Project Synopsis
The River Valley is located in Edmonton, Treaty 6 Territory, and is a staple geographical landmark with complex ecosystems that nurture and feed equally complex chains of species.

In this project, the City of Edmonton approached our class for a complete redesign of the existing signage system used in the River Valley. We were welcome to adjust signage size and encouraged to suggest eco-friendly solutions to fight vandalism. The only thing we could not adjust was the typeface used for the City and Edmonton's official logo.

This project was made in collaboration with Michelle Cortines. Michelle's work can be found on her Instagram; she can be contacted through email.

Process Work
1. Research
We started this project by studying the existing signage system used by the City of Edmonton through photographs provided by the client. We noticed that the current system can only accommodate one animal at a time, and clutters the park with small individual signs showcasing multiple species in one area.

The current physical structure of the signs has shown problems with being able to withstand damage from UV rays, vandalism, and typical wear and tear. Further research into alternative materials was done to address these issues in a sustainable way.
2. Updating Illustrations
Illustrations are updated using two methods. Firstly by using the colours from the City of Edmonton's visual system as inspiration, allowing the signs to have a closer relationship to the current system used by the city. Secondly, the visuals are kept simple to ensure they are still legible at a small size. The addition of colours helps the visuals pop out during both the winter and summer months.

Finally, each species is colour-coded and given a unique background to help distinguish them from one another (ie. bug species will use a purple background). To keep the new signage from feeling too stiff, illustrations all bleed out from the top.

Unused concept of a beaver

3. Colours
Colours are drawn from the palette provided by the City of Edmonton. Saturation and brightness levels were adjusted to accurately capture the colours of different species and to ensure all visuals are accessible to visitors who are colourblind.

The signs are produced with a dark green to add contrast to the bright illustrations and white text. It also ensures the signs are working with the distinct seasons in Edmonton. On cold winter days, the dark hue will still be visible against its snowy background. While on sunny summer days, the green will reflect less light and glare from the sun.
4. Physical Construction
Finally, we looked into the current material used by the city to determine what was best for the environment and the construction of the signs. Maintenance was further researched to see what was most sustainable in ensuring the signs do not succumb to UV damage and vandalism. The core focus of this research was sustainability, easy maintenance, and eco-existence. Technical drawings of the physical construction of the signs were also provided based off of the research done.
Michelle Cortines
3D Schematic
Alberta Map & River Visuals
Booklet Body Copy

Eva Zhong
Booklet Layout

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