As someone who has only exercised regularly when I had to for P.E., I'm pretty pleased that I've managed to work out consistently three times a week for over a year. I go to the Salt Lake City Sports Complex, where I can't help but notice there are many signs. And because I love it when details are done well, I also can't help but notice that many of them could be more considerate of the surrounding architecture and materials. I suppose people in charge of making signs feel they have fulfilled their branding duty by using certain fonts and colors, and making sure the logo is in the corner. I believe signage is an important brand expression and implementing it thoughtfully in an environment is a much more nuanced process. And it almost never requires a logo.
The signage at the sports complex demonstrates some pretty common misconceptions people have about how signs should look, so I thought it would be interesting to digitally replace some of it with alternatives I've imagined as a not-so-casual observer. Granted, it's mostly an aesthetic makeover—an actual redesign would be much more involved. But I think these studies start to show the role signage can play in the overall brand experience.
The biggest problems I have with these signs is they are printed out on rectangular boards and the county logo is overused. As a general rule, I lean to putting type directly onto the surface. And I strongly believe that people don’t need to be reminded where they are with a logo on every sign.
I thought a stencil typeface would be a good fit for this space—they use some stencil typography in other places. I began making a stencil typeface from another font for communications on the doors and towel dispenser, and turned the age restriction notice into a decal shaped to feel deliberate in different situations.
These sometimes subtle but significant changes elevate signs from just functional to something that supports the brand experience and carries a unique voice.