Visual Identity   Outdoor Advertisement  

The making of the Gorky Park visual identity

Overview   Process  

Maxim Gorky’s (the gentleman responsible for the park’s name) rich mustache, naturally, is the first inspiration.

Ok, we’re over it now, moving on to explore other ideas. It’s pretty soon that no one will remember what the guy looked like anyway.


Everyone’s talking about the park:

Just couldn’t pass on foliage:

Producing more concepts: geometrical diversity, leaves, footsteps, balloons, birds, signs, trees:

More trees, a city sign, and the change of seasons:



Selecting five concepts to present to the customer.

Customer: It won’t work. The park is much more than just a place for a stroll.

Customer: Too hipsterish. Our park is for those little old ladies and gents as well. It’s a no.




Customer: We’ve already got some speech bubbles as a part of the park’s design, it’s quite enough.




Customer: This would be a wonderful logo for a park with rides, except we’ve dumped all ours.




Customer: Tree-based logos belong to too many parks.

Generating another load of ideas. A girl with a paddle, with a tree, even with a paddle-tree. Leaf-letters is another promising option which made it to a client’s presentation.

The customer rejects this design and it goes to the studio’s archives.

Needing a total reload. Searching for new, more solid concepts.

For instance, how about the park as a green spot on the city’s map? Minimalistic and stylish.


Or, say, an exclusively text logo and visual identity with pictograms sneaking in among the letters?


Marrying the two together:


Following up a conference with the customer, selecting a text-only version and typography.

Making our choice of a signature typeface. The requirements include: simplicity, legibility, and ability to alter the characters omitting a need to approve every tiny change with the typeface creator. The studio’s Direct fits the bill beautifully.

Starting with a logo, drawing Antiqua version:

Placing a bird (later on, the eye will get rid of a light reflection):


Gorky Park is also known as Central Park. To better blend the bird in, modifying other characters.


No, we don’t like it. Reworking and presenting to the client.

The customer insists the feet have to go. Lobbying in support of the feet. Doesn’t work. Removing per client’s request.

Preparing a collection of logos of different sizes.


Assembling a set of logos for every occasion.

Entering the most complex and exciting phase.

The next task is to incorporate simple objects—a bird, tulip, legs, etc.—into letters and it calls for a surgical precision to keep characters from looking handicapped. There’s a certain list of 127 phrases, each of them will appear throughout the park and needs a metaphor of its own.

Antiqua type was easier to tinker with thanks to its serifs willingly hiding any elements for the pekaboo effect. But we like the challenge.

All characters impregnated with images absolutely must have the same visual density as the rest of the bunch. Testing it on a page:


All letters need to get correct weight, drop off any unnecessary detail and childishness. We’re after a truly fine optical illusion, subtle, tricky, and requiring some time to figure it out.

Bend the letters more towards pictograms for an overall dry and official look.

Treating every character this way. Making numerous micro modifications to each to visually compensate a letter’s weight and shape.

Thinking on business cards.

Visual identity manual rejects.

More corrections.

Meanwhile, a photographer capturing the park’s beauty.




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