National Lakeshore unveils posters representing its variety of sites
By John Robbins Post-Tribune correspondent August 8, 2013 4:02PM
Constantine Dillon, superintendent of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and Jeff Manuszak, visual information specialist, with a new park poster. The lakeshore created a series of posters for the sites that make up the park. | Post-Tribune photo
Updated: September 10, 2013 6:29AM
Graphic designs representing the many diverse sites comprising the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore were unveiled Thursday by park Superintendent Constantine Dillon. The unveiling culminated a multiyear effort to make the park more visible and cohesive in visitors’ minds.
“This is an exciting new opportunity to make the park more visible,” Dillon said.
The park spans 30 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline in Indiana, in three counties and 14 cities and towns.
“There are lots of pieces and confusing names,” Dillon said. People didn’t necessarily know when or if they were in a part of the park, which led to unnecessary confusion, he said.
The graphic designs are seen as a means to improve the public’s awareness and image of the park as a whole by representing diverse park sites using common design elements. Each design features a graphic of a unique feature of the site, the name of the site and the name of the national park.
The common design will unify the various sites to “better represent that all sites are part of the park,” according to Dillon, and to “help people understand that the various pieces are part of the same park.”
Among the steps taken during Dillon’s tenure as park superintendent to improve park visibility has been the introduction of a park-wide system of better, more visible park signs similar to those found at other national parks. Gateway signs are prominent landscape features now and directional signs will soon be installed on the interstates.
The unveiling of these 22 designs come just weeks shy of Dillon’s retirement as park superintendent. Seven more designs are in the works, bringing to 29 the number of new designs that will be seen on everything from posters to coffee mugs, backpacks, caps, medallions and beach towels.
“This was a unique challenge for us because of the diversity of habitats throughout the park and the need to make them appear as one,” said Jeff Manuszak, visual information specialist for the park.
He and assistant visual information specialist Katrina George drew inspiration for the new designs from a series of Works Progress Administration posters created for the national park service during the Great Depression and the long standing series of posters created for and by the South Shore Railroad.
Even though George is a longtime resident of the area, “I didn’t know how diverse the park is.”
Unique, too, for these new designs are that each design is trademarked by the National Park Service, meaning that the park gets to control who and how each design can be used.
Dillon expects to license each design to various park partners, such as the Dunes National Park Association and the Eastern National Park Association, so the various partners “don’t necessarily compete for the same market.”