Newcastle city centre, and the type of visitors and their demands, has changed over time. The city centre has evolved to respond to contemporary life yet the grain and key landmarks still refer to an earlier time. Newcastle City Council (NCC) realised that their wayfinding needed to address these changing requirements and in 2012 Interplan were appointed to work with NE1 and NCC to develop a pilot scheme that would be ultimately be rolled out city wide and extend into Gateshead, their neighbours from the southern side of the River Tyne.
The need was to identify what is important to visitors now, yet still retain the character and references that make Newcastle city centre so distinctive. The initial mapping scheme was prepared by FW Design who were responsible for plotting key pedestrian routes and decision making points throughout the centre. The scheme, which consisted of directional finger post signs, mapping totems and combined hub units was piloted in key city centre area, phase two signed the link from the Central Railway Station to the iconic St James’ Football Ground and the third phase saw the scheme rolled out to the city wide signing of both Newcastle and the southern business and cultural area of Gateshead.