Pentagram turns The High Line dotty to help fight Covid-19
Paula Scher oversees a new visual identity to aid social distancing following the park’s reopening
Over the past few months we’ve all grown familiar with the chalk marks, pieces of tape or spray-painted dividing lines, keeping us a safe distance apart in public places during the Covid-19 pandemic.
They might be vital additions to our built environment, but you'd be hard pressed to describe any of them as especially beautiful works of design. Any, that is, beyond the High Line’s new environmental graphics.
New York’s famous elevated park walk re-opened last week, with a new timed-entry system, and a fresh polka-dot style look. The round dots were designed by Pentagram partner Paula Scher and are fashioned from weather-resistant vinyl; they separate visitors as they queue to enter at the High Line’s Gansevoort Street entrance, and as they stroll along the walkways once in the park, and form part of a temporary signage system.
“The circles introduce a new element to the graphic identity and help unify the experience of the park at this moment,” explains Pentagram. “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.”
While this new design might be distinctly 2020, Pentagram’s relationship with the High Line stretches back decades. The design agency created the first logo, promotional campaigns and fundraising materials for Friends of the High Line, the community organization founded in 1999 by Robert Hammond and Joshua David that proposed the idea to save the elevated railway and make it a park.
To find out more about that story, and the other wonderful architects and landscapers who turned this tract of New York into one of the world’s best public outdoor spaces, order a copy of our book, The High Line now back in print.