BRANDING AND SIGNAGE STRATEGY
‘Action Stations’ is an experiential pavilion at the Australian National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour — designed by FJMT Architects. The pavilion has interactive museum exhibits and an immersive cinema to provide visitors with a better understanding of both the history of the vessels and also life at sea — the dangers, the hard work and the long hours.
Urban&Public was engaged by the ANMM to create a brand and identity system and wayfinding system for Actions Stations — this branding informed all brand application, wayfinding systems, room, vessel and exhibit signage, exhibition design, vessel signage and environmental graphics. An engaging logotype was developed with a secondary brand system inspired by the heritage for the three vessels HMAS Vampire; HMAS Onslow and HMAS Advance. The design gave each vessel an individuality that reflected the differences in the boat name, times of service and inherent characters. This brand framework established the pavilion as the ‘Home Base’ for three important historic vessels from Australia’s Naval Fleet under the one. The branding, colour system, and design elements were inspired by the many layers of signage, markings and information systems found on the vessels. This branding and identity is now also used extensively within the museum’s merchandising collection. As a team we worked with a diverse internal client group that included curatorial, heritage, marketing, project management and architectural teams.
The museum’s brief was to provide visitors with a unique and contemporary museum experience. This was achieved with a design system using a rich visual palette that included historical photographs, interpretive elements, illustrations, extracts from books and diaries, and supergraphic displays communicating compelling stories and images of life and conflicts on the high seas. As all the museum spaces are generally outdoor and exposed to the weather all designed and fabricated elements are hard wearing and long lasting in the saltwater environment.
WINNER —2016 Museums Australia Multimedia and Publication Design Award (MAPDA) Action Stations website
WINNER SILVER — 2016 International Design and Communications Awards (IDCA) Best Scenography for a Permanent Exhibition
Highly Commended — 2016 Museums and Galleries National Award (MAGNA) Permanent Exhibition or Gallery Fit Out
Related submarine project:
HMAS Platypus Submariners' Memorial
Client // Australian National Maritime Museum
With // Christie Hunt & Andrew Ashton
Year // 2015
Urban&Public were engaged by the City of Sydney to develop and implement the new city-wide ‘Legible Sydney’ wayfinding system for the 10 city villages across an area of 25km². A framework was established to ensure the 600 signs including 100 map pylons were optimally located as part of a city wide pedestrian network. The final documentation packages totalled over 1500 pages of schedules, plans, visualisations, messaging and finished artwork. Thorough documentation and a process driven approach was key to each village package for preparation of tendering documents for manufacture, which has been awarded and will commence roll out in 2017.
Best practice detailed mapping included the illustration of 3D landmarks to assist in user journey–planning and new mapping for the southern part of the LGA. Meticulously designed sign templates were used for accurate, repeated artwork preparation, allowing for standardisation of large volumes of messaging, pictograms, transport information, destination times, mapping data and text–based information. Systems were essential to creating a seamless and coherent approach to implementation, ensuring information was accurate and responsive to current and future changes to transport and the public domain occurring across the rapidly changing urban landscape.
Client // City of Sydney
Years // 2014—2016
Urban&Public and Six Degrees Urban worked together for the City of Adelaide to examine and document in detail how to regulate and achieve the best building fabric and public domain to encourage an active and connected public realm. The project was jointly funded with State Government, to deliver better quality public domain and better buildings in the recently established Design Excellence and Development Assessment programs.
The document is set out in three parts;
—Human Scale at Street Level
This guideline is part of Adelaide City Council’s Urban Design Framework (UDF). The UDF aims to provide a template for new development and alterations to existing buildings, that will, piece by piece and step by step, help create a more coherent, active, diverse and inclusive Adelaide city centre. The focus of these guidelines is the interface between the public and private realm. Whilst this is a particular part of the physical fabric of the city, it represents in a broader sense one of the fundamental aspects of city life, the relationship between the community and the individual, where the public benefit and private property rights come together.
Client // Adelaide City Council
Client // 2012—2014
Link: Adelaide Design Manual
As part of ASPECT Studio’s ongoing work with the restoration and reopening of the former HMAS Platypus site in Neutral Bay on Sydney Harbour, Urban&Public were invited to design a subtle yet integrated marker and memorial to the submariners and six Oberon class vessels that were based there.
