Route 66 Wayfinding
Route 66 is innately iconic, however, what a particular icon means to one generation may differ greatly from another. While a vintage gas pump from a classic Texaco station may remind one generation of hard times and fuel rations during the war, to another it may jog a memory of their first date in a 1956 candy-apple-red Chevy Bel Air, and yet to another it is merely a symbol for a time when things were just plain “simpler.” This layering of memories and invoking of new experiences is what creates a legacy. It is what validates a place and gives it relevance in an ever-changing world.
Through reinterpreting nostalgic Americana, our wayfinding designs will at once pay homage to the history of Route 66 and the icon it became, while bringing it into the present and making it relevant in today’s world. These wayfinding elements will capture the American spirit of enterprise that literally paved the way for one simple road to forever change the country’s socioeconomic landscape. But most importantly, they will remind viewers of where we have been, as Americans, New Mexicans and Burqueños, and where we have the ability to go, installing the importance of Route 66 in our inevitable growth into the future.
The goal of our proposed wayfinding elements is to pay homage to our state bird, the roadrunner. This wayfinding combines Art Deco and contemporary elements using a color pallet of grays and teal/turquoise that is both retro and distinctly Southwestern. Featuring a highway that merges into a roadrunner, this sign is designed to create the perspective of looking down the road ahead with the feeling of being propelled forward with the speed of our state bird.
The Route 66 wayfinding elements will include a striking color palette, drawn from the 1950-1960-factory color scheme of a vintage Chevy and set off by the steel or aluminum framework. The colors used will be selected to minimize fading over time, but they will likely need a retouch about every ten years. The overall goal is to keep the color integrity of the existing wayfinding elements that are along Central Avenue.