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Observations: Graphic Design In New York City

Zane Huggins | August 31, 2022

For those of you who do not know, my partner and I recently moved to Manhattan from Pittsburgh. As we have settled in and begun exploring the area, I have been overwhelmed by how abundant great design is in the city. So much so, that I have started taking walks with the purpose of simply observing, taking photos, and documenting noticeable designs that I see on the street.

While I am not going to give an in-depth explanation of what I have found, I want to share the designs that have caught my attention during my “observation walks,” and share a few thoughts for some of them.

Building Names/Addresses

I have noticed a friendly competition between property owners trying to find unique type lockups for their building addresses. This is a trend I hadn’t noticed before I started going for my walks, but I now keep an eye out for interesting address lockups everywhere I go!

General Logos & Signage

Hudson River Park’s logo and is a clever representation of the river and the piers that line it. The entire walkway is full of creative signage containing infographics and details about the park.

The Meatpacking District in Chelsea has a marketing campaign declaring that many industries thrive in the Meatpacking District. The singular old-style stem of the letter “M” appears to be paying homage to the district’s past while embracing the future.

As you can see, there is no shortage of clever typographic tricks in use for most of the samples above.

Environmental Design

Murals

Miscellaneous

I noticed Par Plumbing’s truck graphics when we came to the city in late April to find an apartment and couldn’t resist sneaking a photo.

Final Thoughts

One thing that I have enjoyed most about going for these walks has been stepping away from the computer to get some fresh air, and intake ideas rather than output them. It requires engaging with my surroundings, and getting lost in a state of curiosity. When I return to my desk, I feel recharged and ready to output again. With no shortage of exciting content to find, I plan to spend more time making observations such as this one in the future.

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Zane Huggins

CEO, Creative Director of Full Circle Design Studio Email: zane@full-circle.design
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Weston Huggins

CEO, Director of Web Development Email: weston@full-circle.design