Mt. Vernon Register-News

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November 17, 2012

City council to consider wayfinding signs

Directional signs to important areas are said to increase retail sales

MT. VERNON — Plans for a wayfinding system for the city is in the works, and the city council will be considering an agreement with a company to do the planning for it next week.

Wayfinding is placing signage in areas to direct visitors. The lack of signage and a system to direct people to important areas of the city was identified during the branding study completed by Roger Brooks of Destination Development in April.

“You need what’s called a wayfinding system,” Brooks said. “It is a system of signs that have no more than five directions on a sign that will help people get where you want them to go ... If you don’t connect the dots, you will sell yourself short. And, I’ve never seen a community that does a wayfinding system that hasn’t seen an increase in retail sales.”

City Capital Projects Manager Nathan McKenna has been working with the Branding Leadership Team to find a company to plan a wayfinding system for Mt. Vernon.

“We sent out a request for proposals for someone to design the system,” McKenna said. “There were five or six firms which were identified that do the work, and three submitted proposals. The BLT chose to recommend Merje, which was also the low proposal submitted.”

McKenna said the company of Found Design, doing business as Merje, would develop the wayfinding system in four phases if its proposal is accepted by the city.

“They will identify the appropriate destinations such as hospitals and the municipal buildings,” McKenna said. “The BLT and Merje will also be identifying other destinations such as Cedarhurst.”

McKenna said the company would develop the wayfinding system — which would include informational kiosks — identify where the signage would be placed, design the signs and help with implementation of the plan, including specifications for bidding on the signs and a timetable for completion. The company would also identify old signage that would conflict with the new wayfinding system. Under terms of the agreement to be presented to the city, Merje would be paid $74,350 for its services.

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