Wake-up call

Trish Lorenz looks at three examples of signage that go beyond wayfinding, informing users about physical developments in the surrounding area and also serving a valuable branding function

Connecting Liverpool

Client: Liverpool City Council

Design: Fitch London

Where Connect Sheffield and Borough Market (below) are both led by the need for improved navigation, this Liverpool scheme is designed to raise the city’s cultural and heritage credentials.

The work, which completes roll-out this month and has been in progress for more than a year, is a key part of Liverpool’s regeneration process and build up to European City of Culture in 2008.

The scheme comprises hub and interpretation panels, as well as fingerposts throughout the centre of the city. Each panel shows culturally important areas within six minutes walk and a diagram covering the whole city.

Inclusivity was a key consideration, and panels identify steps and areas that are inaccessible to wheelchair users. Some elements of the system will feature up to eight languages.

According to Fitch London executive creative director Tim Greenhalgh, the project aims to ‘bring to the surface all the interesting parts of Liverpool, not just the obvious, and connect them more effectively’.

Leader of Liverpool City Council, Councillor Mike Storey, says tourism is ‘vitally important’ to the city’s future and he believes the scheme ‘will help visitors around the city in an imaginative way’.

Painted deep purple and with a Liver Bird motif, the signs are distinctive and achieve stand-out, says Greenhalgh. ‘The style of illustration and typeface give a strong and consistent identity,’ he explains.

Materials such as Portland stone and easy-to-clean vitreous enamel, which is also graffiti-proof, were chosen because they are ‘traditional and durable, and complement both the contemporary and classical architecture of the city’, he adds.

A range of heritage plaques for sites of interest in the city are also part of the scheme.

Latest articles