A natural
sense of place

New signage through an extensive series of parklands sets a benchmark for effective wayfinding and interpretation, drawing on Indigenous heritage and natural landforms.

Diadem created a wayfinding system to aid visitors in learning about geography and culture, locating amenities, and exploring the park’s facilities by providing clear maps and directions.


Victorian State Government & Merri Creek Management Committee

Traditional Custodians

Wurundjeri Woi-wurrurng


2024 Melbourne Design Awards - Gold - Graphic Design - Environmental

Fabrication & installation

Icon Creations


Dianna Wells

A connection
to culture

The marram baba Merri Creek Parklands is a 2,778-hectare parkland spanning from Craigieburn to Beveridge, providing much-needed green open space for the growing communities in Melbourne’s north. The parklands protect biodiversity and cultural heritage areas and include new facilities to support walking, cycling trails, viewing platforms and picnic areas.

Diadem was engaged by the Victorian State Government and the Merri Creek Management Committee to create a signage and wayfinding system for Stage 1 of the parkland’s gradual expansion, which is planned to continue until 2050.

Inspired by
the landscape

From the beginning, Diadem’s approach to the design of the signage system was to reflect the spirit and character of Merri Creek, connecting visitors with its beauty and significance.

Inspiration was drawn from the Wurundjeri meaning of “Merri Merri,” which means “very rocky.” The natural rock formations in the area served as the basis for the sign shapes. This design evolved from organic to geometric, optimising buildability and reducing waste.

The colours were drawn directly from the surrounding landscape, while the concrete finish was selected to mimic the stones and rocks found along the creek.

to Country

The wayfinding and signage were endorsed by the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrurng Elders, the Traditional Owners of the land, who refer to the land as “marram baba” meaning “body of mother”.

The signs include a welcome in Woi-wurrung and a trail icon designed by Lewis Wandin-Burstall. Four of the signs include text provided by Wurundjeri Elder, Aunty Doreen Garvey-Wandin.

The suite of signs will help guide people through the parklands by drawing on core wayfinding design principles to provide relevant information at the right time and in a way that is easy to understand, and by reminding visitors that they are “on Country”.

A sustainable

The signage system is designed to be functional, durable and easy to understand. Throughout the design process, various factors were considered, from safety and practicality to durability and sustainability. As these would be maintained across multiple councils, readily accessible face fixings allow panels to be easily replaced.

Given the highly exposed locations, the materials needed to be robust, speak to Country and be easily maintained by local councils.

As this long-term project continues, digital components are being explored to enhance the connection between visitors and the parklands.

Diadem’s team demonstrated a thorough analysis of the brief and the design context. They delivered designs that are distinctive, accessible, and suited to the unique environment. Diadem understand the complexities of working with multiple stakeholders including Traditional Owners, and they provided quality illustrations and drawings in a timely manner. We collaborated on a map system and colour coding for bilingual content in the signs. The design concepts and final artwork were well received by the councils, land managers and Traditional Owners alike. I thank the team for their collaboration, expertise and professionalism on this project.

  • Dr Toni Roberts, Director – Hatchling Studio


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