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The Tourist Signage System in Lviv

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Who needs tourist signage? What is the current situation? What should a system for tourist signage be? What does the Tourist Signage System comprise? Typography and colour Signs for street names and building numbers Tourist site pictograms Signs to tourist sites City map

10 Information signposts 11 Road signs for tourists arriving by car or bus 12 Summary 13 Project authors

Who needs tourist signage?

Individual domestic tourists They arrive in the city by train, bus, or car, often in small groups. Lviv may be their final destination, or a stop on their way elsewhere. They need a thorough source of information about the city.

What is the current situation?

Until recently, there has never been a comprehensive signage system, either in Lviv or in Ukraine in general. Existing signs (tourist maps, identifying or orientation signs) are installed chaotically, randomly, without reference to any kind of strategy for orientating a person within a given environment, and without analysis of his or her informational needs. The navigational media that do exist in the city do not conform to requirements of legibility, accessibility, or reliability; they are not informative or aesthetically pleasing.

Individual foreign tourists

This group requires a great deal of information about everything to do with staying in the city: hotels, dining, tourist attractions, getting around the city. As a rule, they do not speak Ukrainian and find it difficult communicating with the local population and making their way through the city. They are interested in swift and thorough visits to tourist attractions. They need information about the location of tourist sites and service spots and how to get to them as quickly as possible. They also prefer to plan their routes independently. These groups require more in-depth information about tourist sites, services, shops, etc.

Organized domestic groups

Organized foreign tourist groups

Permanent and temporary inhabitants of Lviv

They need in-depth and easily accessible information about sites and events in the city.

Graphic design and typeface selections are unprofessional and incompatible with the environment, with which they relate. Written texts are not translated and not transliterated.

Modern plastic signs that are illuminated are not reliable, as some of them become damaged almost immediately after installation.

Tourist maps of the city are mostly illegible because of an overload of cluttered and often outdated information.

What should a system for tourist signage be?

Understandable Transliterated texts
According to statistical research conducted by the Tourism Information Centre, the proportion of domestic tourists to foreign tourists is 60 to 30 percent. The biggest problem faced by foreign visitors to Lviv is their inability to read the Cyrillic alphabet. It is, therefore, imperative that a system of transliteration be introduced into the development of signage for tourists in the city.

Compatible Legible
Signs should be easily and quickly legible to drivers, cyclists, people with sight impairment, people in wheelchairs, in cloudy weather, at dusk, and during dark periods of the day.

Sustainable Compatible with world signage standards

All elements of the tourist signage system, in particular pictogram systems, colour schemes, translation and transliteration into foreign languages should relate to world standards for signage to enable foreign tourists to easily understand them.

Friendly to the urban environment

The rich and varied architectural environment of Lviv is its most precious and important asset, attracting tourists from all over the world to the city. This is precisely why a system for tourist signage should not dominate nor be dissonant with it. All of the elements of a tourist signage system should, on the one hand, be friendly to the environment, but on the other, able to compete with other signs and advertisements that are situated on building facades and themselves interfere with the historical environment.

Elements of the Tourist Signage System should be weather resistant, especially in conditions of fluctuations in temperature or high humidity; they should be easy to clean and maintain, and be sturdy and resistant to acts of vandalism.

Signs should be inexpensive to produce in small quantities.

Wayfinding signs should first and foremost be functional elements of the city environment and they should relay precisely the information a person needs at precisely the moment a person needs it
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What does the Tourist Signage System comprise?

Street nameplates and numbers Pictograms of tourist objects Pedestrian signposts

decision point

Orientational signs
Maps and plans located at crossroads. They help a person find the way and plan a route.

Directional signs
They are placed at a distance from sites, as a rule, at decision-making points. They inform an individual about directions, and provide an opportunity for independent choice. They contain arrows, site names, and pictograms.

Identification signs
They are placed at sites and let a person know that they have reached their destination. They inform about what the site is. These are street signs and signs near the entrance to a building.

