District of Squamish

  • Wayfinding
Squamish is a growing town, buzzing with everything outdoors — from sailboarding to extreme climbing. It is also the gateway to the world’s most popular ski resort. People need to know how to get around, and where they could rest, eat and shop.

Ion developed a wayfinding design strategy for the District of Squamish to facilitate economic development through the promotion of, and easy access to, tourism and recreation activities. In a project spanning three years, Ion has helped define the personality of the wayfinding for the District. It needed to define the brand culture of the year-round mountain experience and the youthful, exuberant nature of the community, while honouring the strong respect for the environment and the area’s Stawamus First Nation heritage


Through a deep study of human movement through the area, both urban and suburban, as well as interviews and historical and competitive research, Ion created a detailed audit of all aspects of major and local roadways, facilities, parks and attractions.

Workshops were held to gain key stakeholder input into the content, structure and design of the program. These workshops helped provide resident and staff context in order to help visualize the project as a whole.


A design approach was then developed that uses texture, dimension, light and shadow to reflect the geography of the area. Colour and materials brought energy to the signage and carefully chosen typography have made the signage readable and inviting.

Working with the District and fabricators signage was designed for everything from gateways to trails and buildings to roadside kiosks. Bases were designed to reflect the textures in the surrounding area, from concrete to wood, and then juxtaposed with a bright colour palette that unified the system.

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