Wayfinding Planning

Project Overview

The City of Bremerton is creating a comprehensive plan for wayfinding in Bremerton. Toole Design (the consultant) will develop a Wayfinding Plan with a pilot phase of signage to be installed by the City of Bremerton Public Works Department.  

The project budget for the plan and the pilot signage phase is $150,000. Further phases of signage implementation will be budgeted for future years.  

What is Wayfinding?

Wayfinding refers to signage that helps people navigate their surroundings. It may include maps, interpretive signage, directional signage, promotional signage, and even regulatory signage.  

In a practical sense wayfinding tells you where you are and helps you get where you need to go.  

Why Wayfinding?

  • Wayfinding creates a cohesive look that strengthens the City’s brand
  • Can express and further the City’s values
  • Reduces visual clutter by standardizing signage
  • Supports tourism by creating a welcoming and easily navigable city for visitors
  • Improves livability for residents when used for parks, recreation, and bike routes

Project Scope

The project scope includes the development of a wayfinding vision and strategy, a destination hierarchy that will define what destinations are included on the signage, a signage design lexicon (a standard design), and fabrication specifications for a first phase signage project.  

Proposed Schedule and Progress

The project duration is 12 months and will begin in March of 2022.  This spring the project team gathered information about existing signage, City branding, and planning documents. Additionally, they created a list of destinations to consider for the wayfinding signage including regional destinations like the ferry terminal, Olympic College, and the Kitsap Conference Center, major neighborhoods and landmarks like Charleston Neighborhood, Harborside Fountain Park, and the Valentinetti Puppet Museum, and local destinations like post offices, schools, and neighborhood parks. This summer they will refine the destination hierarchy and design the signage.  This fall they will finalize the signage design and design a first phase of the signage (approximately 25 signs) that can be installed early next year. The project will wrap up early next year with a report that outlines the wayfinding plan and design.

Public Outreach and Engagement

The Wayfinding Planning Project will include robust public outreach and engagement.  A steering committee consisting of city officials, city staff, and local community and business groups has been formed.  The steering committee will provide guidance and oversight to the project.  Materials provided to the steering committee will be posted to this webpage, and the public is encouraged to comment on those materials (see comment form linked below).  

Steering Committee Meeting #1 – Project introduction
Meeting Notes

Steering Committee Meeting #2 - Public engagement results, signage design, and destinations discussion
Meeting Notes

Additionally, engagement opportunities for the public-at-large are underway.  

On Saturday, July 2nd, the project team participated in the annual Bridge to Bridge walk and spoke with over 400 people about the project. We shared our draft destinations map and asked for feedback on what destinations are most important and if we missed any destinations. Here is a summary of what we learned:

  • People would like distances on the signs, mentioned a sign for the college is not very good because you do not realize how far away the college is 
  • People wanted the signs to emphasize the history of Bremerton and the military history 
  • There might be a way to collaborate with Kitsap Magazine 
  • Include the map in the survey so that people can input their destinations (just do the map and have a write in) 
  • Port Townsend has very good wayfinding signage even if it is a small town. He liked the rounded loop (sign topper?) and found it uniform and easy to read. You can see it easily from a car. 
  • There might be some discrepancies between the way people refer to local roads vs what they are called/what they are called on Google Maps e.g., SR 303 vs. Wheaton Way 
  • He also liked the interpretive signage in Washington State Parks 
  • There is an opportunity to collaborate with existing maps e.g., Josh Farley's map, brochures on the ferry 
  • People that are new to Bremerton are interested in sharing the finalized map back  
  • People find the existing signage unclear 
  • Seattle-based visitors liked the Seattle wayfinding kiosk designs 
  • Lots of thanks and interest 
  • Signage from the ferry is very confusing 

On August 18th the project team visited the Bremerton Farmer’s Market at Evergreen Park and spoke with over 100 people about the project. The team shared three draft sign designs and asked folks how they felt about them. A large majority of people that the team spoke with were enthusiastic about the Wayfinding project. The feedback on the draft signage was varied, with people favoring each sign for different reasons. The team received a lot of valuable comments regarding legibility/visibility, community feelings on specific imagery (like mountains, boats, etc.), and sign content. Feedback from this engagement is further summarized in the CSB # 2 presentation, linked above.  

Stay Engaged!

Join our mailing list to get updates on this project sent directly to you. You may also contact Project Manager, Katie Ketterer, with questions and comments at 360-473-5334 or by email at Katie.Ketterer@ci.bremerton.wa.us. Additionally, you may submit questions and comments regarding the project using this webform.