Communities

City of Petaluma

Ideally situated along a serene stretch of the Petaluma River – yet a mere 45-minute drive from San Francisco – Petaluma is the perfect place to stay, shop, dine, and play while exploring everything Sonoma Wine Country has to offer.

Outdoor enthusiasts visit Petaluma year-round for road and mountain cycling tours, hiking along the gorgeous Sonoma Coast, and paddle-boarding on the Petaluma River. The outdoor adventures in Sonoma County are endless, and there’s no better home base than Petaluma.

MERJE has been working with the city of Petaluma on the design of a bicycle and pedestrian wayfinding program that will promote their trails and encourage connections between trails, parks, public transit and their very walkable downtown. Wayfinding elements, include trail signage, information kiosks, waterway access identification, branded crosswalks and pedestrian information. The design is an extension of the Petaluma tourism brand and draws inspiration from the local architecture for the shapes and colors.

City of Garland

Located in Dallas County, approximately 15 miles northeast of downtown Dallas, Garland is a traditional first-ring suburb and home to over 233,000 residents. It is an established employment base, and a growing diversity of retail, entertainment, and recreational opportunities. In 2014, MERJE was hired to design a wayfinding system focusing primarily on the Downtown. Our design takes cues from the city’s new brand and identity, and the local architecture.

City of Denton

Denton, Texas is a Main Street City in the North Texas region. Established in 1857, Denton is the county seat of Denton County. Denton is unique in composition; the city is comprised of over 92 square miles which radiate out in all directions from the downtown core. In addition to the unique physical composition of the city, there is a unique character to the City. It is comprised of a diversity of neighborhoods and land uses that range from historical residential and commercial districts to new residential subdivisions and industrial complexes to greenbelt areas and newly annexed rural areas.

After developing general themes internally, the City hired the team of MERJE and Lee Engineering to develop designs for Gateway features, vehicular directional signage and kiosks. The design responds to the local architectural context and creates consistent identity for the City. The project also includes coordination with TXDOT for the signage elements located in their right-of-way.

Virginia’s Blue Ridge

Virginia’s Blue Ridge Region encompasses the counties of Botetourt, Franklin, and Roanoke, as well as the cities of Roanoke and Salem. The region is set in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains with the Blue Ridge Parkway running though it, connecting visitors to outdoor activities, charming small towns, and bustling metropolitan areas with museums, breweries and history.

MERJE was hired by VisitVBR to create a sense of arrival to the region through gateways and a regional wayfinding system. Each municipality realized the benefits of being part of a greater tourism region, but still wanted to maintain a sense of their own unique character. MERJE worked with the municipalities to develop sign finials for each municipality while keeping the look over the overall system cohesive.

Lincoln Highway

Located in the center of Lancaster County, the Lincoln Highway corridor is home to numerous attractions, hotels, outlet stores, restaurants and theaters, all surrounded by Amish farmland and culture.

MERJE was hired to develop branding, gateway elements and wayfinding signage for the 2.3 mile stretch of roadway. The design process included investigation into the local culture, community input, tourism strategies and coordination with a multi-year streetscape improvement project.

The brand identity is inspired by local Amish hex signs and Mennonite quilt patterns, while being comprised of multiple pieces reflecting the variety of destinations and activities available to a visitor. The colors are friendly, bright and energetic.

Gateways elements utilize local materials, such as barn wood beams, indigenous stone, exposed industrial connections and handcrafted graphic applications. The wayfinding signage has to meet MUTCD and PennDOT engineering requirements for Community Wayfinding, but at the same time extends the brand into the environment and helps to reinforce the sense of place and identity of Lincoln Highway.

New Orleans Downtown

New Orleans is the home of Jazz, Mardi Gras and some of the finest restaurants in the country. It is also an economy driven by tourism and the urban visitor experience. MERJE is working the New Orleans Downtown Development District and the City of New Orleans on a new wayfinding program that is part of an overall economic development effort to improve the pedestrian quality of life and present a easily identifiable signage program to direct visitors, tourists, residents, and workers.

