studies

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.

Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech

A unique and functional wayfinding system can market Virginia Tech, present a friendly image and communicate that the University is efficient, organized and caring. Helping a visitor “find their way” is an important part of their experience and time spent on campus.

The goals of the Wayfinding Master Plan, developed by MERJE, included achieving a consistent and unified wayfinding system, incorporating graphic improvements based on university branding initiatives, accessibility for persons with disabilities, safety, cost, durability, and sustainability. The primary focus was the design of aesthetically appropriate signs that enhanced the visual character of the campus. The work included building ID signs, pedestrian and vehicular directionals, parking lot identification, campus maps and utilizing existing pavilions to create new information hubs for students and visitors alike.

Santa Cruz Wayfinding Master Plan

Santa Cruz

Tourism generates $14.5 million in local taxes for the City of Santa Cruz and is vital to the health of the downtown, the beach area, and the City itself. Santa Cruz’s attractions are as varied as their environment, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, world famous surf beaches, the classic Santa Cruz Boardwalk, art galleries and shops in the downtown, the University of California at Santa Cruz and the surrounding redwood forests, all make up this eclectic community.

MERJE is led a team of multi-disciplined designers and engineers who are worked together to develop experience-based design solutions for the variety of wayfinding issues. MERJE was charged with the Implementation Strategy and Wayfinding Analysis. Lance Wyman provided design direction, while Rick Engineering conducted a GIS based signage inventory of the existing sign system. Local Industrial designer Timerie Gordon provided project management and Design Advocacy.

New Jersey Entrance

New Jersey Master Plan

MERJE was contracted through the non-profit group Celebrate NJ to develop a Wayfinding Masterplan for the State of New Jersey. This comprehensive Masterplan provides guidelines for creating wayfinding programs and signing regions within the State. Travelers to New Jersey are first welcomed upon their arrival to the State and introduced to the idea that there are distinct tourist regions within the State. They are then guided to the region that houses their point of interest. Once they arrive within the appropriate region they are directed within that region to their destination.

The master plan maintains that individual signing regions are unique and that the wayfinding programs established within each signing region should reflect the inherent character of that area while maintaining a consistent presentation of information to the visitor. Ultimately, the philosophy driving the project is to create a well planned, organized and user-friendly image for the State while aiding travelers in discovering all that the State of New Jersey has to offer.

City of Eugene, OR Kiosk Rendering

Eugene

With a strong sense of identity, Eugene is a dynamic, creative and open city set in the South Willamette Valley. Located between the Willamette River, the coast mountain range and the Cascade Mountains, Eugene is the home of the University of Oregon, an active, engaged community with a thriving, one-of-a kind downtown. From the city center to city neighborhoods, Eugene is full of eclectic entrepreneurial folks pursuing a variety of creative activities ranging from cottage industry artisans to world‐class research and software development.

MERJE has been working with the City of Eugene to develop a comprehensive Pedestrian Wayfinding Master Plan, that will guide visitors and residents alike. The system supports the discovery of local destinations, provides walking distances and promotes the use of public transit. Working with the City, Lane County Tourism and more than 25 stakeholders, MERJE worked to help identify the wayfinding issues, build consensus and make recommendations for a consistent overall approach to wayfinding, while keeping the freedom of expression that is unique to Eugene intact.

DART

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) services to 13 cities in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Transportation services include bus, an electric light-rail system, a commuter rail line, ride-share programs, curb-side services for the mobility impaired, and transit educational services. MERJE conducted a Customer Communication Audit and subsequent improvement recommendations for communicating to DART customers in print, electronic, stationary fixed signage, and on-board methods and modes. An overall review of the effectiveness of the current DART customer informational landscape enables the agency to define areas needing improvement, with the goal of enhancing and simplifying customer information, and how it is delivered.

Coronado Featured Image

Coronado

The City of Coronado is a small beach community, with a rich history and resort atmosphere. Surrounded by the San Diego Bay and the Pacific Ocean, Coronado residents and visitors enjoy one of the nation’s most beautiful beaches in one of the world’s most affluent cities.

To design a wayfinding master plan for Coronado, MERJE utilized a 5-step approach for strategy, planning, design, and implementation. This design process provides a basic structure for advancing through the project and provides opportunities to address individual project issues that are unique to the town. The project is currently in the schematic design phase. MERJE explored the rich colors and iconic architecture of Coronado in developing design options.

Downtown Austin

Austin, Texas, is bursting at the seams with creativity and culture. MERJE developed a comprehensive Wayfinding Master Plan for the Downtown Austin area with a design that provides clear, concise information, framed in a modern design that is artistic and industrial in its use of materials. The wayfinding system will incorporate technology, sustainable materials, and best practices. Icons, patterns, and colors compliment the environment. The project’s scope includes vehicular and pedestrian signage as well as identification for the local urban trailheads.