Paint the Pavement

Challenge

To create the visual identity for Paint the Pavement, a national program that promotes public safety through art and community building, in its next host city: Pittsburgh, PA.

Outcome

Two print pieces, a book and poster, to share and build excitement about the program with Pittsburgh residents.

Skills Practiced

  • Print design
  • Branding
  • Information design

Final Pieces

Poster

The poster, to be hung in community centers, school campuses, art stores, and other public places, draws the attention of active community members and to the new citywide initiative.

Booklet

Further information about the program's application process are enclosed in a booklet that can be picked up near the poster. The booklet orients the reader with background information on traffic safety, provides details about the program, and incites action. It includes organizational tools such as timelines and checklists so as not to undermine the labor involved in the application process, but makes the process approachable.


Background & Framing

Initial Research

I wanted to learn more about Paint the Pavement and road violence in Pittsburgh. As it turns out, this city ranked consistently low for driver safety in recent years and needed some change. I let this knowledge inform the tone and message I would later develop.

In previous cities, Paint the Pavement brings community members together to turn dangerous roadways into beautiful neighborhood assets.

Process

Application Content

To begin the project, I was handed a thick packet of text outlining a cumbersome application process. In order to make the it easier to navigate, I reorganized the content by information type, then sought to establish an information hierarchy based on type of information, logical order and time sensitivity.

Workmark

I began exploring visuals and styles that might be fitting for such a movement. I wanted to create a wordmark for the program that evoked artistry, yet also highlighted Pittsburgh's unique attributes. The resulting wordmark features a bridge (a prominent landmark throughout the city) that is used across the system as a metaphor for progress and hope.

Visual Language

During the visual development, I studied typography, art styles and colors, particularly bright or Pittsburgh-themed palettes. This resulted in a lot of clashing colors, so I decided to be less literal and simply opted for more whimsical tones.

Content & Form

For my concept, I was inspired by the uniquely abundant number of bridges in Pittsburgh's infrastructure. I aimed to portray the PTP program as a metaphorical bridge from the present to a desirble and safe future.

For my target audience, I chose those who were already active in community efforts. I considered touchpoints I might use to reach them, deciding on physical print pieces that would lend well to the forms and checklists involved in the application process.

I chose to make a booklet because, while a standard choice, the form served well as an approachable yet official-feeling medium to deliver information. In my initial iterations, I explored non-standard grids that drew from my bridge concept. I crafted my copy and imagery to encourage readers and compel action. Later, I added a grid background to give the pages a whimsical quality, like a work of art in progress.

I also wanted a poster to serve as the first touchpoint, drawing interest and introducing the program in rec centers and around town. These are digital sketches that led to my final design.


Learning Outcomes

  • Creating an information hierarchy to clearly communicate information, instructions, and more
  • Crafting a tone and visual style that appeals to a broad audience
  • Developing a visual system using a driving concept to inform everything from grid to copy to imagery