City maps

Information pylons

Road signs for car tourists

Typography and colours

As the street plate should fit in with architectural environment of Lviv city, therefore, the typeface used should consider the typefaces of the end of XIX beginning of XX century. During that

and later times there were a lot of advertising on buildings, and based on those typefaces there was created modern legible typeface to be used in the city wayfinding system.

We have developed the figures for modern plates based on beautiful figures designed before the 2 World War, which some of them have been preserved on building plates.

In order to succeed maximum legibility it is important to achieve the contrast between the background and the typeface. However, the streets of Lviv city are overloaded with bright advertising; the street plates should not be dissonant, but to the contrary, fit into environment. It was decided to use as background colour the dominating environment colour (intense dark brown), that at the same time correspond with European norms for tourist signage.



Street plates with names and numbers

The typeface remains legible in the twilights and readable for people with poor sight

Latin letters designed in the way that transliteration is legible despite of smaller font size

White typeface on dark background remains legible even in twilights. Enamel covering is strong and longlasting

City coat of arms has been modified for better recognition from the distance



Pictograms of tourist objects

As most of tourist attraction objects in Lviv have unique and recognizable silhouettes, there has been developed the whole system of pictograms for their atching. It helps tourists a lot in their wayfinding in the city. The object placed in the pictogram was simplified to maximum, but remains recognizable. Pictograms are well perceived in all system elements informational signposts, city maps, etc. The object depicted in pictogram can be successfully identified even when the pictogram is diminished by 8 mm in diameter.

Pictograms of public transport and objects of service




Signposts look is based on the same composition principles as street plates. Despite the signs fixed size, both Ukrainian and English typeface, the object pictogram and destination arrow can be placed on it. The pillar consists of the base, decorative links, the top and frames to which the fingerposts plate is fixed. One pillar may carry up to 12 signposts if necessary.

The signposts are not dissonant to architectural environment due to colour and constructive solution, but at the same time they remain visible and the typefaces are accurate and legible


City map

Dzyga Gallery

Museum of Religion History

4 7 5

architectural monuments are situated Most of

also many museums, theatres and other tourist which makes it difficult to place all of attractions, - m of Religion on the map. A detailed background and basic them 4 7 Pharmacy Museum y 45

a Gallery in the small central part of the city. There are

Museum of Religion principles for placing objects interest has of tourist 4 7 History
been developed. For tourist wayfinding system a Dzyga Gallery 5 special map with following features was designed:
Museum of Religion History

Pharmacy Museum

Royal Arsenal


4 7 5

. ( )
St. Eucharist Church (Dominican Church) 4 7 5




any general or more specific 2 information can be placed on it;

Royal Arsenal

Glass Museum Gunpowder Tower

. - ( ) Pharmacy Museum
Glass Museum Royal Arsenal

can be reproduced at different 4 scales, from large information pylons to the small tourist guides;

the map remains understandable in big and small scales.

.texts the map All 2 on Post office museum )

have been transliterated . 4 2 ( ) or translated into English Eucharist Church (Dominican Church) 9 Glass Museum St. Eucharist Church (Dominican Church)
2 4 7 5 Graphic and colour map solution helps quickly identify necessary group of objects: 2
Historical Museum Post office museum

Gunpowder Tower St. Eucharist Church (Dominican Church)

Post office museum

Gunpowder Tower

Royal Arsenal 4 7 5

Historical Museum

Assumption Church 2 9 1 2

Assumption Church 2 9

4 7 5

and China

2 Museum of Furniture 10 12 1 16

3 Assumption Church Historical Museum

Museum of Furniture

1 2

Assumption Church 1 2

First aid station

and China 2 1 10 9 16 Key points of tourist interest 2 Museums, theatres and other tourist 12 attractions

