It took awhile to correct bits and pieces and strays, but to the best of our knowledge, these signs are now "complete," recognizing that if they are erected, place-specific "you are here" markers would have to be added to the map sides of the signs.
We have added a few services (Hess, Grainger, PNC, Maurice Electric) to the list and map, as well as lodging and nightlife categories. We added a wi-fi icon, not that places in the Market offer such services at this time, but to encourage its offering.
Part of why I wanted to take a crack at producing these signs was to show how  intra-district directory information can be provided within the typology of the DC wayfinding signage system--currently this option doesn't really exist; and  neighborhood/district history could be communicated thematically through signage, without necessarily having to have a "heritage trail" system. (Larger versions of the interpretation side could be used as a model for neighborhood history interpretation signage in bus shelters.)
We used a hybrid of the Heritage Trail sign system managed by Cultural Tourism DC and the Discover DC signage system managed by the DC Department of Transportation. But we changed the header to "Explore" rather than "Discover" to better reach out to people who aren't tourists, to people who live here and have "discovered" DC already but are still eager to learn about places we don't know.
Another aspect of the map side of the sign that is a breakthrough concerns how transit is depicted on the map. Most non-transit maps in the area use railroad tracks as the graphic element to depict subway lines. Instead, to show the path of the red line subway, we used the same graphic style as the WMATA subway map--likely the region's most recognized map. We extended this idea and depict bus lines using the graphic elements from the WMATA bus maps.
he subway map instead of a railroad track to denote the line. (This isn't a first exactly, but it is still rare. DDOT and DCOP maps don't do this.)
A broader interpretation system could be created for the area from Union Station to the Florida Market. A broader directional and interpretation system could be created for Union Station, NoMA, and the Florida Market, and include specific interpretational signage on the the area's railroad and transportation history. In other words, Explore Union Station, Explore NoMA, and Explore Florida Market could be part of one broader directional and interpretation system.
Additionally, I think it's important to create "transit wayfinding" explanatory signage for Union Station, to explain to visitors the various ways of getting around other than automobiles, since Union Station is the primary hub for all of those other forms of transit.
We will distribute an 11x17 black and white two-sided version at the Cultural Tourism DC tour on Saturday 9/20.
Christopher Taylor Edwards of This is None: Storytelling by Design
, served as the art director-designer for this project. (THANK YOU!)
Labels: cultural heritage/tourism, urban design/placemaking, wayfinding