Bristol City Council’s Legible City initiative was the UK’s first fully integrated environmental identity, signing and information scheme and at implementation was one of the most significant programmes of its kind in Europe.
The concept aims to deliver integrated communication and identity to support movement and provide information in and around Bristol. The scheme comprises more than 40 distinct projects and has earned Bristol City Council the Royal Town Planning Institute Award 2001. Bristol Legible City also won the Environment category of the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards 2003.
The initial concept was developed by Bristol City Council through a design team bringing together consultants Urban Initiatives, MetaDesign, pArts and PSD Associates.
Sam Gullam headed the product design team that worked on the physical elements of a broad range of co-ordinated street furniture and signs. The Pedestrian Sign System and advertising structures were the first street furniture elements to be implemented in collaboration with street furniture advertising partner Clear Channel - Adshel.
Since then, Lacock Gullam has assisted Bristol City Council in developing further Legible City signing projects, including welcome points and the marking of the Brunel Mile, a commemorative project launched as part of Bristol’s bicentenary celebrations of the birth of Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
The success of the scheme has been such that 15 years after the first implementation the scheme is still being built on. The initial investment in a highly durable product has meant that maintenance costs have been relatively low, but perhaps more importantly the scheme has become embedded as part of the city's identity.
The project has inspired many cities both in the UK and internationally in developing their own pedestrian wayfinding schemes and is still cited in best practice benchmarking.