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Iowa DOT Byways Signage Program

Challenge

The State of Iowa boasts two nationally designated scenic byways: the Loess Hills Scenic Byway, a 220-mile stretch of road showcasing extraordinary views of prairie, forest, steep bluffs, and rolling hills, and the Great River Road Scenic Byway, which takes travelers along the Iowa border near the Mississippi River, running past beautiful towns and scenic overlooks. Iowa is also home to nine state-designated scenic byways.
 
To make these 11 byways more prominent, and give each one its own identity, the Iowa Department of Transportation wanted a comprehensive signage program that would help travelers navigate their way along these routes while experiencing the historic and scenic resources available to them.
 

Solution

To promote the 1,695 miles of Iowa Scenic Byways as a travel destination, Shive-Hattery created an effective, consistent, appealing branding identity for each byway to not only allow successful navigation, but also create positive memories and establish uniqueness for each one.
 
Working with the Iowa Department of Transportation, volunteers, and Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) organizations, colorful and descriptive images were developed for each of the 11 byways. Each image is different, but all were created as part of the same brand family. In cases where a byway already had an established and respected logo, Shive-Hattery worked with the existing artwork to respect history while providing a more modern look.
 
The graphics and wayfinding created by Shive-Hattery were incorporated into the Iowa Byways Signage Policy, which outlines design and installation guidelines, mounting requirements, and sign placement recommendations.
 
The branding materials created for byway and intersection signage are also incorporated into Iowa Department of Transportation marketing materials, such as printed publications and websites.

Impact

The wayfinding and branding identity created for Iowa’s 11 scenic byways promotes education, pride, and enjoyment for travelers and Iowa residents. With Shive-Hattery’s help, each Iowa Scenic Byway now has its own distinct identity that is graphically identified for easy recognition.
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