An unprecedented 1.4 billion square feet of desert and coastline, located between Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is currently being transformed into a 21st century city, known as Dubai Waterfront Canal District. As the largest waterfront development in the world, Dubai Waterfront adds approximately 300 miles of coastline to the Arabian Gulf. It is a self-sustaining, international destination, comprised of eight mixed-use districts for an estimated 1.5 million people, with commercial, residential, retail, and hotel offerings, in addition to public common areas reserved for educational, cultural, health, and recreational purposes.

FXFowle Architects, working in conjunction with Nakheel, a UAE premier property developer, commissioned Poulin + Morris to develop a comprehensive visual communications program for the project, including identity, environmental graphics, and wayfinding sign design standards. A 244-page publication summarizing the master plan design guidelines was also designed to assist Nakheel in the creation, development, and evaluation of proposed design solutions. The environmental graphic design section of this bound volume includes general information, design criteria and guidelines, and technical specifications relating to public information sign policies for various land/parcel developers, tenants, architects, sign contractors who ultimately implement these guidelines.

This comprehensive program also includes a symbol for Dubai Waterfront Canal District, as well as a series of pictograms that are integral, public information elements to the environmental graphics and wayfinding system of sign types. Based on traditional Islamic arabesque patterning, the project's symbol represents the entire city, as well its eight distinct districts.

The project was recognized by Graphis and Novum World of Graphic Design (Germany) for Design Excellence in Graphic Design.

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Dubai Waterfront Canal District

Environmental Graphics
Publication Design


FXFowle Architects

Publications and Recognitions

Archigraphia Redux (Graphis)
Novum World of Graphic Design (Germany)