With civilization rapidly spreading to even the most remote places of the world, it often seems as if there is no stretch of land that has not yet been overrun with fast food chains, pollution, and large billboards that overshadow the land around them. In rare instances we find an oasis undisturbed by the commercialization of mankind, and seek to preserve the natural beauty of a place.
However, preserving the natural beauty of parks, nature preserves, and national parks doesn’t necessarily mean leaving the general to public to fend for themselves with no direction whatsoever. Even in the remote trails of national parks and forest services, you will still find wayfinding signs or trail markers designed to prevent visitors from getting lost or stuck in dangerous situations.
So even the places we consider truly wild are still manipulated by mankind? In a sense, yes… But that doesn’t mean that this form of signage has to be as intrusive as giant billboards or flashing neon signs. In fact, there are a variety of factors that allow signage to blend in with nature, and limit the intrusive nature of signage.
Use natural materials.
I can almost guarantee that you have never seen a natural steel structure or pieces of vinyl growing in a field. Even though these are popular signage materials, they simply don’t blend well with the natural environment. Instead, opt for materials such as wood or stone in order to integrate your signage into the natural environment.
Use colors that would appear in nature.
Unless it’s fall in Vermont, bright oranges and reds are not a common sight in nature. The same thing goes for nearly any neon color. That being said, be sure to choose colors that appear naturally in the environment where you’re going to be placing the sign. Wooded areas or forests? Use dark greens and brown tones. Along the beach? Subtle shades of brown and blue.
Nature is very rarely smooth, rigid, or perfect. Utilizing the uneven, rustic shapes that occur in nature helps give your signage a more authentic feel. Rather than a perfectly symmetrical square, for example, consider adding waves or ridges that break of the lines and shapes that our minds associate with man-made constructed. Similarly, signage systems that utilize many of the same design can be broken up by adding variation rather than simply creating perfect carbon copies for every individual sign.
Place signs in areas that are visible, but not dominant.
Being in harmony with nature implies integrating your signage into the ecosystem that is already there. Rather than creating grand structures that allow you to superimpose your sign on the environment, work with what is already given to you to create the sense that the sign truly does belong there without breaking up the natural flow of the environment.
Whether you’re looking at creating signage for a national park in the middle of nowhere or a small park in the middle of the city, utilizing these design tips can help create a better flow through the environment.
Contact us to get started on a design that will bring you back in touch with nature.