Case Study

Situated between downtown Cleveland and University Circle, the MidTown neighborhood connects some of the city’s biggest districts to create an accessible metropolitan experience. With its own world-class hospitals, legacy manufacturers, leading businesses, residential housing and amenities, MidTown has established itself as a dynamic neighborhood and destination.


People travel from downtown Cleveland to University Circle (and vice versa) all the time, yet they didn’t always recognize the MidTown neighborhood bridging the gap between the two major business districts. Despite the lack of awareness, the underdog community has experienced a surge of investment and economic growth. Rather than a pass-through, it has become an attractive destination in and of itself.

After developing a fresh brand identity, the community partnered with Guide Studio to create a wayfinding program that would draw more visitors and support future placemaking efforts.




“We needed to shift our culture and public perceptions. MidTown has so many wonderful destinations to offer – they just needed the opportunity to really shine.”

Joyce Huang,Director of Planning and Placemaking, MidTown


  • Collaborated with neighborhood officials to identify major audiences, destinations and decision points throughout the user journey. Based on data collected by the steering committee, UH Rainbow Center for Women and Children, The Children’s Museum, Agora Theatre & Ballroom, League Park and Asia Town were designated as the vital focus areas for signs.
  • Leveraged the new brand identity, including the bright orange and grey color palette, to create a dimensional signage program that includes gateway and directional signs. The gateway design goes beyond traditional wayfinding elements and includes words that reinforce cornerstones of the MidTown brand including “Health,” “Family,” “Home,” “Innovate,” and more.
  • Created comprehensive wayfinding guidelines and recommendations to support implementation efforts.
  • With a functional sign program in place, MidTown has the opportunity to help establish a vehicular sign standard that can be easily adopted by other Cleveland neighborhoods to foster a cohesive, well-connected city experience.

“Our new wayfinding program puts the spotlight on MidTown’s assets and gives people a greater sense of place. Most importantly, it aligns with our brand promise of offering people a connected community experience.”

Joyce Huang


The new signage program takes the Midtown brand to the next level. Not only will it help people navigate the neighborhood more effectively, but it promotes MidTown as an accessible, vibrant place that offers connections to people, innovation, culture and amenities.

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