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The Terrace, Longmarket

DTZ, now part of the Cushman & Wakefield brand, approached Ocean to ask if we could create a wayfinding solution to ‘The Terrace, Longmarket’, a shopping area within Canterbury city centre. The site consists of a pavement shopping area and a cafe terrace level above which is approached by a set of stairs at either side of the site. The present signage was very old, unattractive and said nothing about the retail experience. In return, footfall to the terrace was very small.

DTZ set the task to make this area more prominent to encourage more footfall onto the terrace area as the client was developing more retail and cafe space there. At the same time make the whole location a desirable place to shop, meet and relax. A new wayfinding solution was needed that was visually eye catching and created more emotion and warmth which would help this goal become achievable.

Our solution was to produce a theme that would convey emotion, desire and warmth to answer the client objectives. We drew inspiration from three areas and presented them as mood boards. One based on ancient roman life because in the basement of the site is a small museum centred around an ancient town house with mosaics. The second option was themed around a secret garden because the terrace area is quite hidden and we thought that we could create a hidden garden with signs tempting people up there. The final idea was all about love and wishes which was inspired by hidden notes and love tokens.

The ‘roman life’ theme was chosen. We then developed it in a number of ways before agreeing a figurative solution. We commissioned an illustrator to draw up a set of ‘roman’ characters that we were able to adapt and colour up so that we could create a set of final designs for all the different locations. The result is an attractive, unified set of wayfinding, gateway, information and goal signage that adds a positive and colourful addition to the surrounding shopping area. We are also pleased to report that footfall to the terrace area has increased since they were installed.