City of Evanston Comprehensive Signage Program

The City of Evanston is located on Lake Michigan, immediately north of Chicago. Notable as home to Northwestern University, the city combines many of the most attractive urban amenities—a unique blend of neighborhoods, public parks, retail, restaurants, tourist attractions, performing arts venues, and the magnificent lakefront.

The Comprehensive Signage Program was developed to replace and augment the city’s previous signage. Utilizing the most modern and technologically advanced wayfinding standards, UrbanWorks and team member, Merje, developed a series of designs that will be implemented through the new Wayfinding Graphics Manual.

These new standards will guide future sign design and ensure compliance with federal and state regulations, while efficiently guiding visitors and locals throughout the city. The signs range through a wide variety of sizes and uses, all related through a cohesive design vocabulary that establishes a strong graphic identity for Evanston. Each sign features a distinctive blue strip that is located on the east side of the panel—facing Lake Michigan. This simple yet elegant design feature recognizes the Lake’s importance to the city while providing viewers with an intuitive directional clue as to their location at any time.

LOCATION: Evanston, IL
CLIENT: The City of Evanston
ARCHITECT: UrbanWorks, Ltd.
WAYFINDING: Merje
DOCUMENTATION: Janis Tracy Photography
PROJECT INITIATION: 2012
COMPLETION OF WORK: 2015