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Green Lake Park Wayfinding


Green Lake Park is beloved in Seattle. Nestled in a bustling neighborhood, visitors are able to enjoy a vast lake, a nearly 3-mile paved path, and a diverse natural preserve with an abundance of wildlife. The park also features fishing, boating, and a multitude of recreational opportunities. 

Challenge & Solution

Green Lake Park’s current signage doesn’t effectively guide or engage park visitors and is hidden, damaged, and outdated. The park rules are complex and often not followed, and there isn’t a cohesive and recognizable system put in place to help orient park visitors.

Two of my main objectives for this project were to 1) help orient and guide visitors throughout the space and 2) simplify and clearly express the path courtesy rules.

The park signage redesign focuses on providing visitors with recognizable signage that complements the space and is both accessible and easy to digest. Green Lake Park is a haven of nature amid the surrounding urban landscape, so the visual design choices, color palette, and emphasis on the natural elements of the park help highlight this core park attribute.

The updated system focuses on the user’s experience within the space, and makes navigating the park as seamless as possible while adding visual interest to the space.
5 weeks



Visual Design
Environmental Graphic Design

Full Signage System
Note: Human scale is representative of 6ft


I hadn’t visited Green Lake Park prior to this project, so the first step was to get a feel for the space and make observations about how to better orient users in the park. The park lacked a gathering point, and the rules for the path were almost entirely ignored. Even when I went to visit the park, it was difficult to determine where my classmates were meeting up: our instructor had to provide specific instructions and indicate which building we were intended to meet outside. 

I started by dividing the park into three zones (North, East and South Park), which are organized by color to help orient the visitor within the park. Signage in and leading to these locations is also color coordinated. This can all be viewed both on the orientation sign as well as the location map.

Original Orientation Signage

Updated Orientation Signage

Highlighting the Park’s Inherent Strengths

Green Lake Park is a space where people can escape the city and enjoy some time outdoors. The unexpectedly diverse wildlife and plants in the park serve as an interesting, unique feature that I decided to emphasize not only through design choices, but also through the content I selected to feature on the informational signage (which you’ll see more about soon!) 

The selected colors are earthy, muted, and compliment the space while still adding a bit of vibrancy that calls attention to the signage and helps orient the visitor. The illustration style is simple and minimal, so as not to distract from the surroundings and allow the content to be easily digestable.

I spent some time exploring alternative directions, and wound up following through with the one shown far left below. I printed and brought all of these color ways to the park to see how they lived in the space, and ultimately narrowed it down to two primary directions. These would result in a completely different feel for the signage, so I decided to stay true to my concept and go more muted, subtle, and earthy. 

Final Assets and Style Guide

Runner Up & Alternative Direction 
Initial Type and Color Explorations

A Happy Coincidence 

I wanted to focus on the park’s natural aspects from first visit. If I’m honest, I’m not a big city person. I live in Snohomish, which is about 1 hour north of Seattle (in the middle of nowhere, if you ask most of my classmates), and I’ve always preferred rural over urban living. That said, I was pleasantly surprised by how immersive Green Lake Park is. There is an unexpected abundance of trees, plants, and wildlife and it is highly praised as an expansive natural preserve.

Upon further research into the park, I learned that they have an interactive tree walk. This is a map that shows all the different types of trees throughout the park and where exactly you can find them, along with some fun information about each! I found this a unique, engaging and educational opportunity that I could highlight throughout the park.

Considering that many visitors are local, I decided to draw attention to a park feature that would allow frequenters to engage with their park in a new way. Keeping in mind that other park visitors may be new to the area or traveling, it also provides the opportunity to learn about the nature that awaits them in the Pacific Northwest. 

Informational Signage

Park Rules Update

The updated park rules follow common traffic patterns in the United States. Park goers are asked to always stay in the lane to their right, with faster/passing traffic keeping left and slower traffic keeping right.

The Courtesy Rules sign has been visually simplified and is universally accessible with minimal verbiage and the use of symbols. These new rules are reinforced with various signage throughout the park, and through a ground application applied to the Green Lake Park Path. This will reappear regularly, so park goers will be able to recognize the new traffic pattern when entering the path at any point, and without having to visit a park rules sign.
Updated Park Rules Signage
Note: Original rules signage can be seen above paired with the original orientation signage
Example of park signage color coded by zone
Painted Aqua Theatre Mural: A vibrant, noticeable gathering point for visitors Note: This structure is located in the Blue Zone, the reason for its main color being blue