A complete wayfinding and signage makeover for the entire Zoo addressed a confusing network of similar looking meandering trails connecting over 300 exhibits. Over forty map directories and dozens of directional signs installed over the years have not substantially improved self-guiding by visitors. Hundreds of unrelated donor signs and mismatched operations signs add to the visual clutter.
After investigating several options of subdividing or "zoning" the property, Hunt Design suggested a color themed trail naming system. Each trail is named, signed, and actually colored to provide a redundant visual/verbal communication system. Now staff and visitors can use the nomenclature system in their primary direction giving: "The chimpanzees are on Blue Avenue. Take the Red Road around Green Street and turn left." Each trail can now be a defined, timed walking experience.
Trail signs reflect the colors and ceramic color dots, spaced at fifteen-foot intervals, can be followed the length of each trail. All groups and categories of signs have been designed and standards set for implementation. Operations signs take on a secondary appearance with a botanical theme.
"This solid, comprehensive wayfinding program addresses all aspects of the visitor's journey, from the time they enter the parking lot. The areas that sometimes get overlooked are also incorporated into the package: operational signage, food/retail signage, and the donor recognition signage. The thought process identifies recognizable icons, colors, and formats to create a visual vocabulary of hierarchy and logic that should prove to be a successful approach to simplifying an existing network of disjointed EGD elements. The thoroughness of the study was refreshing."
Wayne Hunt (Principal in Charge), Jennifer Bressler, Wayne Hunt