Trailhead environments ...
Successfully conveying essential “need to know” visitor orientation information, requires signage that is very simple and clear in its delivery.
Orientation signage must be reduced to an absolute minimum and be fit for purpose in terms of communicating its messages. Part of this means ensuring that it functions in peak load periods when carparks may be full and low level signage obscured.
This typically means making imposing statements on the landscape in a manner that may run counter to historical thinking whereby the visual impacts of signage in the park setting were sought to be minimised.
Choosing colour schemes designed to blend in with the landscape however can result in signage being hard to discern.
Likewise small signage units that have little capacity to integrate additional or more complex messaging, invite the erection of additional small signage units as one management issue after another arises.
This results in a level of signage profusion that can impact on and detract from the entire aesthetic of a precinct. Removing this clutter and intervening in a minimal but purposeful manner is the underlying purpose of this strategy.
Orientation relative to intepretation ...
An essential part of the roll out of the visitor orientation signage strategy is recognising the natural domains that apply to the delivery of orientation “need to know” and interpretation “want to know” messaging.
These must be clearly demarcated with each domain recognising the mutual benefit of respecting the other’s space.
As the above diagram makes clear, orientation intervenes at the points where people are crossing thresholds to connect with their environment and move from one precinct / activity to another.
Interpretation messaging occurs when they are securely located within a given setting.
Where interpretive content is currently located in orientation settings, consideration should be given to moving it to a neaby, more appropriate setting [e.g. an interpretation sign being moved from a carpark trailhead to within a picnic area].