pentagram partner paula scher has developed a series of environmental graphics to help visitors safely maintain social distancing at the high line in new york. the elevated park reopened to the public on july 16, 2020 after being closed for several months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. other new york city parks remained open during the lockdown, however the high line’s narrow paths presented a series of challenges along the route to reopening.
all images by timothy schenck
to ensure that the high line could reopen safely, pentagram designed a suite of environmental graphics, including a system of over 1,000 bright green dots that help visitors safely maintain social distancing. the program builds on the identity and signage pentagram originally created for the famous park. free passes are available on a timed entry system to manage the number of people on the high line at any one time. visits begin at the gansevoort street entrance and move northwards to 23rd street, with all other access points exit-only.
‘the pattern of circles organizes the space and makes the experience of social distancing as easy as possible for visitors, showing them where to walk and stand in line as they wait to enter on gansevoort,’ explains pentagram. ‘the dots help users judge the way forward and how they should space themselves along the path as it becomes wider and narrower. the temporary signage is made of outdoor-grade vinyl and is affixed to the ground to avoid obstructing the amazing views.’
pentagram says that the new graphics are a key component for a strategy to allow visitors to safely use the park. ‘the circles introduce a new element to the graphic identity and help unify the experience of the park at this moment,’ the designers continue. ‘the circle also provides the basis for a series of custom icons for regulations like social distancing and mask wearing, and appears on special t-shirts for staff.’ timed slots to access the high line can be reserved online here.
architecture in new york (388 articles)
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social distancing (40 articles)
the high line (22 articles)
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