Meeker & Associates was founded in 1985 by Donald Meeker. Although trained in design and fine arts, Meeker’s approach to design has been shaped by his experience as a community planner, his love of the outdoors, his work in public and corporate environmental graphic design with Richard Danne and Bruce Blackburn, and his father’s influence as a structural engineer.
The Federal Highway Administration’s turnaround on the use of Clearview—the typeface designed to improve highway sign legibility, especially for aging drivers—has state highway officials, Clearview designers and researchers frustrated and wondering how to push back the clock.
Donald Meeker grew up in Oregon and was greatly influenced by the state’s diverse landscape, its strong conservation ethic, and public design initiatives that in the 1950s and early 60s were progressive in their time. Although a New Yorker for 35 years, that influence and ethic has guided his way of thinking. In his 30-year career as a graphic designer, he has worked for a variety of clients ranging from paper companies and hedge funds to national parks and historic sites. His work on public projects for parks and natural areas touch millions of visitors a year.
A new signage and wayfinding program for the National Mall informs and guides visitors, but treads lightly.
When Pierre L’Enfant envisioned a “Grand Avenue” that would serve as the central axis and monumental core of the District of Columbia, he dreamt of ceremonial spaces and a tree-lined boulevard "…four hundred feet in breadth, and about a mile in length, bordered by gardens, ending in a slope from the houses on each side..."
Although the National Park Service (NPS) greets nearly 300 million visitors a year at its 390 parks, monuments, and historic sites, their standards for signing (developed in 1966) were limited to motorist guide signs and simple identification panels. Based on eight prototypes developed for parks including Yosemite and Grand Canyon, and surveys of over 150 other parks, the design team developed a customer-oriented managed system for visitor communications in national parks.
From the SEGD archives, circa 2009: this project was a very important contribution to the National Park Service, which celebrated its centennial less than a month ago on August 25, 2016. With the help of a graphic identity that reflects the National Park Service mission, “America’s best idea” keeps getting better.