Anchorage Trails: The power of identify planning, designing, and branding the Anchorage trails signage and wayfinding system

APA Alaska Chapter


Monday, November 16, 2015
3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. AKST

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Signage and wayfinding tools enable people to orient themselves and navigate from place to place with ease; however, wayfinding is more than signs. Effective signage integrates itself into communities and neighborhoods, including place names, landmarks, maps, and new media. It contributes to making a city more "legible" for residents, commuters, and tourists.

This Signage and Wayfinding Plan for Anchorage Trails is one element of the larger Anchorage Trails Initiative, and one of the seven areas of focus of the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation’s Live.Work.Play. Campaign.

The Signage and Wayfinding Plan for Anchorage Trails is designed to project a consistent image for trails and pedestrian routes to easily and safely guide residents and visitors to landmarks, facilities, and community services. Additionally, the plan improves community health by promoting multimodal forms of transportation including walking, bicycling, and public transit. The signage and wayfinding markers, to be implemented during summer 2016, will be a sustainable, maintainable, and expandable feature of our trail system.

To begin the branding process for the Signage and Wayfinding Plan, the Anchorage Park Foundation hired a team of artists and design professionals to develop an identity for the Anchorage trail system. The results of this work included a primary logo, a style-guide including acceptable colors and fonts with directions on how to use the logo, place-based neighborhood icons that help create a stronger identity and sense of place for "their" neighborhood trails along the trail system, and a palette of trail use icons.


The integration of the Signage and Wayfinding Plan

into the extensive trail system further promotes Anchorage’s


standing as the number one place to live, work, and play. The wayfinding tools create identity for trails, neighborhoods, districts, and parks while providing

information at key locations that increase use of facilities and improve user experience and safety.






Stephen Rafuse

Confirmed Speaker

Steve is an Associate Planner with the Municipality of Anchorage Parks and Recreation Department. He holds a B.S. in Economics from the University of Utah and a Masters in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Oregon. As the planning and public involvement lead for the Parks Department ... Read More