Philadelphia Parks and Recreation (PPR), one of the largest urban park and recreation systems in the world with over 400 parks, has a strong system of values that highlight adaptability, sustainability and empowerment of staff to provide accessible and affordable experiences and spaces for everyone. Over time, it became evident that their existing signage standard did not represent these values, and was expensive to implement, expand and maintain.
The overall signage goals identified together with the client were to promote pride of ownership for community parks amongst residents, create brand awareness, increase use of parks and accessibility, elevate the experience for residents and visitors, educate and inform, and plan for a multi-year system signage rollout.
We conducted audits of 15 representative parks was conducted to understand the various current conditions of signs and the experience and presented strategic recommendations for language and methodology. Then we designed and programmed the exterior sign system at these parks to test the methodology and create immediate impact.
The new signage system creates continuity of the PPR identity across park types and promotes and connects all parks by elevating awareness, access and experience. The user-friendly Signage Standards Manual includes specifications for all sign types, installation guidelines and an implementation plan with process and budgets.
The sign system clearly communicates park rules and regulations with over 40 custom designed icons to support multilingual users. The signs have also been designed with sustainability in mind, using black locust wood accents for both its durability and natural aesthetic.