MERJE has developed designs for vehicular and pedestrian signage, kiosks, sidewalk compasses and a universal map to be used across a variety of communication tools. The design team has also provided a Digital Wayfinding Strategy report for the potential integration of technology, content and interactive tools.

The design of the system avoids the typical New Orleans themes or heavy ornamentation and relies on a clean, simple and contemporary look that is visually appealing and fits the environment.

Hamilton

Located about 45 miles south of Missoula, the town of Hamilton (Population: 4,723) is a central trade area for hundreds of small farms, ranches and orchards that fill the valley. Hamilton offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing and bicycle trails. The historic downtown is a authentic Montana experience offering local boutique shops, dining and museums.

MERJE developed a wayfinding plan that connects Downtown Hamilton with adjacent destinations including the Bitterroot River, Bitterroot Trail, City Parks, and additional community attractions. While vehicular signs are included in the program, the system is primarily oriented towards pedestrians, and cyclists.

Our design reflects the city of Hamilton brand, the local environment and the diy culture of the community. Readily available materials, standard sizes and components are incorporated, so the signs can be fabricated by the city of Hamilton staff and local volunteer groups.

Bellingham/Whatcom County

Bellingham / Whatcom County is a culture of outdoor adventure and sweeping scenery from the Salish Sea to Mt. Baker and North Cascades National Park. The Whatcom County Regional Wayfinding Program is a collaborative effort between the communities of Bellingham, Birch Bay, Blain, Ferndale, Lummi Island, Lynden, Mt. Baker, Point Roberts and Sumas.

Located on Bellingham Bay with Mount Baker as its backdrop, Bellingham is the last major city before the Washington coastline meets the Canadian border, giving a visitor a true “Sea to Ski” experience. The modular design captures this spirit with custom designed wayfinding icons, with bright accent colors representing each region within the county. Gateways will mark the entry to Whatcom County, incorporating icons of the regional towns and districts. Within each community, kiosks will guide visitors throughout the Districts and Regions, promoting outdoor activity and pedestrian connectivity.

Sandy Springs

The City of Sandy Springs is metropolitan Atlanta’s second (2nd) largest city. With a geographic area of 38 square miles, the city includes, several hundred acres of parkland, 22 miles of shoreline along the Chattahoochee River, including three units of the National Park Service. There are also three MARTA rail stations that serve the community, providing park-n-ride service to Atlanta and access to the Sandy Springs Medical District and Perimeter Business District.

The City has hired MERJE to plan and design a comprehensive wayfinding program. Primarily a vehicular oriented system and with expected circulation changes in the next 5 years due to new highway access points, the system is modular and easily updatable. The design is heavily branded with the Sandy Spring identity, but also changes in aesthetics as a visitor transitions from the modern suburban areas of town to the rural wooded neighborhoods and parks. Pedestrian signs and kiosk will be included in City Spring District and the Perimeter Business District, helping to promote events, make connections to public transit and orient users to the city and region in general. MERJE is also coordinating with GDOT and the National Park Service to gain project approvals.

Mansfield, TX

The City of Mansfield is one of the 60+ municipalities that together constitute the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Mansfield is approximately 38 square miles in size, the third largest city in Tarrant County and has a population of 68,000 that is projected to grow to 130,000.

The story of the wayfinding design is the tale of 2 individual but common systems. The core of the program, Historic Downtown Mansfield, establishes the design framework. The sign configuration, shape and size reflect the local architecture. Historic colors, local materials and details connect it to the surrounding environment.

Once beyond the downtown boundaries the system colors and logo change to the full Mansfield identity and become more modern for the surrounding suburban neighborhoods and higher speed roadways. Additional adjustments to design were also made for the specific TXDOT requirements for signs that fall in the State right-of-way. A Steering Committee, as well as City Council was highly involved in all aspects of the design process.