Honors College Thesis


Effective Signage to Manage Recreation at OSU’s Research Forests Public Deposited

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  • This thesis focuses on creating effective signage for the Oregon State University College of Forestry Research Forests (OSU Research Forests). The OSU Research Forests are a unique setting because they offer space for research, class field trips, active timber harvest, and public recreation. The public interface requires the management at the Research Forests to effectively convey information about harvest plans, visitor rules, and etiquette when recreating in the school forest. One avenue the management conveys this information is through signage at the trailhead kiosks. The project started with an inventory of all the current signage at each of the trailhead kiosks; a database was created to house this information. Next, information from various pieces of relevant literature was compiled into a literature review. The information gathered was focused on aspects of individual sign design, content that needs to be present at a kiosk, and overall layout of the trailhead kiosk. Based on the information gathered in the literature review, the OSU Research Forests’ Style Guide was evaluated along with each individual sign to ensure effectiveness. Additionally, six of the individual signs were combined into a single, permanent panel to be placed at each of the trailhead kiosks. The panel reduces clutter at the kiosk as well as keeping the information consistent among trailheads. Finally, two surveys were conducted to gain feedback on the design and content of the new panel, as well as feedback on the overall kiosk area. Recommendations from this survey were used to make a few changes to get a final design for the permanent panel. The hope of this thesis project is that the guidelines gathered from the literature review become a resource for future sign design. Additionally, the hope is that the new panel design, and the redesigned individual signs, will be used to effectively present information and regulations regarding the OSU Research Forests. Consistent, stream-lined signage will help facilitate communication between forest managers and the public, thus helping to protect the OSU Research Forests’ facilities/resources and encouraging the public to enjoy the land.
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