Accessibility to Balboa Park was identified as a core value of park stakeholders in a Community Conversation facilitated by the Balboa Park Conservancy in 2015. Signage and wayfinding in particular, was a pain point for everyone from Museum employees to global visitors. In 2016 the Conservancy contracted RSM Design, an award-winning environmental graphic design firm, to undertake a comprehensive inventory and mapping of the park’s signage. RSM presented their findings and facilitated an informative, interactive workshop at the November 2016 Community Conversation hosted by the Conservancy.


Key Outcomes

  • Consensus among stakeholders that both residents and visitors would benefit from a Balboa Park signage and wayfinding system update.
  • In early 2017 The Conservancy secured a grant from the Legler Benbough Foundation to undertake a signage plan update for Balboa Park.
  • In spring of 2017 the Conservancy formed a Signage & Wayfinding Steering Committee comprised of key park stakeholders and subject matter specialists; RSM Design was contracted to lead the planning and design effort under the leadership of Jacqueline Higgins, the Conservancy’s Director of Planning, Design and Programs.
  • The draft plan was presented at the March 2018 meeting of the Balboa Park Committee, the Mayor’s advisory committee for the park.
  • June 2018, the Conservancy conducted multiple public outreach meetings to solicit public feedback on the evolution of various elements of the draft plan.

  • In October 2018, the public was invited to review two sign mock-ups and vote on their preferred palette scheme for the new Balboa Park signage. The bronze palette was selected by a wide margin.