Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow, is to undergo a radical revamp of its central signage and wayfinding system, with the help of Lacock Gullam and Applied Information Group.
The product design and information consultancies were commissioned by Glasgow City Council’s outdoor advertising contractor Clear Channel to devise the information strategy, which will also see 300 freestanding advertising units across the city developed.
Glasgow City Council awarded the advertising contract to Clear Channel at the end of July, following a creative strategic pitch, in which AIG and Lacock Gullam devised an outline scheme for the city’s tourist sign system.
AIG and Lacock Gullam are now looking at the implementation of the strategy, which will include 200 information panels with maps and finger posts, adapted to the particular needs of Glasgow’s West End and city centre areas.
‘What’s key to this project is understanding how the city works, its structure and how people perceive it all fitting together,’ says AIG creative director Tim Fendley.
AIG has spent the past three months researching the layout and character of the city to understand how it affects visitors’ perceptions of arrival points, distance and layout.
‘We found that Glasgow is based on hills, with the retail spine forming a “Z” around them. It’s also got a predominantly Georgian style of architecture, having suffered little bomb damage in the war. Its West End area is also less dense than the city centre, all of which affects how people perceive and absorb information,’ says Fendley.
‘If visitors have a better understanding of how the areas of the city all fit together, then it encourages exploration. If they know where they’re going, they’re more likely to walk across town instead of getting a taxi. The consequences of this are far-reaching. Street traffic drives retail. It makes a place more friendly and accessible,’ he adds.
AIG and Lacock Gullam were appointed on the strength of previous work with Clear Channel on the ongoing Bristol Legible City initiative (DW 24 February 2005).
Clear Channel won a separate contract in June to develop Glasgow’s landmark advertising sites on road islands and roundabouts across the city. It is currently working on ten architectural structures in conjunction with the Mackintosh School of Architecture, based in Glasgow.
Sister company Clear Channel Outdoor is working on advertising development in Aberdeen and Edinburgh.
Fendley does not rule out the possibility of working with Clear Channel on signage and wayfinding in these cities.
SNAPPING AT LONDON’S HEELS
• Glasgow has a population of about 600 000
• It is regarded as the commercial capital of Scotland and claims to be the UK’s largest retail centre after London
• The city is administered by Glasgow City Council with the municipal headquarters, the City Chambers, situated in George Square, at the heart of the city