Robert Finkel was honored as the winner of the 2022 American Graphic Design Awards by Graphic Design USA (GDUSA) through his work on the Red Rock Trail System. The trail system is a network of parks, walkways and bike paths in Jefferson County spreading out over 100 miles. Keep reading to view the award-winning signage and more.
Robert Finkel—American Graphic Design Award Winner
Finkel is an associate professor at Auburn’s School of Industrial and Graphic Design and the graphic design program chair. His contributions to the project included developing strategic messaging and brand identity through the creation of a wayfinding signage program and brand identity guidelines.
“I liked working on a project that enhances the greater Birmingham community and promotes health and wellness for everyone. I also enjoy the complexity of the problem in trying to develop a design system that is flexible, adaptable and long lasting.”Robert Finkel, Associate Professor + Program Chair, Auburn University
The trail system is made up of seven different corridors, so Finkel created a logo for each that featured a representation of a unique natural or cultural aspect of the trails. For example, the Cahaba River corridor features a Cahaba Lily, the Five Mile Creek corridor showcases reeds and the Jones Valley corridor highlights a locomotive.
Other new Red Rock Trail System signs
Finkel isn’t the only one getting busy with the installation of new signs. Claire Speegle, the development coordinator for Red Rock Trail System (RRTS), has spent the last few weeks hitting the trails to install new signs using only her bike, a post driver and backpack.
Nearly 500 diamond-shaped blazes are being added to the RRTS as part of a large-scale signage initiative. These blazes will mark quarter-mile increments on the trails’ seven existing corridors. The brightly-colored blazes placed at eye level will give trail users a helpful way to note distance while also serving to help users pinpoint their location in case of an emergency.
At the trailheads, new bilingual kiosks are being installed to better inform trail users of their location, rules and amenities.
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