The new Submariners’ Memorial at HMAS Platypus on Neutral Bay was officially dedicated at a moving remembrance ceremony on Friday 18 August 2017 marking the 50th anniversary of the site's commissioning in 1967.
Special guests at the ceremony included the Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne; Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Tim Barrett AO CSC RAN, Mr Kevin McCann AM, Chairman of Sydney Harbour Federation Trust; Commodore Mark Sander RAN (retired), President of the Submarine Institute of Australia.
The memorial commemorates the service and seamen of the six Australian Oberon Class Submarines that were based on the site from 1967 to 1999. The idea for the memorial was conceived by Submarines Association Australia and the Submarine Institute of Australia — designed by Urban&Public team for the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, the custodians of the site.
The centerpiece of the project is the restored submarine anchor from HMAS Oxley, the first of the six Oberon-class subs to be based at the site from 1967. When the Oxley was decommissioned, her anchor was retained for this future purpose, and has now been installed on a circular precast concrete base in a quiet reflective area of the site. Affixed to the memorial are three new plaques recognising the years of operation of HMAS Platypus and the three sailors lost whilst serving on Oberon submarines. 'Silent Service', the motto of the Submarine Squadron is fixed to the wall beneath the memorial. An official wreath laying ceremony was included on the day with the Minister, family members and other dignitaries paying respects.
“We took advantage of the nearby existing concrete steps, sandblasting the names of all six submarines into the risers,” explains Urban&Public’s Simeon King. “So the names Oxley, Otway, Ovens, Onslow, Orion and Otama are now permanently etched into the site in a fittingly industrial way.”
Although the memorial is a solemn reminder of three lives lost, it also signifies the imminent rebirth of the HMAS Platypus site. Sydney Harbour Federation Trust commissioned the memorial as part of its long term transformation of the site from a gas works, torpedo factory and naval base to a contemporary waterfront urban park. The memorial unveiling is a significant project milestone and signals the start of the building and public space renewal works, after seven years of site remediation and community consultation.
When HMAS Platypus was decommissioned in 1999, the submarine base and workshop were relocated to HMAS Stirling in Western Australia, along with the bronze ‘Platypus’ on a granite rock, that had been the site mascot since the base first opened in 1967. It is a hope that the platypus will return home in the not too distant future.
Memorial, Plaques, Interpretation and Event Booklet: Urban&Public
Head Contractor: Fleetwood Urban
Precast Concrete: 2barrows
Plaques: Architectural Signs
Sandblasting: Quick Blast Mobile Sandblasting
Anchor Restoration: Thales Australia
Photographs: Guy Wilkinson
Related submarine project:
Action Stations, ANMM
Client // Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, Submarines Association Australia, Submarine Institute of Australia
Year // 2017
WALL & BANNER SUPERGRAPHICS
Urban&Public worked in collaboration with Moreland City Council in Victoria, to enhance a new plaza design for Morgan Court in the heart of Glenroy with a super graphic wall treatment. The plaza design delivered by en:locus was dominated by a large brick wall creating a visually dominant feature to the space.
U&P was given the challenge of minimising the visual impact, enhancing the existing design and creating a memorable experience for users of the space. The resulting design references the feature seating and the stripes associated with older style canvas awnings of the 1950–60’s. Albeit abstracted by size, the large colour bands replicate the topography of the site’s concrete seating, with their dynamic separation into strips suggesting movement and transition through the space.
Client // City of Moreland
Year // 2015
U&P were engaged by Woollahra Council to review the existing public domain of Double Bay town centre, and propose a vision for better utilisation and long term improvements to the street, laneway and arcade network — alongside the important public gathering spaces, parks and Sydney Harbour foreshore, and investigate better links to public transport whilst improving active transport outcomes.
The strategy sets a pathway and intentions for integrated future public domain improvements across the centre, from building interface issues with the public domain, street trees, squares, markets, street furniture, wayfinding and lighting. As part of this work we established a strong public domain hierarchy — a framework for all future capital works investments.
