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City of East Lansing

East Lansing, MI

Known as the home of Michigan State University and a number of government offices and businesses, East Lansing is the epitome of a ‘town and gown’ city. The MSU campus and a number of student bookstores, entertainment and dining venues are divided by busy Grand River Avenue; on any given football Saturday, thousands of visitors may need wayfinding help.

However, the program was initiated due to the construction of the Broad Art Museum on MSU’s campus: the City correctly assumed that these new visitors might be less familiar with East Lansing, and decided that a parking and pedestrian wayfinding program was needed.

Corbin Design recommended first that parking garages and lots be prominently named and identified from primary roadways.

Second, we designed a number of pedestrian kiosks directing to public destinations, both within downtown and on the campus shared boundary. The maps prominently indicate opportunities to safely cross Grand River Ave., and are designed for accessibility. Since a college town can be tough on signage, they are also designed to resist Michigan weather and vandalism.

Finally, we proposed a new graphic standard for parks identification. The one shown here has an accommodation for temporary messages that can be easily added and removed as needed. 

  • The pedestrian kiosk features a large map, correctly oriented to the visitor’s point of view, and direction to a number of nearby destinations. Colors, typography, scale and location are all designed to stand out in the streetscape as totems for information and direction. 
  • Parking trailblazers help direct drivers from busy Grand River Ave. to one of five available public garages, and four parking lots.
  • Garages and lots are logically named for the streets on which their primary entrance is located.
  • Once parked, maps mounted on parking garages direct visitors to a variety of on- and off-campus destinations.

For art lovers, students, Spartan fans and residents, the program is designed to reduce traffic confusion and increase visitor confidence.