The RFQ hopes to develop a strong branding identity for Sitka while also creating strong wayfinding signage that makes it easy for tourists and locals to find key landmarks around town. The winning bidder will be required to work with local businesses, nonprofit organizations, tribal organizations, and others to make sure community needs are met.
During the summer of 2013, some temporary wayfinding signs (see photos) were posted around town to help with the tourist season. But the signs were a little confusing and meant to be replaced by the permanent signs from this project.
Improving wayfinding for walkers has been in the news a bit lately, especially after an incident a couple of years ago in Raleigh, N.C. A group trying to promote healthy walking activities, called Walk Raleigh, posted 27 unapproved guerrilla signage around town that featured approximate walking times to different attractions. The signs included walking times in an effort to encourage more people to walk. City officials didn’t like the signage and told Walk Raleigh to take down the signs, but the signs were saved after a public outcry in support of the signs.
Now the group behind Walk Raleigh has created a program called Walk [Your City], which has helped other communities develop similar wayfinding signs for their hometowns. Some of the Walk [Your City] signs are pretty basic, with the name of the attraction, the walking distance, and a QR code for the attraction. But some community groups, such as Walk Dover (N.H.) have added branding elements to their signs (see photo).
The City and Borough of Sitka has approved $90,000 to implement the first phases of the project. Bids are due by 4 p.m. on
Friday, March 21 (Note: Due to an error in local advertising, the deadline has been extended to 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 24) on a computer disc or USB drive to Sitka Convention and Visitors Bureau, ATTN: Branding and Wayfinding RFQ, 303 Lincoln St., Suite No. 4, Sitka, Alaska 99835.
The complete RFQ is linked below. For more information, contact SCVB Director Tonia Rioux at 747-5940 or email@example.com. Money for this project is coming from the Sitka Marine Passenger Fee Fund, so the area covered by the project will be in the main downtown area where cruise ship passengers spend most of their time.