Hudson River Park is a 550-acre riverside park and estuarine sanctuary located on the west side of Manhattan. It runs four miles along the Hudson, between Battery Place and West 59th Street and includes 30 piers that extend into the river. Pentagram designed a comprehensive brand and signage system for Hudson River Park inspired by its distinctive long, narrow form and the park’s unique merging of river, piers, and greenspace. The logo actually functions as wayfinding, doubling as an abstract map of the park, with notches placed at the location of major piers. The logo features a customized stencil version of Klim Type Foundry’s Metric, which is used throughout the signage system.
After years of using temporary post and panel signs, this is the park’s first permanent program comprising over 400 individual signs. The comprehensive system includes landmark beacons, welcome signs at every entrance, facility identification, wayfinding, directory maps, regulation signs, as well as a banner system and construction graphics. The internally illuminated beacons prominently feature the park logo which folds around the corners. Standing 15-feet-tall these landmarks identify key entrances at major cross streets and are integrated into the landscape, but visible from a distance without obstructing the view. Each beacon is fabricated of stainless steel and tempered glass, and lit from within with LED illumination.
The other parts of the system continue to utilize the park’s identity and the park itself as inspiration. The chevron arrow used in all direction signs is derived from the “K” of the logo. The stencil detail from the typeface is also reflected in the entire icon system that represents all amenities within the park. To accommodate the park’s expansion and changing amenities the signage system was engineered to be modular, the stainless steel frames of many signs include channels that allow for panels to slide in an out. To withstand the marine environment, the sign panels are made of High Pressure Laminate (HPL), which is graffiti resistant with a lifespan 10 years. The directory signs feature maps on both sides—one is a neighborhood map showing 10 blocks and the other expands upon the logo to create an abstract map of the whole park. This sign is a key component in educating visitors about the scale of the park and its offerings.
In addition to the permanent signage Pentagram developed a system of graphics for banners and construction graphics using the custom icons to illustrate the wide variety of activities available in the park. The construction graphics are particularly important in making unfinished parts of the park branded and concealed while they undergo renovation. Marching four miles along the Manhattan riverfront each of these components work together to create consistent brand experience, unify the different parts of the park, and inform visitors about all Hudson River Park has to offer.