Sault Ste. Marie's new municipal logo and branding strategy features prominently in a wayfinding master plan approved this week by City Council.
"Wayfinding is a system of signs, banners, gateways and kiosks that assist visitors to connect the dots and find their way, assisting in the creation of a positive experience, extended stays and additional spending," says Travis Anderson, project manager at Future SSM.
"If done right, wayfinding systems do more than just act as a guide; they create a more attractive community and build and promote a community's brand," Anderson says.
New wayfinding signs were strongly recommended by Roger Brooks International, a consultant retained by the city and Downtown Association to recommend strategies for core-area revitalization.
The new wayfinding master plan was developed by Corbin Design of Traverse City, Michigan.
The city will now issue a request for proposals to get pricing on the first phase of the plan's implementation process.
Tri-lingual welcoming signs and wayfinding signage for Queen, Bay and the Canal District will be installed first, followed by subsequent phases in 2021 and 2022.
Anderson says the master plan is designed to:
- improve visitor experience
- improve traffic flow
- create a sense of arrival and place
- alert visitors and residents to shopping, leisure and recreation opportunities
"The wayfinding system will serve to attract new visitors and direct them along preferred routes to target cultural, historic, economic and recreational destinations," he says.
"Wayfinding brings people in to the community by focusing on the major vehicular routes at the main entrance points into Sault Ste. Marie. The new system will lead people towards local destinations, convenient parking locations and into the downtown."