Shake Shack



Practice Area


Madison Square Park Conservancy


Project Vision

The signage and graphics for this kiosk display a visual sophistication and sense of humor appropriate to the area, which might unofficially be called the city’s design district given its concentration of studios and firms. The graphics combine the aesthetics of the area’s deco heyday, the surrounding historic architecture, and the directness of fast food stands. The signage typography is designed to look playfully heroic in terms of scale, with Coney Island-sized letters across the roof – but in elegant, modern, stainless steel. A smaller relief of menu mainstays, like shakes and burgers, runs around the rim of the cantilevered trellis. These letters are made of acrylic and pin-mounted for the illusion of depth.

Project Details
This is an example of blending architecture and environmental graphics to produce a unique vision that is greater than the sum of its parts. The building itself is a simple industrial pavilion reflecting the simple and straightforward design of its antecedents at Coney Island and every county fair midway in America. Its nod to New York City and to Madison Square Park is the integration of landscaping on the roof and the clean industrial detailing reflecting the sophistication of the city and customers who appreciate a good milk shake. The graphics are not just an application or overlay of identity. Rather they are integral to the design success of the project. They connect the Shack to the 30s architecture of the surrounding neighborhood and to a graphic style that represents New York at its most progressive and creative moments. More than anything, the Shake Shack acknowledges the past, while clearly addressing the present and the future.
Juror 1
Design Team

Paula Scher (Principal in Charge), Rion Byrd, Joseph Marianek

Design Firm



SITE Environmental Design (project architects), Thompson + Sears (lighting)


Dale Travis Associates