About the process – Before creating anything, I needed to wrap my mind around the entire system. I noticed it shared similarities to other major city infrastructures; as in it’s expanded throughout the city with thousands of subscribers using it in their own unique way. Systems like these use simple shapes that are immediately recognizable. Transit signage and traffic signs were a good reference. So I set out to make a distinctive symbol for the Anchorage Trails system.
I started by doing tons of sketches, trying to break down “Anchorage Trails” to its core elements. The initial letter “A” provided a strong shape to work with. Not only that, but it was full of content waiting to be developed… The “A” itself served as a symbol for Anchorage. Its overall main shape could be seen as an arrow, which symbolizes direction, navigation or access the system provides. This shape also lends itself well to symbolizing the Anchorage outdoors. Mountains are a very unique aspect of the landscape. The crossbar inside the letterform was a hidden gem. By removing everything that wasn’t the crossbar, a trail emerged. So, one simple shape carries with it all this content.