Wayfinding Questionnaire
Highlands, NC
February 22, 2012

Frazier Associates will be designing schematic options for a wayfinding sign system based on the recent branding exercise conducted by Arnett Muldrow & Associates. To better understand the community desires for such a system, this questionnaire can be completed by the Design Committee, elected officials, citizens of Highlands and any businesses or groups that may be effected by such a system.

Frazier Associates will also review the parking and sign study conducted by Wilber Smith in 2009 and the research the STMS Design Committee has already completed on wayfinding signs and destinations in Highlands.

What is Wayfinding?
Successful wayfinding is more than just signs. It is creating a “seamless experience” of a community through the use of websites, printed materials, GPS, QR codes and signs. Since every destination in a community cannot be on a wayfinding sign, the ultimate goal of a successful sign system is to get visitors to key destinations in the community. Here, they will be able to get more information through maps, brochures, kiosks, pedestrian level wayfinding signs or personal assistance.

For instance, in Highlands, getting visitors to public parking is already known to be an essential function of wayfinding signs particularly during the busy summer months. Once visitors are parked, having pedestrian oriented wayfinding signs or kiosks may be the next essential wayfinding element. However, this questionnaire is designed to get essential community input to ensure that the sign system addresses the primary goals of the system.

Sign Types:
To better evaluate the types and content of signs needed, here is a summary of the various wayfinding sign types:

Gateway Signs: Located at the Town Limits, welcomes visitors and employs the brand in its design. (NCDOT review required most likely)

Vehicular Trailblazing Signs: These signs are sized to the speed and size of the road. They can have no more than 3 destinations per sign in order to be readable. These signs will be on the major routes coming into Highlands. (NCDOT review required most likely) Destinations on these signs are usually key visitor destinations such as a visitor’s center, downtown and large attractors like theaters or convention centers. Supplemental trailblazer signs can be used to direct visitors once they are in close proximity to a particular destination.

Parking Directional Signs: Gets visitors to major public parking areas or lots. (Can employ the “P” symbol that coordinates with the brand.

Pedestrian Trailblazer Signs: These signs are much smaller in size and can have many more destinations since the information is being read from a pedestrian perspective instead of from the automobile.

Kiosks: These signs can contain maps, current event information and so on and are best located in areas with a high level of visitor parking. They need to be designed and placed so that they are easily seen.

* 1. Overall what do you view the goals to be for a wayfinding system in Highlands?

* 2. What are the biggest problems you hope to solve with such a system?

* 3. The STMS Design Committee has identified many potential destinations for vehicular trailblazer signs; however it is not possible to sign to everything in Highlands using this type of sign. These destinations are listed in alphabetical order with no preconceived idea of importance. Rank from 1-3 the following destinations with 1 being lowest priority and 3 being the highest for vehicular wayfinding.

(Note: Keep in mind that wayfinding signs are primarily for visitors. Since vehicular trailblazers can only have three destinations, think about the volume of visitors attracted to each of these destinations as you do your ranking. Consider the hours and season of operation. What are the key visitor destinations? Generally speaking, the post office, hospital, police/fire and route signs do not appear on custom wayfinding signs. These destinations have their own signing guidelines. Libraries may or may not appear on custom wayfinding and it depends on whether the library is a community-gathering place for regional events or research. Likewise, schools generally do not appear on custom wayfinding unless they are the location for regional events. Private businesses also do not appear on custom wayfinding. Public restrooms would be best signed on pedestrian trailblazers and kiosks.)

  Lowest Vehicular Wayfinding Priority Medium Vehicular Wayfinding Priority Highest Vehicular Wayfinding Priority
Ball Park
Bascom Gallery
Central Business District (Downtown)
Civic Center
Community Building
Crosby Center
Dog Park
Historical Society
Nature Center
Performing Arts Center
Sunset Rock
Town Hall
Visitor Center

* 4. Do you have any concerns about implementation of a wayfinding sign system in Highlands and if so what are they?