Milwaukee, WI

Downtown Milwaukee was preparing for three major events in summer 2020, making it the perfect time to refresh their nearly 20-year-old vehicular wayfinding system and to implement additional pedestrian signage. Corbin Design worked with VISIT Milwaukee and Milwaukee Downtown Bid #21 and Poblocki Signs on our fastest design and installation to date in the 70-block downtown area, to ensure the city was ready to go in time for these planned events. 

This proud Midwestern city heavily influences the unique design. The red Milwaukee letters on the top of the sign were inspired by the Milwaukee Public Market and Pabst brewery signs. Exposed fasteners and decorative brackets reflect the industrial heritage of the city, with the arch at the top inspired by the Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge. A subtle chevron pattern in the blue destination panels is a nod to the “M” in Milwaukee. Elements of this new design will also be incorporated into Milwaukee’s new CityPost digital kiosks. 

The existing system had permanent poles that were recycled to keep the project on time and budget. New sign panels were designed to be modular so that a single destination could be updated more easily. Vehicular signs are DOT and MUTCD compliant with full face reflective to improve visibility at night.

Eight large map kiosks were retrofitted to complement the new design. Forty brand-new pedestrian directional signs have been added to the wayfinding system around key visitor areas. The new pedestrian signs feature walking distances to encourage exploration and maps with a “You Are Here” icon to help orient the visitor. 

Through an accelerated process Corbin Design’s team excelled in addressing all of our objectives and worked within a constrained timeline and budget.

- Beth Weirick, CEO of Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21