Signage & Environments
Since 2015, Axiom Design Partners have been implementing a wayfinding signage system at New Norcia to replace decades of ageing and mismatched signs dotted throughout the town-site.
With no wayfinding strategy or style guide available – signage for the town had been developed and installed in an ad-hoc manner by multiple suppliers. The result being a large group of signs with no style consistency, poor legibility and little thought to placement, nor was there any plan for updating or maintaining the signs.
New Norcia may be Australia’s only monastic town but it is also a working rural community and a popular tourist destination, activities which are vitally important to the economy of the town. The greater number of people working in and visiting the town has highlighted the inadequacy of the signage – and in particular the wayfinding signage – both in helping people orientate themselves and also as a Health & Safety issue.
As with all our major signage design projects – our first task was a site visit and audit of all the existing signage throughout the town. This Discovery phase identified all the existing (and non-existing) wayfinding signage and led us to Define a strategy that worked for, and in harmony with the site.
We believe that signage is more than just functional, using their form to enhance the sense of place, to orient, guide and engage at multiple levels with people’s emotions and memory, thereby adding a valuable layer of meaning and memory to a place – particularly for a significant heritage site like New Norcia.
Our first priority was to develop the wayfinding strategy that defined the signage hierarchy and locations for all signs before designing all the necessary sign types. The full scope of the project has required the management of tendering, prototyping, fabrication, installation and maintenance.
The project is ongoing with installation of new wayfinding signage staged to coincide with civil and restoration works happening throughout the town.
The signage that has been installed to date has significantly enhanced the experience for visitors to New Norcia and importantly, blends harmoniously with the fabric of this historical town.