For who and when?

CITY OF ROVANIEMI
2020

Magical SantaClaus Village in Rovaniemi in North Finland is a popular tourist destination for many travelers. People fly there from all around the world to experience the true Santa Claus and Lapland scene yet it’s wayfinding had been left behind in the development of growing amounts of visitors. Our job was to create a coherent and fresh wayfinding concept to fit to the international comparison and to serve better anyone visiting there.  

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The northern location of the area brings its own challenges to wayfinding. Wintertime is very dark trough out the day, and not all the streets and paths are with streetlights. There is lots of snow, and it freezes into the signs covering behind anything on them. The old existing signs are all looking quite different and the visibility of the font and sizes weren’t the best considering the readability. There are no area maps to help navigating.

We decided to share the area to 5 different areas: Center Village, North Village, South Village, East Village and West Village, and give them their own color and look. That would make it easier for anyone to remember at least the color where the hotel or cabin was instead of the long name that most of them shared a lot of similarities. As we know, in the dark it can be rather difficult to separate the colors, each area has its own symbol too. The area theme follows also into the wayfinding logic. From each area there are guides to the Center Village but other wise the guiding is to the locations only inside of each area.

We wanted that the sign and map elements would be the point of focus, and the structures would be simple and fitting to any environment without drawing too much of an attention. Street signs would be partly made out of reflective tape to help the visibility in the dark and all the area maps would be with light. The locations of the area maps and street signs were carefully thought together with the traffic and street experts from Sitowise Rovaniemi office.

Prototype of the area sign - the text and the symbol are made out of reflective tape

The prototype of a location sign - the background is made out of reflective tape

Close-up view of the big area map

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Matias Halmeenmäki
Design Manager, Service Designer
Service & Industrial Design, Branding & Wayfinding
Sini Mäkinen
Industrial Designer
Industrial Design, Branding, Service design

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