Schroders, Legal & General, Bracknell Forest Council
Full service wayfinding consultancy & product design
The regeneration of Bracknell is one of the largest town centre regeneration projects undertaken within the UK, in recent years. Since its launch in September 2017, the town has climbed from 255th to 33rd position in the Best UK Retail Destination Rankings and was awarded overall ‘The Best of the Best’ award in the 2017 Revo Gold Awards.
The Velvet Principle was tasked with developing a comprehensive wayfinding system to serve the needs of all visitors with a design that was uniquely identifiable with Bracknell. Taking a visitor centric approach, the strategy reflects the customer journey, with high level, illuminated signs, acting as beacons. Signs with directory and orientation information welcome visitors at all arrival points – the train station, bus station, four car parks and the pedestrian underpasses that connect the town with the business and residential districts. Mapping totems with directional prompts are located at key decision points. In between, finger post signs are strategically placed to suit pedestrian flows, and provide at a glance information and reassurance.
In what is believed to be a first within UK town centre wayfinding, the sign content includes all destinations civic, public and commercial. Providing a single overview of all the retailers, facilities and amenities within Bracknell. A modular design ensures that the information can be cost effectively updated. To future proof the scheme; data cables have been laid to all totems and the option to embed beacon technology designed into the sign furniture.
It was important that the design aligned with the central ‘Greening of Bracknell’ concept, underpinning the architectural design and the new Lexicon brand identity. The sign forms with their distinctive V-shaped timber posts provide a direct connection with the timber used in the architecture. The shape of the sign faces echoes those created within the structure of the street canopies. The colour palette and typography was directly influenced by the brand guidelines. The resulting design not only anchors the wayfinding within the broader design environment, it also reinforces the brand identity.