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Green Lake Park Wayfinding and Placemaking


2020 | 8 Weeks


Student Project | Greenlake Seattle


Art Direction | Illustration | Icon Design | Layout | Wayfinding | Environmental Graphics


Solo Project


Illustrator | Photoshop | Blender Aero

Green Lake Park is one of Seattle’s most popular sites for recreation. Created by the Olmsted Brothers, it is a remarkable place to walk, bike, and play.


The current wayfinding system at Green Lake Park is antiquated and in disrepair.



The new vision for Green Lake Park is focused on the idea that parks are spaces dedicated to play; therefore this wayfinding and placemaking system encourages discovery and interaction. Elements connect park users of all ages to the fauna of the park as a constant reminder that we share this space with other living creatures. This redesign gives the park a unique and memorable identity that speaks to all ages.



Green Lake Park serves residents of Seattle looking for a place to relax and play as well as visitors from out of town who want to visit a memorable place.


On my site visits to Green Lake Park, I discovered that the rules are too complex so people often don’t abide by them. The signage contains detailed drawings that are hard to process quickly. The point of interest signs at the park are focused on human achievement instead of the flora and fauna that make the park so magical. 


Green Lake is home for many native waterfowl and the park is investing in floating wetlands to provide habitats for these birds. My research led me to explore their main source of food: the insects of Green Lake. I reached out to a local entomologist, Lee Bess, who helped me identify the bug populations found at the park and how these creatures that we think of as pests support the ecology of Green Lake.



The Aqua Theater is home to a whimsical mural of plant life that matches the aesthetic of the sculptures. A sign located across from the mural has a QR code that can be scanned to activate Augmented Reality drawings of creatures. Devices become a magic key that reveals another world hidden in plain sight and encourages further exploration in the park. Park users would be able to photograph themselves playing with the animals creating buzz for the park.



For the directional and regulation signs, information is paired down to the essentials with an icon based system with high contrast that is legible from a distance. The colors stand out from the green background so they are easy to see from a speeding bicycle or on foot.

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The playful icons remind visitors to have fun while they follow the rules. The icons are based on simple geometric shapes and rounded linework. The orange from the “you are here” sign is absent in the rest of the design so that it is easy to locate on the map.



The point of interest sign below focuses on the beneficial impact of bugs living in the park. The whimsical plants frame the text and tie to the rest of the visual elements in the park. The bottom right hand corner of the sign has a scavenger hunt with raised linework drawings. This allows people to make a rubbing they carry with them on their search.

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The new public art for Green Lake Park is a series of sculptures that invite visitors to spin them. This engages an internal music box that plays bird songs from the waterfowl of Green Lake for an ambient multi-sensory play experience. The base of each sculpture would be forged from powder coated steel and the moveable parts would be molded plastic for maximum durability, longevity, and safety. There is also a 1/4” waterjet cut steel sign painted with Matthews anti-graffiti paint that would inform visitors how to interact with the pieces.



The final component of this project would be to complete the reverse side of the map and point of interest sign.

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