Urban Landscape Signage Trends in 2020

We live in an outdoor world that requires us to interact with our surrounding environment. IDS has been studying urban landscape signage trends in various cities throughout the US.

These trends are particularly interesting given the COVID-19 crisis and our need to move more activities outdoors.

Five leading trends we have participated in and see as a long term developments include: Larger Rail Trails and Urban Trails, New Urban Kiosks, Solar, Multi-Modal Branded Gateways and Increased Accessibility. Read on to learn more about each.

Rail Trails & Urban Trails Are Getting Larger

Empire State Trail Urban Landscape SignageIDS is proud to be a key fabricator in the building of landmark signs for the Empire State Trail. The 750-mile trail spans from New York City West to Buffalo and North to the Canadian border at Niagara Falls.

Nearly every state is building long trails that link cities and regions. These require park sign programs that include trailheads, landmarks and gateways. In locations not easily translated to GPS, wayfinding systems must be installed to guide visitors to the trails.

The New Urban Kiosk

Since the creation of Legible London numerous cities have taken a kiosk approach to guide visitors through their streets. The kiosks are a combination of maps and wayfinding systems. Cleveland, New York and Vancouver all have extensive kiosk-based systems.

IDS built a detailed kiosk for the City of Rochester utilizing the Vitrum modular kiosk. The project was recently referenced in The Sign Research Foundation‘s newly updated Urban Wayfinding Planning and Implementation Manual. Each of the chapters has been updated with the latest data and now contains a “New Trends” section with updates from the past seven years.

Solar Signage & Displays

Solar Signage Urban Landscape SignageIDS has been a pioneer in solar for the last decade but now solar is finally seeing its potential in urban wayfinding.

We have incorporated solar in bollards, displays, signs and landmarks for urban environments.

The use of solar not only provides a cost-effective option to lighting but also increases safety in the immediate area.

As communities determine how to provide visitors with evening services, they have begun to integrate solar wayfinding signs and displays into their solutions.

Multi-Modal Branded Gateways

Transportation has been seeing a larger investment from municipalities and improvements are being made to everything from bus shelters and bike trails to airport landmarks. Cities have recently begun to use mixed transportation approaches as a way to brand their most prominent spaces. IDS has focused on building the next generation of gateways combine the grand scale of custom architectural signs in vehicular environments with a mixture of quality materials to fit pedestrian and transit systems.

Increased Accessibility

As communities strive for inclusiveness, they are implementing special raised text and Braille on signage to aid the visually handicapped in navigating the city.

To learn more about our latest insights please view more articles or contact us directly to see how we can help with your next project.


View this Press Release of PR Newswire.

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