Branding the Santa Monica Pier

The City of Santa Monica learned that the entrance sign to the Santa Monica Pier is one of the most photographed structures in Southern California. Concerned that the City was passing up a source of much-needed revenue, they commissioned Boardwalk to help them regain control of their brand strategy. Boardwalk worked with Pier management to identify available channels for extending their brand away from the Pier itself, into the community and, indeed, around the world. We agreed the pursuit of licensing and merchandising opportunities represented their best option. To that end, Boardwalk determined a new brand positioning and identity system was needed for application to t-shirts, sweatshirts and other consumer products that could be merchandised on the Pier but would be taken away and displayed elsewhere. We led the development of a brand identity system that leveraged the Pier’s highly recognizable sign. Wayfinding signage, consistently designed marketing tools and graphic standards guidelines for licensees followed in short order. As an offshoot project, the City commissioned Boardwalk to design, manufacture and install freestanding informational kiosks on the Pier. Designed to be weatherproof and vandal-proof, the kiosks also help to establish claim to the Pier’s new brand positioning. As agent for the City, Boardwalk made presentations to regulatory boards and community groups, helping to build enthusiasm for the branding effort.

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Santa Monica Pier

“Boardwalk approached the entire project with a great deal of professionalism and patience with the public process.”

Santa Monica Pier Santa Monica Pier Santa Monica Pier

I hired Boardwalk to create a branding program for the Pier. They went above and beyond the call of duty to deliver a wonderful identity for a nearly 100 year-old Los Angeles icon. Boardwalk developed a full understanding of the marketing challenges faced by the Pier, which is operated by the City of Santa Monica. This process included receiving comments during several meetings with the various constituents of the Pier including not only the board of directors, but also City of Santa Monica leaders and Pier merchants. Boardwalk approached the entire project with a great deal of professionalism, respect for our needs and patience with the public process. Also, they met every deadline and stayed within budget. They were a pleasure to work with throughout the project. I am pleased to recommend them.

Jan Palchikoff
Executive Director,
Santa Monica Pier Restoration


Boardwalk worked creatively and diligently to design and develop freestanding custom identity/information kiosks and graphics for the “world famous” Santa Monica Pier. They demonstrated an enthusiasm for working with City staff and community groups through the design phase to ensure our satisfaction, and closely supervised the project through fabrication and installation. Boardwalk was responsive to our deadlines and kept the project within budget. We were pleased with Boardwalk’s talent, expertise and professionalism and also with their personal attention to all facets of the project.

Elana Buegoff
Pier Leasing Manager,
City of Santa Monica