Client // Woollahra Council
Year // 2016
WAYFINDING FOR CITY & PARK LANDS
Urban&Public in collaboration with Studio Binocular developed a kit of parts approach for the signage family providing Council with an adaptive and flexible system suitable for both parks, open spaces and urban conditions. A key design driver was the capacity to collocate panels on existing street furniture and infrastructure reducing visual clutter and minimising implementation costs.
The visual language and look and feel of the signage including mapping, underwent rigorous consultation and real world testing with multiple stakeholders culminating in a final design that embodies world best practice in wayfinding. Ultimately delivering an information system that is long lived and resilient to the recent and future changes as the city grows and evolves.
Client // Adelaide City Council
Years // 2011—2015
Frome Street Bikeway
The Principal Pedestrian Network Demonstration (PPND) project is designed to promote walking as the primary means of transport to key destinations within the city’s activity area.
Frankston City Council and ASPECT Studios, in consultation with the local community and traders, developed a new plan to promote walking between key destinations and enhance exploration of Frankston’s central laneways.
Gallery Lane host a sequence of lighting and art components designed by Urban&Public in collaboration with Tag Alexander that enhance community safety and aims to eliminate waste dumping and graffiti.
Park Lane and the pedestrian link received a full street upgrade that created a desirable place for pedestrians and local traders.
Scope: Concept Design, Design Development and Construction Documentation
Team: ASPECT Studios, GTA Consultants, WSP, FORM Structures
Client // Frankston City Council
Year // 2013
WAYFINDING INNER MELBOURNE
ASPECT Studios and Studio Binocular, in collaboration with the City of Greater Dandenong, piloted a wayfinding strategy for Springvale Activity Centre with the aim to roll it out to other Activity Centre’s in the municipality.
Key objectives were to create identifiable elements and heads up information to direct and orientate people to the retail, community facilities and Springvale Station transport hub.
A hierarchy of signage elements and custom graphics were developed to brand the precinct and create a clear legible system of identifiable signs.
Client // City of Greater Dandenong
Year // 2013
Awards // 2014 Melbourne Design Awards — Wayfinding Silver Winner, Springvale Wayfinding Strategy
U&P were engaged to carry out a wayfinding strategy for a new bikeway in Frome Street, Adelaide.
The bikeway is an opportunity to promote cycling as a viable mode of transport to the city and therefore required a legible and engaging visual language to promote the route. Building on the city wide Wayfinding Strategy, the cycle signage included branding elements, mid block and intersection directional information on island separators and sign panels collocated to existing light poles.
Consistent placement of information for cyclists meant delivering the right information at the right time whilst providing a safe and comfortable experience for bikeway users.
A cost effective approach to wayfinding was implemented using affordable materials and production methods including poles wrapped in stickers and surface decals.
Client // City of Adelaide
Year // 2014
BRANDING & WAYFINDING
Bunurong Memorial Park is the newest of Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust’s (SMCT’S) cemetery properties in Melbourne, Victoria, comprising a land area of approximately 100 hectares.
SMCT’S physical vision for the site was contemporary and distinctively Australian, beautifully landscaped, with an abundance of lakes and calming water features.
Working closely with BVN Architects, Urban&Public in collaboration with the ASPECT Studios landscape team, developed a comprehensive branding and signage strategy for the whole site.
The branding outcomes built on the existing SMCT language and vision and carried through to the signage approach, which was to create a complementary addition to the architecture and landscape treatments. This was achieved through a refreshed visual language, choice of colour, materials and finishes. The family of signs were developed to be durable and long lasting utilising a simple contemporary design to ensure their aesthetic longevity.
Client // Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust
Years // 2015—2016
BOX HILL GARDENS ENVIRONMENTAL SIGNAGE
ASPECT Studios was commissioned by the City of Whitehorse to create an innovative space with a diverse array of recreation activities and events within the historic and well-loved Box Hill Gardens.
A key feature of the space is the recycling of the former tennis court club building. Part of the clubhouse was retained and reused as seating platforms overlooking the playing surfaces. A new toilet block sits behind the rebound-wall providing amenity to all park users.
