Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (WLSSD) | Internal Signage
Internal signage can do a lot for a business. It can be a fun way to stand out from competitors and be remembered. It can provide customers directions on where to go or what to do. Additionally, it can also provide education on a business’ services or processes. And when done right, internal signage can do more than one of these at the same time.
We got the opportunity to, once again, partner with Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (WLSSD) to help them create a number of internal signs for one of their main office buildings. The goal of the signs were to help welcome customers and employees back after the building reopened to the public during the Covid pandemic. The signs needed to compliment WLSSD’s current brand while also being engaging, inviting, and informative.
Using one unified scene — Duluth and the surrounding area — we created tracks for each of WLSSD’s focus areas (water, solid waste, food waste, recyclables, and hazardous waste) for the wall mural. From there, we showcased one example of each area’s lifecycle. For example, the diagram shows food waste coming from a school, going to WLSSD to be processed, and then back out to community gardens for it to be reused as composted fertilizer.
Each focus area uses its own color for viewers to easily follow the various tracks. Each track ultimately leads back to WLSSD, showing the organization’s pivotal roll in the community.
Throughout the scene, we incorporated custom illustrations of iconic area landmarks. Denfeld High School, Enger Tower, the Depot, and of course, WLSSD. This brings an element of whimsy to the diagram. As customers enter WLSSD’s lobby, they can enjoy finding different pieces of Duluth. They might even find their own neighborhood or house. While being playful, however, the diagram is still informative, structured and professional.
We went back and forth a couple times on how to incorporate color. We ultimately landed on using a few select colors sparingly. It used was aimed to help viewers follow each track without confusion or overwhelm. The landscape, vegetation, homes and buildings were left in greyscale while the areas relevant to each track are highlighted.
We tackled quite a few additional areas for this project. Both WLSSD’s upper and lower elevators, signage wrapping around the reception area, and a large outgoing wall sign that would be seen as people exit the building. Each one was tackled individually and have a unique focus, but we put a strong focus on creating them with a cohesive feel.
The reception desk focused on a simple and clean branded look, displaying the company’s name and logo. We utilized 3D, or channel letter, to add depth and interest. The lower elevators provided a nice opportunity to highlight WLSSD’s various service offerings in a digestible way. Whereas the upper elevator focused on an educational solid waste/recycling theme — honing in a key component the business wants the community to be aware about. Lastly, the exit signage. For this we created a short memorable tagline that encapsulated WLSSD. The goal was to leave customer and employees with the notion of exactly who WLSSD is and what they do. We chose “Protect. Preserve. Prevent.” as a play on the recycle motto (“Reduce. Reuse. Recycle”) to help it make an unforgettable message.
Stop in to WLSSD’s lobby for yourself to check out how these turned out in person!
More WLSSD Design Work
We’ve also been able to help WLSSD distill and easily communicate how their biofilter system works. To learn more about how we tackled that design project to simplify the complex, click here.