Arkhangelsk design code

Task: to save a city from visual noise.

Arkhangelsk is the largest city in the north of European Russia with a tremendously rich history. Here, in the cultural and historical capital of Pomorye, old wooden houses exist side by side with the valuable heritage of the Soviet era.


However, the reality is that Arkhangelsk is drowning in advertising: its façades are littered with garish, randomly scattered signs which conceal all of its architectural beauty. The obtrusive visual noise quickly tires you out, so even when walking down the coziest streets you can’t relax and take a break from the bustle of the city.

before after

A way to improve and refresh the look of the city was developed at the studio. The design code helps intelligently design and place signs, advertisements and address plates. Now Arkhangelsk will be renewed and revitalized.


General rules and recommendations for sign placement are shown as simple diagrams.

City spaces are divided into three categories depending on their historic value, traffic and pedestrian congestion. Different rules apply to each category.

arkhangelsk map

Rules also differ for various types of commercial buildings.

arkhangelsk signs 01

For example, information structures cannot be placed on the roofs of buildings on historic and pedestrian streets. This is allowed on other streets, but only on the roofs of shopping and business centers.

The design code contains detailed tables that list the allowable sizes and types of signs depending on the street category and building type.

To ensure all signs look neat, the document gives recommendations on their appearance, including layouts and appropriate typefaces.


Advertisements, posters, window graphics—all of these things have a direct effect on the appearance of the city. To make Arkhangelsk more attractive, the design code takes into account all the nuances and contains detailed information about different media. It also uses visual examples to demonstrate best practices and things to avoid.

arkhangelsk ads

Address plates

Rhombus-shaped address plates are one of Arkhangelsk’s characteristic features. The rhombic ornament is often found in local wooden architecture, while the red motif reminds of Arkhangelsk embroidery and knitwear. The shape of the plates also echoes the first letter of the city’s name.

arkhangelsk circles
arkhangelsk plates

Bottom line

In the near future Arkhangelsk will be transformed to become much cleaner and homelier.

before after

  • The studio wishes to thank Mikhail Treshchev for his help with the project
Made in 104 days
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