The city of Durango’s historic downtown district was in need of an overall comprehensive signage and wayfinding master plan to brand it and help direct numerous visitors throughout the city. The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad stops in the heart of the historic district and floods the community with tourists several times a day. The problem was that the city lacked an identity and signs that would pull visitors down Main Avenue and up and down cross streets, which were overlooked as potential areas for shopping, dining and the arts.
KMA Design was awarded the project after a national search, due to their experience in city wayfinding and design for other historic landmark buildings and communities. The city, though established in the late 1800’s, did not want to have an image that reflected the “wild west” but instead, one that honored the rich architectural palette that abounds. The Victorian influences seemed the obvious direction for the signage program’s look. Colors, fonts and shapes were all established to work with history of the city and the style and color of the streetlights, trash receptacles and benches. A complete sign family was designed and a detailed manual was provided to the city for phased implementation coinciding with a sidewalk improvement plan.