Sign o' the Times
w/c 6 January 2020
A simple guiding principle for any business, especially those operating in the retail, service and leisure industries, is that people go where they are welcome.
For a town like Southend, which is so heavily dependent upon visitors for its economic prosperity, making people feel and know that they are indeed most welcome is paramount. So, I’m delighted to see that Southend Council is looking to improve its signage.
For companies operating on the High Street and seafront, this will be especially well received, I’m sure. Not only will new signs improve the overall appearance of the area, by replacing broken signs and updating the designs, creating a cleaner, tidier environment and ambience but clear signposting also means residents and visitors feel more comfortable coming here and finding their way about.
From the BID’s perspective, I would like to see signs boldly saying ‘Welcome to Southend’ placed at Southend Central and Southend Victoria railways stations. I would also like the Council to consider installing clear indication as to where key aspects of the town are located, from transport links to parking, cultural venues and sites, to shopping and dining areas.
In feedback to the proposed changes, the BID also suggested some innovative ideas be implemented; including colour-coded floor signage - that leads people to certain places, such as shops, the pier and museum - and incorporating the distances into the signs, from where you currently are to key destinations, including walking time and handy facts, vis a vis: ‘Pier 400m/3-minutes’ walk / longest pleasure pier in the world’.
Local artists could also be invited to create artwork for the possible new ‘You Are Here’ monoliths around the town, with each one containing incorporating fascinating facts about the nearby location. We have also put forward that the sides of large buildings in the town centre, could be used to give wayfinding information, in a clear and unmissable manner. Using light projections would be great for visitors enjoying the town’s night time ‘offer’.
With Southend now attracting in the region of seven million visitors every year, if we can visibly show that they are valued from the moment they arrive, well, that really is welcome news.
- Suzanne Gloyne