2 Public transport network, emergency 9

and public services station 3 First aid

11 3 35

1 and China 16 and also pavement, crossings, steps, street names, building numbers, parks, pedestrian 10 16 11 directions to theaid stationstation and bus station, and international highways numbers. First railway 12
First aid station

Museum of Furniture

Armoury Museum

50 11 49 3


1 11 35

Armoury Museum

Golden Rose Synagogue

9 30


Information pylons

pl. henerala Hryhorenka

Road signs for car tourists

St. George Cathedral

Central Railway station

Lviv Polytechnic University

Organ Hall

Lviv University

Most tourist attractions are concenrated in the small central part of the city. In order to provide more information on the objects special two-sided pylons with the indication of location and directions to key destinations have been developed.

For tourists who travel by car, a series of road signs to the objects of tourist interest has been developed. Taking into account the fact that most of these objects are situated in the central part of the city, there is no need to display all of them on the signs. To show the direction to the city centre would be enough. Apart from the city centre, the road signs show the car tourists the way to St. Georges Cathedral, Lychakiv cemetery and Folk Architectre Museum. Road signs have been developed according to the Road Signs State Standard 41002002. However there is also a place for few innovations, in particular a brown background and text with pictograms.



Within the framework of the project aimed at developing an infrastructure for tourist information in Lviv, the following measures were implemented for the first time in Ukraine: A comprehensive and well-reasoned system for tourist signage in the city. The planning of the tourist signage system by its very nature took into account a number of disciplines: urban planning, architecture, history, graphic design, design of elements within the urban landscape, information design, and tourism. A methodology was developed for the planning of a system for information and orientation; the best ways of visualizing information were determined on the basis of tourist needs and were consistent throughout all types of informational signs. A completely unique and independent graphic design solution. All elements within the system (typeface, maps, pictograms, etc.) were designed exclusively for the Tourist Signage System of Lviv. No elements were borrowed from third parties or organizations in order to avoid any possible copyright infringement. All rights to use design elements are reserved for the Lviv City Council. A universal, legible vector map of the city. The prevailing problem of existing city maps and topographic plans is their illegibility, which is caused by the clutter of too much various information. For the first time in Ukraine a city map has been developed on the basis on information design. All information included in the map is well-structured and visualized; this method enables the introduction of a great deal of information, including transliteration of all place names and other text, while at the same time preserving legibility. The city map covers the historical city centre; its buildings and blocks are depicted using satellite imagery. The vectorbased map allows reproduction in any scale and has two levels of detail. A pictogram scheme for points of interest, tourist sites. Forty pictograms were designed for the rapid identification of leading points of interest. Their most important characteristic is the fact that they are recognizable both at great distances (which allows their depiction on signs) and also at a minimal size of 8 mm in diameter (necessary for pocket city maps or guidebooks). A series of road signs with directions to points of interest. During the course of the project two unique typefaces were developed containing Latin, Cyrillic, and Eastern European alphabets. Also developed were: 2 city maps, 60 pictograms, 4 thematic maps in two scales; 4 sign types including their construction design; installation design of all system elements; 20 prototypes and test samples; 170 signs with street names and 400 signposts to points of interest. This work was implemented over the course of 2 years.

Project authors

Design, art-direction Petro Nahirnyy

Typeface design Yuriy Krukevych

Map design Mykhailo Tsaryk

Pictograms design

Project supervisor Vasyl Kosiv, Head of Graphic Design Department, Lviv National Arts Academy project coordinator Olga Plesak, project assistant Oksana Yablonska, The authors are grateful for support and assistance to Oleksiy Poburko, Natalia Petryk, Olena Holysheva, Nadiya Lutsiv and Katherina Stelmakh, Mykhailo Titarenko, Yuriy Kutnyy, Oleksandr Novitskyy, Graphic Design Department of Lviv National Arts Academy, and also everyone who has been involved in project creation and implementation.
Lviv City Council, 2010 .


Lviv, 1 Rynok sq, Tourist information center Phone: +38 (0322) 54 60 79 e-mail: