Halifax Recreation: REC

Brand Development, Signage and Wayfinding Program

The goal of the HRM Recreation identity and wayfinding project was to deliver a set of identity, branding and wayfinding solutions that create a welcoming environment for HRM Recreation’s diverse clientele.

The unique and memorable brand for Halifax Regional Municipality’s Community Recreation Services works in combination with a cohesive and creative signage and wayfinding plan and a consistent marketing plan to:

Elevate brand perception: By promoting the number of facilities, and exposing the programs and capabilities of these facilities, users and non-users alike have a better appreciation of the value of the HRM Recreation system, and see it as a resource.

Increase awareness: Signage and messaging increased awareness of programs and services, and is in sync with other promotional efforts.

Increase usage: By making sites more visible and welcoming, more people have taken advantage of the programs and facilities.

Increase the diversity of the audience: Raising the visibility of site, and allowing better wayfinding for groups such as those who speak English as a second language, those with perceptual impairments, the young and the elderly help serve all citizens.

Ease navigation: By aiding navigation to and within sites, site staff can spend less time directing patrons and more time interacting with them in more valuable ways.

Pride: Seeing a well-maintained, attractive site, with clear signage designating it as an HRM facility, fosters pride in our community, and conveys the scope of the HRM Recreation system.

HRM profile: Efforts to improve the look and function of civic facilities are an important tactic to increase and improve our city’s image.

Quality of life: By upgrading the public face of over 50 recreation centres, beaches and arenas,
this project has contributed in a meaningful way to the quality of life in HRM.

Safety: Beaches and outdoor sites have specific issues surrounding safety and regulation. Signage with the civic address and meaningful information icons contribute to the value and safety of the sites.


Among the various challenges faced during this process, the breadth of site conditions – over 50 sites, each with differing construction, age, purpose and history – proved the most demanding.

We devised a system that features both modular flexibility and rigorous guidelines for design and fabrication. This approach facilitates its application to the wide range of sites without becoming either too complex on one hand, or excessively open to misinterpretation on the other.

The full range of deliverables includes Case Study Reports, Final Overview Report, Wayfinding System Guide, Sign Types & Fabrication Guide, Graphic Standards as well as sign icon artwork.