Chicago Parks

Honor Award

Chicago Parks Wayfinding and Signage

Chicago's extensive urban park system is one of the nation's finest and home to many cultural institutions and landmarks. Two Twelve Harakawa was asked to create a comprehensive set of design standards for exterior signage throughout the 552 parks in the city's system. Initially, the firm conducted a comprehensive survey of the vast urban acreage, the conditions and personalities of the many varied cultural destinations and the general contours of the land itself. The designers came up with an integrated signage system and a practical post and panel system for the signs, which can be effortlessly fabricated and maintained. Two Twelve's solution also included placement recommendations that could live in harmony with the environment and accommodate enough information, in multiple languages where needed, so that visitors could easily navigate the park setting, but not be distracted by the intrusion of signs. The color choice intentionally deviated from a common green and brown palette to provide a more contemporary feel; the design incorporates an angle motif, echoing previous designs for the park, which use a trapezoidal shape.

Jury Comments: 


Design Firm: 

Two Twelve Harakawa


Chicago Parks District

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Photo Credits: 

Erik Kvalsvik

Design Team: 

David Gibson (principal in charge); Andrew Simons, Cesar Sanchez, John Dewolf Consultant: Gerald Boulet Associates (cartographers)




Poblocki & Sons, Western Industries

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