From its beginnings as the “College Woods”, the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum at James Madison University (JMU) evolved into a 125 acre urban garden and forested greenspace that preserves native plant species, provides opportunities for research, and promotes knowledge of the botanical and natural world to students and the public at large. Recognizing the need to help visitors navigate the many trails and features of the facility, the university commissioned Frazier Associates to design a consistent and cohesivevsign master plan for the Arboretum using JMU sign standards. The plan established a coordinated and cohesive wayfinding sign system that reflects the natural character and beauty of the arboretum. The wayfinding system provides direction to the various trails, gardens, restroom facilities, and picnic areas within the arboretum.
The first phase implemented included the design and development of specifications for the Arboretum Welcome Kiosks and the Children’s Garden signs. The designs complied with the JMU sign standards to reflect the recognized school brand while also incorporating the Arboretum’s brand graphics. Signs for the Children’s Garden, geared specifically for younger children, were designed to be colorful, fun, engaging, and educational in addition to helping them find their way by using graphic icons to depict the different features they could find and explore in the garden. Arboretum sign types included information kiosks, pedestrian directional, and site identification signs.
The first phase also focused on the sign system for the Children’s Garden. This interesting and whimsical area includes multiple components that incorporate colorful and engaging icons to capture the garden character, engage visitors, and achieve the goals for an overall wayfinding system for the Arboretum.