visitor attractions are located within the compactly-settled, vibrant and distinctive downtown along with numerous retail shops and restaurants.

The City selected MERJE to develop an overall wayfinding Master Plan and Signage program for the city. The wayfinding program provides consistent and attractive information to assist the traveling public to navigate efficiently to key destinations within the City. The project considers wayfinding needs for all modes of travel including for motorized vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians, and reflects the distinctive and creative character of the City.

Phoenix Information Kiosk


From sun-up to sundown and well into the night, Downtown Phoenix provides a truly unique urban environment. The project was a comprehensive wayfinding program that included wayfinding analysis and the design and planning of gateways, vehicular directional, parking lot trailblazers and pedestrian signage. MERJE also developed designs for the downtown visitor center, banners, and a manned ambassadors kiosk. The program meets the functional requirements traffic engineering criteria, along with the effects of the arid desert environment.