The site functions as both community space and courts for multiple sport and recreation activities. The team designed a dynamic and engaging super graphic to define the play areas and create an iconic and playful destination for the growing community.
There is also a 1km long path for walking and running that travels around the gardens, with the start and finish lines syncing into the multi-purpose area.
Client // Whitehorse City Council
Year // 2013
The Meeting Place—part architectural sculpture, part social experiment—was a playful installation encouraging participation and interaction whilst heightening the experience of moving through the urban surrounds of Little Hunter Street Sydney.
The design concept created a space within the existing laneway form through the construction of two fabric walls, each four metres high. The material selected had an opacity which allow for obscured views through to the remaining unused parts of the laneways and to the existing building facades.
At night, the yellow fabric became a canvas for revealing the movement of people within the space. The curved form of the structure created a point of tension toward the centre of the laneway, forcing pedestrians to negotiate their way through the busy thoroughfare by acknowledging and communicating with others moving in the opposite direction.
This social aspect, often lacking in the Sydney CBD, of observing, acknowledging, communicating and negotiating with people increased positive human contact with a sense of play.
Client // City of Sydney
Year // 2009
Other ARTS ▲ projects:
Morgan Court Revitalisation
This public boardwalk in Pyrmont, Sydney, completed the foreshore upgrades to Jacksons Landing — a waterfront community over 10 years in the making. The new wharf strengthens the open space connections between the significant foreshore parks to the north and south, provides an opportunity to engage with the water, and a generous shared path along the waterfront.
Engagement with water was a key design principle. Open mesh provides a visual connection to the harbour beneath, whilst seating steps into the water generates a direct physical connection to the harbour. Together they create a richness of experience, allowing people to interact with the harbour in ways uncommon within the Sydney foreshore.
Site–specific interpretation reveals the sites prior use within a working harbour context. Routed text inlays, the reinstated yellow crane stop, signage and the crane rail are key reminders of this.
Client // Lend Lease
Year // 2013
Angel Place one of the priority upgrade projects which form part of the City of Sydney’s Laneway Revitalisation Strategy, a scheme designed to reactivate a number of Sydney’s historically significant laneways.
Angel Place has been transformed into an uplifting public realm place which integrates public art and interpretation into the project design.
Particular emphasis was placed on revealing the Tank Stream, with a rhythmic combination of paving and steel inlays highlighting its location. The public art installation, Forgotten Songs in collaboration with Michael Hill, Dr Richard Major, Richard Wong and David Towey, was integrated within the public domain works, adding depth to the site’s historical interpretation and strengthening the visual cues from George Street that suggests an alternative passage is available, which to meander and find respite from the noisier adjacent streets.
The suspended cages are fixed with multiple sounds of birds that inhabited the site prior to urbanisation of the city. As visitors walk through the laneway the echoes of the bird songs resonates creating a charming and unexpected aural and visual experience.
Client // City of Sydney
Year // 2011
SIGNAGE REVIEW AND WAYFINDING STRATEGY
Urban&Public were engaged by the Mosman Council to complete a municipal signage review and analysis to determine the best approach in updating council’s signage assets and to assist in the systematic placement for new signage, along with visual, architectural and typographic influences for the development of a contemporary suite of wayfinding signage. Existing signage was generally lacking in relevant information, poor application of council brand, over–regulation and inappropriate location placements.
Signage in these outdoor locations must withstand both exposed coastal conditions and wear and tear in public parks and urban centres. A tough material palette of timber, juxtaposed with anodised aluminium framing and aluminium filigree is used in the new signage. A system of patterning was developed for each sign location typology: urban, park and coastal. These patterns were either routed into the timber framing, printed onto sign fronts, or perforated on the large aluminium panels that references some of the older architectural styles and forms in the area — and a method to reduce the visual weight of the signage.
When Council wanted to implement new smart parking technology and parking counters it was incorporated into the new suite of signs to keep a consistent visual language across the public domain. Sensors located in car parks and on streets gives visitors an indication of the best places to park, and where the probability of finding a car park is highest — all supported by a free smart phone app.
