Wayfinding scheme for National Express’ flagship station

Our wayfinding signs and maps scheme makes sure travellers don’t get lost at National Express’ Birmingham flagship station.

Helping travellers in Birmingham find their way

Over 3 million people use Birmingham’s new coach station each year. Ease-of-use and safety are of paramount importance – many users will be unfamiliar with the location, in a hurry, possibly tired and travel-stressed. We won the tender from the National Express core brand team to analyse how the new National Express brand could be used effectively in the coach station, and to devise a new wayfinding concept.

Devising a new wayfinding concept and building brand

Our first step was to spend time at the old station in Birmingham, talking with customers and staff. This provided a profile of use and an insight into how users would navigate the new building, orientate and plan their onward journey.

Our investigations identified issues in the National Express sign guidelines. Analysing these problems, we advised the core branding team and proposed new concept designs for a full pedestrian and vehicle wayfinding scheme for the new station.

Implementation — development and project management

Following approval, we developed a detailed external and internal wayfinding scheme incorporating high level lettering, vehicle directions and a concourse direction system built on the core ‘connector’ of the National Express logo, enhancing the brand relationship. We then project managed a tender list for the main contractor, oversaw manufacture, installation and snagging. The new building opened to the public at Christmas 2009 to full capacity use, with no wayfinding issues.

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