How Rebranding Helps Revitalize Communities

Gateway to El Cajon Boulevard

Gateway to El Cajon Boulevard

El Cajon Boulevard’s storied past began when it was part of U.S. State Route 80; the main route connecting all points east into San Diego.  Some of the City’s oldest hotels still operate along the busy strip, including the historically significant Lafayette Hotel, built in the Grand Colonial Style in 1946.

 The completion of Interstate 8 in the 1960’s reduced traffic and visitors to El Cajon Boulevard and many areas fell into disrepair.  In 1988, the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association was formed to revitalize the many diverse communities along El Cajon Boulevard.

Graphic Solutions was honored to collaborate with the El Cajon Boulevard Business Association and the City of San Diego to develop a rebranding of this area, developing the name and iconic  gateway sign: The Boulevard.  Design solutions include a type-face reminiscent of the 1950’s and incorporating distinctive turquoise and coral colors as well as neon.  The bold design evokes a sense of optimism while honoring the area’s rich history. The project has won an Orchid Award and a national award from The Society for Environmental Graphic Design.

 This rebranding was the beginning of an ongoing renaissance of the Boulevard and surrounding neighborhoods.  Today, vacancies are down and property values are up. Exciting new plans are underway to build upon improvements, transforming communities surrounding The Boulevard into model, transit-oriented neighborhoods.

Get the latest updates regarding The Boulevard by visiting http://theboulevard.org/

Graphic Solutions' Last Holiday Party on Main Street

The Graphic Solutions team celebrated our last Holiday Party at our Main Street location with neighbors and friends, enjoying delicious Mexican food, a slide show tribute to Graphic Solutions’ amazing history and a “white elephant” exchange.

We will be moving the second week of January to our new Kearny Mesa digs. More details will follow soon…

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What we learned in 2018 (Corporations)

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Corporations are looking for creative ways to attract and retain great employees

The job market was tight in 2018. Many traditional companies are making the physical work environment more enjoyable, offering a full array of amenities for work spaces that are flexible and fun.

Graphic Solutions created a comprehensive interior signage and environmental graphics program for a large utility company, used for ongoing renovations throughout their corporate campuses.

Graphic Solutions created a comprehensive interior signage and environmental graphics program for a large utility company, used for ongoing renovations throughout their corporate campuses.


Collaboration

As we wrap up another successful year, we want to thank our clients and creative partners. The very core of our success is working together with our owners, other design professionals and stakeholders. Great things happen when great minds come together!

How is your company adapting the work environment to meet employee expectations?

What we learned in 2018 (Colleges)

“Shared Governance”: Southwestern College–students, faculty and staff inspect mock-ups for new wayfinding signs to ensure optimum accessibility.

“Shared Governance”: Southwestern College–students, faculty and staff inspect mock-ups for new wayfinding signs to ensure optimum accessibility.

College campuses are expanding

Increased enrollment spurred California community colleges to expand and develop new campuses. In some cases, they partner with private sources of funding for new development. They are also focusing on refurbishing outdated buildings and student housing to incorporate technologies and amenities to enhance the learning experience.

Colleges need flexible wayfinding options

Now, more than ever, colleges need wayfinding programs which are accessible and comprehensible to visitors and students of all backgrounds and abilities.

Southwestern College ID

Southwestern College ID

San Diego City College Building ID

San Diego City College Building ID


Collaboration

As we wrap up another successful year, we want to thank our clients and creative partners. The very core of our success is working together with our clients, other design professionals and stakeholders. Great things happen when great minds come together!

What improvements are you planning in 2019?

Graphic Solutions’ proven team-building techniques can move your project forward and improve navigation for students, faculty, visitors and staff. Click below to learn how.

What we learned in 2018 (Cities)

Graphic Solutions excels in collaborating with key stakeholders

Graphic Solutions excels in collaborating with key stakeholders

Cities want enhanced branding

This year, we saw a growing emphasis for cities, particularly downtowns and gateway districts, to implement branding strategies. Many of our clients saw increased Economic Development as improved branding created a stronger sense of place.

City of Commerce brand logo

City of Commerce brand logo

City of Commerce banners

City of Commerce banners

Cities need improved wayfinding

The evolving “sharing economy” along with convenient, electric-powered modes of transportation, are changing the way people move. City leaders need wayfinding programs for “complete streets” that incorporate safe options for multi-modal transportation. See San Diego’s Midway/Pacific Highway “Urban Greening Plan” below.

Midway-Pacific Highway Community ID

Midway-Pacific Highway Community ID

Midway-Pacific Hwy. vehicle directional

Midway-Pacific Hwy. vehicle directional

Bike and Pedestrian directionals

Bike and Pedestrian directionals


Collaboration

As we wrap up another successful year, we want to thank our clients and creative partners. The very core of our success is working together with our owners, other design professionals and stakeholders. Great things happen when great minds come together!

How is your city planning to revitalize your downtown or nearby districts?

You’ll need Graphic Solutions for effective wayfinding programs and building consensus with stakeholders–to support a winning plan for Economic Development.