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Signage in Historical Buildings: Lake Forest Library Case Study

The Lake Forest Public Library was built in 1931. It serves the entire Lake Forest community and is utilized by people of all ages. It is also housed in an architecturally significant classic historical building.

The Lake Forest Public Library wanted to replace the existing, poorly designed and very inexpensive signs, as well as other signage that had been created in-house. The main wayfinding challenge was directing to the children’s library, which is located on the lower level.

The architectural renovation of the Children’s Department itself mandated a new signage system, which they also wanted to implement building wide. The sign program also had to be compatible with the architectural elements of the building, but also be functional to improve wayfinding and collection identification.

The lively architecture and playfulness of the new space inspired the round shape for the signs along with the different colors within the system, which related to the age group organization of the literature. A book identification system was designed with a custom integrated attachment for flexibility while accentuating the flow of the curved bookstacks.

The more classic historical Adult section of the library was enhanced with a sophisticated but cost-effective sign system, complementing the interior of the building.

Circuitous wayfinding issues, as a result of the library’s fixed architecture, were simplified through strategic placement, message hierarchy and graphics on the new signs.

Directional and entrance identification signage placed in strategic locations proved to be the most appropriate solution. ASI provided complete design and planning services including wayfinding and code required signage elements.

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