Signs of Svalbard

New information signs in Longyearbyen!

New information signs have been set up along the town circuit in Longyearbyen. We will mark this with an organised walk for residents and visitors around the town circuit on Wednesday 17 February 2021 at 18.00.

Visit Svalbard, the Governor of Svalbard and Longyearbyen Community Council have collaborated on the development of new information signs in Longyearbyen. These signs are designed to provide visitors and residents more information about Longyearbyen’s natural and cultural history, Svalbard’s unique environmental regulations and the various experiences and attractions in and around town.

The information signs have been designed in such a way that the design, content and geographical location are connected in a considered and overall manner. They have been strategically placed to form a short, medium and long town circuit on the most common walking routes in and around Longyearbyen.

This project has involved the development of seven large sign stations. Six of these are now completed, while the seventh (at the crossroads between Nybyen og Huset) will be completed in the spring. The information signs are placed at strategic intervals along the town circuit, from the seafront in the north to Nybyen in the south. 

New design manual

In addition to the information signs, the project has involved the development of a new design manual that will be available to everyone wishing to use the same design concept. This will make it easier and more cost-effective for others wishing to make new information signs. The manual includes design drawings for simpler types of signs.

The design manual was produced by the advertising agency Tibe T Reklamebyrå in collaboration with LINK Arkitektur og Multiconsult. It will be completed in February 2021.

Signs of Svalbard

A website has been developed in conjunction with the information signs to provide supplementary information about the topics presented. The users can access this website – – via their mobile phones using QR codes on the signs.

The aim of this website is to serve as a portal for other websites that provide more detailed and updated information about various topics, such as providers of various experiences and attractions, cultural events, historic information, geology and nature.

A ground-breaking collaborative project

The project has been financed through governmental value creation funding earmarked for projects that will contribute to the development of attractions for tourism and the adaptation and dissemination of culture, as well as Svalbard’s unique environmental regulations.

Many requirements had to be fulfilled to qualify for such funding. A common condition is that such projects must be organised as a collaboration between public authorities and private sector actors. Furthermore, the sector must contribute both financially and through a significant voluntary effort.

About the design

The design has been developed by Tibe T Reklamebyrå and LINK Arkitektur. The physical formation and design of the signs has been developed in a way that blends in with the surroundings. The design will be simple, timeless and elegant. Furthermore, the signs will be formed in a way that arouses curiosity and invites people to explore the content.

The content has been developed to correspond with the location of the signs and their line of sight in the landscape. As well as providing information about Longyearbyen, the signs are designed to have an educational effect on the visitors’ behaviour. All the signs advise the visitors to go on organised tours to ensure they have safe and good experiences.

The constructions have been developed using a scalable modular system and are based on durable and largely maintenance-free materials. Although the sign stations will appear simple, they will also invite and tempt visitors to take a closer look. The solutions must consider the climatic conditions in Svalbard and be easy to maintain, as well as being able to be adapted to large and small installations. Furthermore, they must not interfere unduly with the nature or cultural monuments.

Lighting – for readability and atmosphere

The glass columns will be illuminated by linear LED light fixtures with asymmetrical light scattering, which will be mounted in stainless steel luminaire housings. These high-quality fixtures will provide long lasting light sources. The colour of the light will be adapted to Svalbard’s unique light.

Stop for a breather

Added features such as benches and rubbish bins have been designed in line with the geometric principles in the design manual. The materials include concrete and stainless steel, as well as untreated oak to provide a warmer sitting surface.

About the content

Providing knowledge about the unique nature and environmental regulations in Svalbard has been an important goal, and such information has a prominent place on the signs. The information is intended to make it easier to understand how to behave in the wilderness and how best to show consideration to the local population.

The signs also provide information about experiences and attractions in and around Longyearbyen. Visitors are recommended to go on organised tours with qualified guides to ensure they have safe and good experiences. Using QR codes, the signs refer visitors to the website for more updated and relevant information about the experiences on offer.

The information on the signs is provided in Norwegian and English. English translation services were provided by Gavin Tanguay Oversetting og språkvasking. 


The project has had a scope of NOK 8 million and has been financed through grants from the Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Directorate for Cultural Heritage. In addition, there have been financial contributions and a significant voluntary effort from the partners, Longyearbyen Community Council, the Governor of Svalbard and Visit Svalbard. Svalbard Museum has contributed with historical content. 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the contributors for their generous funding, which has played a decisive role in the realisation of this project.

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