Trademark's involvement with the City of Meridian dates back to early 2010. The city wanted to construct a public art piece, and Trademark submitted a bid. The city was so impressed with the range of capabilities displayed in the portfolio, they decided to hire Trademark to design all of the way-finding material and signage for the new Julius M. Kleiner Memorial park. This project represents a huge opportunity for Trademark: the park will be around for generations to come, a permanent fixture in the city of Meridian. It's not often that a design company gets to make such a lasting impact on its community, so Trademark is designing every element with that kind of longevity in mind.
As usual, the conceptual phase of the project started with a dizzying amount of hand-sketches. Dozens of ideas were explored, and ultimately a theme of iconic tree leaves emerged. Each different kind of leaf represents a season, and a region of the park. This way-finding material is both stylish and helpful. It orients visitors and helps them make decisions about where to go next, while simultaneously providing a consistent visual identity for the park.
As the project got underway, Trademark started attending bi-monthly planning meetings between the city, the park's designers, and all the various companies contracted to build the park. A great deal of dialogue took place between the various groups, and several cool ideas were born from these meetings. Here's an example: custom park-benches that utilize the themes from the way-finding material.
The cost of making custom benches was only marginally more than stock benches, but they bring style and continuity to the park. There will be four different bench types (one for each type of tree-leaf), but they will all employ similar flowing-wind imagery. Thus, the benches will stand alone beautifully or, when placed next to each other, will create a larger graphic element.
Both models were made with laser-cut cardboard, and assembled by hand. Models are used regularly at Trademark, especially when dealing with a three-dimensional element. They provide a satisfying way to evaluate the success of a design, allowing designers and clients to interact with the object much like they will with the real thing.