Signage for Every Need, Adaptable to Every Setting

To welcome, guide, inform, teach, or orient, our trail-tested, site sensitive signs are easy to read and understand.

Every sign on a trail or in a park or preserve serves a function: Identification, Wayfinding, Etiquette, Rules & Regulations, etc. They anticipate and answer what a visitor needs or wants to know. The primary objective of effective signage is readability so that visitors can comprehend quickly, with minimal effort, what is being communicated.

The sign may be as simple as a Campsite Marker that is easy to read day or night, as complicated as a notification explaining Bear Awareness procedures, as informative as an Interpretive Exhibit, or as bold as the design of a Main Identification sign that welcomes visitors.

We design systems for signage so that each sign – be it an isolated posting or a group of panels in a kiosk – has a signature look and is appropriately mounted for ease of use by the visitor.

Sign Program Design Standards must first identify functional applications using appropriate colors, typefaces, and layouts. Then, we create the look and feel that distinguishes the park or park system with an attractive design for signage that guides and informs the visitor.

A design standard needs to be equally effective in a finely groomed environment or on a rugged trail.

Below you’ll find the basic designs for the many needs visitors encounter on your trails and in your parks and preserves.


These signs welcome the visitor and identify the organization. They are often part of the entry design and experience and may be the backdrop for a vacation photo. Identifiers are often custom designed in a variety of sizes and structural forms scaled for the site and ease of viewing on approach. 


Wayfinding signs guide a visitor from one decision point to the next on roads and trails. In all cases, appropriate scale, readability, contrast, and consistency are key. 


Orientation: The relative position of something or someone. Maps, seasonal schedules, rules and regulations, registration instructions, orientation signs—all engage visitors in the resource. A map is often central to orientation and draws the visitor to a display.

Rules and Regulations

Or as we call them “etiquette and expectations.” Some guidelines:

  • Area entry. These signs communicate the park’s basic rules as you enter.
  • Area rules. Campground signs carry a maximum of 8 rules and are easily identified through the use of a recreation symbol and a succinct legend.
  • Site specific rules along a trail. Take the sign to the place where it can have the greatest impact.
  • Educational rules. General rules along the way reinforce trail etiquette.


Instructional postings with photos, illustrations and symbols help provide visual interest and break up text to allow visitors to read through and understand instructions more easily. 


Clear information—presented when and where it’s most needed—makes using the park a lot easier and can protect visitors as well as the resource itself.


From a nature walk to a viewpoint, an historic structure to a site, well-crafted exhibits enhance the visitors’ experience by engaging and informing them.


A great way to communicate at a glance is through the use of symbols. Symbols catch attention, simplify the message, and enhance understanding. In some applications, the symbol is dominant; in others, the symbol supports language. Symbols can identify, prohibit, and warn. 


Maps provide a starting point and can introduce a trail to walkers/runners, hikers, and bikers or can show the way to specific sites or points of interest. They also provide orientation to help visitors make decisions about where the next exploration begins or where to finish the day’s events.

For most programs, a clear map guides our work to provide related signs for vehicular routes and pedestrian paths and trails (water, rail, hiking, single track). The posted map becomes a visual magnet.

Signing a Trail

There is no single method to sign a trail, but a map at the trailhead is key. A map orients the user and helps them plan. A front country trail map may identify conditions based on ADA/ABA (Architectural Barriers Act) that can be appreciated by all users. 

Along the trail, guidance is provided at intersections. Directional panels identify destinations and distances. Two-sided sign panels can provide guidance from opposite approaches. At set increments along the trail, signage for waypoints can guide emergency personnel as well as helping visitors timed runs or walks. 

Rail Trails 

Over 22,000 miles nationwide, rail trails are major recreational resources. These trails provide a safe place for visitors of all ages who run, cycle walk, hike, skate, and cross-country ski. Rail trails are often accessible.

Rail trail signage is like front country trail signing. A program can include an easy-to-read map, general trail rules, trail etiquette, site specific warnings, on-trail guidance, mile posts and waypoints.