Gordon Russell Wayfinding Signage

Gordon Russell Middle School
Balancing cultural tradition with modern graphics, we transformed the halls of Gordon Russell Middle School through engaging design, print, and installation.
Gordon Russell Middle School in Gresham, Oregon, reached out to Infinity Images to design, make, and install a school wayfinding system. The plan was to create a map for the entrance, wayfinding signage, and inspirational quote graphics to be placed around the school. During our first meeting to see the school’s space and obtain as-builts, we were challenged to push the boundaries of the initial ask and design a few “wow” moments of discovery.
The Thunderbird school mascot and previously painted décor are based on the artwork of Pacific Northwest Native American tribes. Within Native American tradition, the Thunderbird can have different meanings depending on the region or tribe. It’s widely considered a powerful symbol of life, truth, energy, and destiny.
The new graphics we designed needed to be cohesive with the existing interior décor without appropriating or misrepresenting Native American culture. The school principal actively engaged Pacific Northwest Native American community leaders and Native American art teachers to ensure that what we created respected and honored their history.

Project Highlight

At first glance, the school map looks like, well, a map! Look closer, and you’ll see the dimensional quality of layered acrylic. We direct printed onto layers of acrylic and then mounted the map to the wall with MDF. A few commonly found materials partnered with our printing, cutting, and finishing capabilities resulted in a premium look and feel.

Using the discovery conversations as our jumping-off point, we were inspired to bring more than wayfinding signage to the table. We wanted to add something to the school that would encourage students to “Believe” and “Achieve”. We accomplished this by designing, producing, and installing an engaging lenticular for the school hallway.
For wayfinding signage and pole wraps, we used 3M™ graphic film with an ultra-matte laminate. Using this material allowed for the signs to be easily read under bright lighting. Some classroom signs were accented with direct printing onto birch plywood plaques.
The wayfinding system functions as planned, but with careful design consideration and experience, we elevated the entire look and feel of the school and added a few “wow” moments of discovery along the way. We hope our work gives the students and staff school pride for many years to come.
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