Blueways Ireland

Sport Ireland

The challenge

Blueway developments offer an extensive network of interconnecting land and water trails, accommodating canal cruising plus cycling and walking.

We were tasked with creating a sign design guide for accredited Blueway locations in Ireland to create a comprehensive signage plan for Blueway developers to deliver.

This forward-looking project by Sport Ireland will mean that future development will feel cohesive, following the wayfinding principles and conform to the requirements of Sport Ireland.

The unique challenge about this project was to not clutter the wilderness experience of a Blueway with too much signage. The signs should encourage and inform users while not undermining the aesthetic value of the trail, whether that is on the water or land.

Added to that, the signs need to be in both English and Irish.

What we did

We undertook an audit of the existing signage provisions and developed wayfinding principles that set out clear guidance about what level of information needs to be included on signage.

Using simple icons to convey Blueway activity such as Canoe slip and Weir without any words, helps to minimise the amount of text needed on the signs.

This helped to avoid unnecessary clutter and keep things simple.

Simplifying the messaging is always the best way to get information across. And, when you’re on a boat, your moment of opportunity to look at a sign is brief. With only a glancing view to take in essential information, simplicity really is the best way forward.

Why it works

This project is unique in its vision: to provide a comprehensive guide for all future developments along Ireland’s Blueways.

Our design guide will give visitors across the region the confidence to explore this unique landscape through providing consistency and familiarity to the wayfinding and interpretation experience.

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