Green Lake Wayfinding

Environmental Graphics | Wayfinding
Navigating one of Seattle’s most beloved public spaces.


The signage and wayfinding at Green Lake Park, one of Seattle’s most beloved public spaces, has become dated and ineffective. Visitors are often confused or unaware of recreation path courtesy rules, and orientation can prove difficult. The challenge with this project was to create a distinctive and effective wayfinding system targeted at modern park patrons that communicates clearly, facilitates navigation, and improves the usability of the park.
Timeframe: 6 weeks
Roles: environmental graphic design, wayfinding, iconography, typography, visual design
Tools: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign


The goal of this project was to develop a clean, clear, and informative suite of environmental graphics and navigational signage for Green Lake Park that helps ensure visitor safety, eases congestion around the recreation path, and beautifies park surroundings. By doing this, Green Lake Park becomes a more comfortable, accessible, and usable public space for visitors and residents alike.


This project began with a 2.8-mile walk to analyze existing signage, observe park patrons and recreation path users, and move through the physical space to better my understanding of how to improve park environs.

The current signage was in poor condition. Many signs were placed in low visibility locations, covered in organic green buildup. A lot of signs had been damaged or vandalized. Furthermore, it was clear that patrons were often confused or unaware of existing recreation path rules and signage. 
To address these issues, the new environmental signage was designed to be bold and attention-grabbing. The color palette was chosen to conjure Seattle’s city identity, tapping into public pride and improving engagement with park signs and structures. The addition of a bright red color (used for sign headers) helps call attention to important information and stands in sharp contrast to an otherwise drab, monochromatic environment.


Re-designing the park's icon system was another important component of improving park wayfinding. I designed a set of modular components that can be combined to create an endless variety of icons. This fresh set of icons helps improve accessibility by bridging the language gap and providing additional visual context for park landmarks and activities.

Tone of Voice:

When developing park signage, I strived for two things: clarity of information and appropriate tone of voice. Regulatory signage can be tricky, and so it was important to strike a good balance between respectful and authoritative. The resulting verbiage is clear, direct, and easy to understand which ultimately increases engagement with park rules and helps ensure the safety of park visitors.


Being a relatively large park, I wanted to create four distinct meeting points on the north, south, east, and west side of the lake so that park patrons can easily orient themselves and locate one another. In doing this, visitors would never be more than a half-mile away from the nearest meeting point. Using a physical object with distinct features creates both a memorable meeting point while also beautifying the surrounding space.

Park History & Aqua Theatre:

The Green Lake Aqua Theatre is an important landmark within the park ecosystem, enjoying a rich history of concerts, synchronized swim events, and more before it’s demolition in 1970. The structure that remains has become an industrial eyesore bringing little value to park visitors. By telling the story of the Aqua Theatre and brightening up the existing structure with a fresh coat of paint and accompanying graphics, we’re able to breathe new life into an old story. 

In Closing:

By using bold, high-contrast colors, accessible typography, and an appropriate tone of voice, park signage and wayfinding communicate more clearly and effectively with Green Lake Park visitors. Park rules and regulatory language have been distilled, contextualized, and simplified to cut down on confusion. By utilizing functional public art installations that pull double-duty as both highly-visible landmarks as well as navigational elements, wayfinding around the 2.8-mile loop has been vastly improved.