Design with a German Spin! Curious. Compassionate. Thorough.

BRANDING / way-finding & signage / experiential design 

San Francisco Recreation & Parks | SIGNAGE

In 2012 we were already working for the San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department when we were awarded the contract to design a family of signs for the parks connected by the newly established Urban Trails System. By capitalizing on their logo's three basic colors, we made the Entrance, Way-finding, and Interpretive Signs easily recognized, since they now relate closely to the other materials developed for the department. Click to see print work

The signage can be found in many of San Francisco's unique parks.

The main impetus is motivational - parks may look more or less interesting from the outside, but each contains its own unique qualities and features to discover. We designed the Welcome (Entrance), way-finding and interpretive signs to motivate visitors to explore them deeper.     

Urban Trails permanent park signage |  Family of signs |   OHIO Design  was our partner in crafting a sign around the panel that would not be overbearing.

Urban Trails permanent park signage |  Family of signs |  OHIO Design was our partner in crafting a sign around the panel that would not be overbearing.


Glen Canyon Park

Entrance Sign Design

This sign serves as an informative billboard at the entrance of each park to activate the observer to step into the park.


  • Simple color codes indicate difficulty and accessibility of trails
  • Icons show points of interest
  • Minimal gray scale map is easy to read
  • Map of San Francisco places the park in relationship to other parks in the city
  • Wooden top and bottom part of the frame are made from local reclaimed wood

UNIQUE Glen Park to Twin Peaks connection

We designed the Creeks to Peaks trail logo + easy indicator where the trail connects by showing a zoomed in version of the trail up to Twin Peaks




Interpretive Signage

With these interpretive signs we wanted to pull back the curtain and shine a light on fascinating aspects of the park that visitors might otherwise miss.


We organized them so that visitors could access the information in different ways, where the delicately painted flora and fauna by talented local artist  Liam O'Brien take center stage. 

The top of the signs pose a larger question, meant to guide readers through the rest of the information. The graphics and text come together like puzzle pieces, and are organized so the eye flows forward from item to item to help answer the question posed. These pieces of information are intended to give readers room to develop their own theories or raise other questions. Readers can also jump to the bottom right of the sign to directly discover the answer.


Creek & Grassland Interpretive Signage

History & Creek Interpretive Signage

Photography by Taylor McElroy


visual Breadcrumbs

Way-finding Signage

These little signs are put in place as breadcrumbs along a trail to show the visitor they're still on the right path. It was important to not be visually intrusive to the environment that people come to enjoy, though useful info is simply displayed.


  • Icons indicate if it's ADA accessible, for bikes or for hiking.
  • The different colorful dotted lines indicate the trail the visitor is on.
  • Directional arrows show you how long it will take you to get to the destination shown on the top of the sign.