Year // 2015—2017
Client // Mosman Council
Urban&Public worked with GHD in the detailed study and analysis of connectivity within the Orange City Council and to surrounding areas, for the development of an Active Travel Plan. This strategic document aimed to guide the implementation and maintenance of active travel infrastructure, programs and the encouragement of greater participation in active transport options.
The Plan has been developed to go beyond the standard Bike Plan as required by the RMS to include streamlined delivery and a higher degree of usability for Council staff and the community.
The plan focuses on deliverables that empower the user, including:
— Project assessment tool
— Service level zoning maps
— Typical details
— Detailed project plans
— Wayfinding templates
— Education programs
— Community communication tools such as social media, printable online content and active travel information packs
— Infrastructure planning, including end of trip and mid trip amenity, paths and connections
The team prepared a full website feedback form using ‘Bang the Table’ to garner feedback from the general public about cycling and walking for active transport.
Client // Orange City Council
Year // 2015—2016
The City of Monash has piloted a wayfinding strategy for Oakleigh Activity Area with the aim to roll it out to other Activity Areas in the municipality.
Key objectives were to create identifiable landmark elements and heads up information to direct and orientate people to the retail, community facilities and Oakleigh station transport hub.
A strong visible colour palette was adopted to brand precincts and create a legible system of wayfinding elements in the public realm.
Client // City of Monash
Year // 2011
BOX HILL UNDERPASS REFURBISHMENT
The Station Street Underpass project called for a refurbishment of the existing pedestrian underpass. With a tight budget, creative and cost effective design solutions were called for. In collaboration with Electrolight, the concept seeks to funnel the sky underground, inverting the subterranean experience of the underpass.
Through the use of colour, material selection, light and graphics, an artificial sky was created. The resulting treatments included community text messages incorporated into illuminated clouds, super graphic stencils on walls and a reflective wall treatment at entrances. The refurbishments have effectively improved passive surveillance, increased the light levels to meet standards and transformed the experience from the mundane into a visually engaging and enjoyable one.
Client // City of Whitehorse
Year // 2005—2008
Hart’s Mill Surrounds is a revitalised and attractive public realm in Port Adelaide, located adjacent to the wharf with a backdrop of one of Adelaide’s most iconic heritage buildings.
While the overall design responds to the strict briefing parameters of use, budget and safety, the conceptual framework is drawn from a thorough understanding of the history of the place. The interpretive response to the milling process, the re-use of existing timbers, and the industrial aesthetic and bold colouring are reflections of the former use of the place and provide an outcome that is both unique and sensitive to the cultural significance of the place. Using simple and durable materials coupled with exquisitely detailed interpretive elements that weave a narrative of the sites history, the precinct is a living museum with an inbuilt flexibility allowing for transformation into a dynamic event space.
The project team considered the potential timeframe for further redevelopment (likely to be 20 years or more) and ensured that the works were durable and of lasting quality — an authentic response to the port environment.
Client // Renewal SA
Year // 2014
Urban&Public was commissioned to undertake concept design, documentation and contract administration for the a new graphic gateway and shade structures for the Bowden Urban Village at Plant 4.
The temporary gateway installation has a five year life span and is located on a vacant lot that fronts Park Terrace and overlooks the Adelaide Parklands. A collection of signs marks the entry to the Plant 4 Bowden site, the former home of Clipsal. The signs come alive at night, and will become a changing canvas for the site.
The preferred concept references road sign typologies to create ‘wayfinding’ elements that can be utilised as an updatable gallery for artists and/or promotions. Graphics to the light boxes can be assembled in different ways to create a visual and dynamic entry to the Village both day and night.
U&P also developed concepts for the lasercut sunshade element over the playground and waterplay, using graphics found on the previous industrial site.
Client // Renewal SA
Years // 2015—2016
The M80 Trail is a significant connective path network proposed to complement the $2.25 billion Ring Road Upgrade.
U&P and Studio Binocular delivered an identity and wayfinding strategy to be rolled–out across the entire network. Covering 38km, the trail traverses major roads, rail and waterways. The necessity for a clear and legible system of navigation was paramount to meet the challenges of an, at times, disjointed and circuitous route.
The identity laid the foundation for the creation of a signage family, furniture and shelters that are iconically ‘branded’. At the heart of the system is the use of a common colour and characteristic form to clearly sign and signify the route for users.
