Client, Year

The City of Baltimore,
The Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts

Services

Wayfinding
Placemaking
Architectural Signage

Photography

Baltimore City Gateways

A city identity rendered in 3D

For many Baltimore locals, the I-295 pylon sign that demarcates the city limits is more than a metal column — it’s a beacon of home and hospitality. When it needed a refresh, the City of Baltimore asked Ashton to renew it and two other existing signs, as well as design 15 additional structures. Our challenge was to both honor the originals’ legacy and capture the city’s current identity within a cohesive sign system.

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The three existing signs needed to remain in their current locations at I-295 North, Rte. 40 East, and Rte. 40 West. Therefore, we adopted their visual elements, specifically the bold “Baltimore Orange” color palette and geometric type, as the thematic foundation for the new sign family.

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While every sign included certain signature elements, each also featured an independent design. These multiple expressions are emblematic of Baltimore’s individuality and creativity, and they are meant to evoke a sense of pride in our hometown.

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We updated the I-295 pylon’s already unique letterforms with alternate weights and typographic adjustments. These changes increased the sign’s legibility, better aligned with fabrication methods, and provided a fresh take on the historic typography.

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Angled forms reflect the city flag’s shapes and make the signs easy to spot, even when driving on the highway. 

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PO Box 50337, Balt., MD 21211

©2024 Ashton Design

PO Box 50337, Balt., MD 21211

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