Project Objectives

This Environmental Design project challenged students to redesign the existing branding and signage of Heritage Square, a popular -- but unattractive and underutilized -- meeting space located in the center of downtown Flagstaff.

Project objectives included:

  • Creating improved wayfinding signage

  • Redesigning the architecture of the square itself

  • Increasing visibility for businesses

  • Creating a logo & brand for the square

Final Design Features

  • Wayfinding signage which reuses old metal and brick from existing design

  • Mock aspen poles that glow at night, offering Dark Sky-compliant lighting

  • Natural boulders that provide protection from the street without inhibiting entry for pedestrians

  • Bold, attractive branding that highlights Flagstaff's history and matches existing design work around the area

  • Better visibility for business bordering the square

  • Open, multi-purpose floor plan

  • Unobstructed entry from all directions

Branding

I chose to abandon the word "square" (as it's a little redundant, especially to anyone familiar with the space) and build the brand around the simplified moniker of "Heritage Flagstaff".

The logo and signature use an Art Deco-inspired typeface that references Flagstaff's historical ties to the railroad -- something the square's current design heavily focuses on. 

The brand's colors are inspired by the brick buildings surrounding the square, and also incorporate the golden color of Flagstaff's iconic aspen trees.

(right)

After

(above)

Before

Architectural Redesign

Although it wasn't a requirement of the project, I chose to completely overhaul the ineffectively-designed architecture of the square.

After observing visitors' movement through the space, I concluded that the square's large planters (many of which didn't even have plants in them) obstructed entry and forced people to either walk all the way to the opposite end of the square or avoid it entirely.  Removing these planters and replacing them with strategically-placed natural boulders protects the interior of the square from vehicles on the nearby road while allowing entry at any point along the edge of the square.  I chose to also bring a few of these boulders inside the space as aesthetic pieces.

Of course, whenever you bring fun rocks into a space, people are going to want to climb them.  Signs warning against this practice would placed around the square, but one can expect people to do what they do best and ignore these warnings.  For this reason, I installed cutouts in the brick floor of the square filled with yellow mulch.  They offer a cushion in the event that someone should fall off the rocks, and also add a visually-pleasing effect that mimics fallen aspen leaves.

Vertical Directory

Booth + Bulletin Board

Center Bench + Sign

Glowing Aspen Poles

  • Placed at each of the four entrances

  • Used to direct visitors to nearby businesses

  • Round bench offers seating to patrons inside the square and on the sidewalk outside

  • Wooden back allows event flyers or advertisements to be easily posted

  • Used in clusters around the square to mimic a forest environment

  • Made from semi-opaque plastic, LED inside

  • Poles glow at night, offering Dark Sky-compliant lighting

  • Curved bench provides seating facing the amphitheater

  • Low profile displays the signature without obstructing view to businesses on either side

Before

(left)

After

(below)

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Colton Starley

480.299.2602

coltonstarley.design@gmail.com

@coltonstarley