Our services covered:
Route and connectivity analysis
— Identity development
— Signage family design
—Design and documentation of furniture and shelters
—Implementation of strategy
Client // VicRoads
Year // 2012
WAYFINDING AND INTERPRETIVE SIGNAGE STRATEGY
Coburg Lake has been central to the lives of the Moreland community for over a hundred years. It has witnessed many changes of use and contains many cherished landmarks.
With recent refurbishment of its facilities, ASPECT Studios were engaged to develop a family of wayfinding, gateway and interpretive signage that would celebrate the lake’s rich history.
Inspired by the Art Deco elements still present in the reserve, signage was subtly themed to evoke that period. The more striking evocation of this is the main entrance sign situated along Murray Road, large Art Deco letters are incorporated into the palisade fence spelling out Coburg Lake Reserve.
Client // City of Moreland
Year // 2011—2013
CITY OF WHITEHORSE SIGNAGE STRATEGY
ASPECT Studios in alliance with Studio Binocular recently completed a comprehensive signage strategy for all Council branded signage assets.
The project demanded an extensive audit and consultation process with a variety of stakeholders within Council and the broader community. The summary outcomes and recommendations of this phase of the project informed the redesign of all Council branded signage. This covered and included:
—Parks and open spaces
—Gateways into the municipality
The signage information included wayfinding, directional, location, time and distance, maps and icons. Extensive research was initiated to develop a suite of materials that could be used for both the natural and urban environments across the municipality. The construction methodology mitigated maintenance requirements and negotiated the fine balance between sustainable and environmental aspirations and the pragmatic need for a durable and graffiti resistant suite of signage.
Client // City of Whitehorse
Year // 2010
ASPECT Studios and Studio Binocular undertook a comprehensive analysis and evaluation of two key Activity Centres in Moonee Valley, Melbourne with the aim of developing a family of wayfinding signage that could function in very different urban typologies.
The two areas, Moonee Ponds and Airport West, required a signage family of flexible elements that could provide the necessary wayfinding components to link pedestrians with transport networks and services, aid in access to community facilities and promote walking and cycling around the municipality.
The developed signage family was also rolled out for Keilor Road and North Essendon Activity Centres.
Key components of this project included:
—Signage messaging and placement
—Area and Heads Up Mapping
—Cost effective alternatives to standard signs
—Durable and long lasting signage elements
—Access and legibility design outcomes for a Linguistically and Culturally Diverse audience.
Client // City of Moonee Valley
Years // 2011—2013
IDENTITY AND WAYFINDING
The City of Casey identified the need to create a unique identity for the Casey Complex precinct and associated wayfinding, gateway and facility signage.
ASPECT Studios and Studio Binocular developed a clear brand voice to rationalise the signage and project a clearer identity to the community about the precinct and its facilities.
The Casey Complex brandmark is based on the idea of a complete community precinct. It references the traditional concept of city walls enveloping the heart of a community.
The negative space within the C creates an arrow which communicates the concept of direction and movement. This sense of movement is also supported through the use of a brightly coloured gradient – helping to suggest a sporting context.
Development of the visual identity system for the complex established a framework for the wayfinding family of signage. Aimed at both vehicles and pedestrians the signage family negotiated a balance of scale to create a legible visual language.
Client // City of Casey
Year // 2012
The Victorian Desalination Plant is a state significant, large scale infrastructure project delivering 150 billion litres of water to Melbourne. ASPECT Studios, working with architects (ARM and PeckvonHartel), PB / Beca and ecologists, delivered the urban design and landscape architectural services for the project.
The Desalination Plant is encircled by the largest ecological park in the state of Victoria. As part of the suite of supporting structures and systems for the ecological park, toilets, shelters and signage were designed as a family of elements with similar design aesthetics.
The design prompts came from the green roof, a staggering structure that rises out of the dunes to cover the main facility of the plant.
This ascending, folding and wrapping geometry of the green roof was mimicked in the shelters and smaller ancillary buildings and also in the interpretive signage that appears at key points around the park.
Client // AquaSure Consortium
Year // 2012