Paint the Pavement

Branding System / Marketing Materials / Communications


Paint the Pavement is a city-wide initiative that helps foster community building between artists, businesses and residents through the act of placemaking. Community members help to decorate their city streets in beautiful murals, transforming public spaces into neighborhood assets. Pittsburgh will be the next city to host Paint the Pavement in 2017. I have been called on to develop the visual style and branding for the marketing materials used in introducing the campaign to residents.

The colorful, fun-filled deliverables should help spark creative ideas and conversations amongst readers while also informing them of the ways to get involved. The pamphlet explains how to submit a proposal from start to finish. Along with the brochure, readers receive a checklist with the application forms in the mail. Delivered all together, these helpful resources make the process of sending in a proposal a lot more efficient, simple and fun! 

Figuring Out the Essentials

First, I read through all the copy given by the client to better understand the content that I'd be working with. I also wanted a better grasp on what tone I should be conveying through my designs.

Who is my audience? What age group am I targeting? I started to highlight parts of the document that I felt should be read or prioritized upfront. Then, I created a physical diagram of Post-it notes to document the flow of content. Defining the flow of information from one area to the next was a critical step in my process. I needed to have a good idea in my head of how I wanted to present all the information without making it be overwhelming. The order of how someone read through the content found in the pamphlets and documents needed to make sense.

Discovering the Wordmark

Although I'm not a Pittsburgh native, I've been here long enough to know that this city is rich with culture and has an incredible history to share. The branding for this project needed to look and feel specific to Pittsburgh. I didn't want to create a system of designs that could be applied to any other city's Paint the Pavement campaign. The wordmark had to strike a balance between referencing something unique about Pittsburgh and the focus of Paint the Pavement. I chose to create a wordmark around Pittsburgh's most famous icon: bridges.

Named after famous icons like Andy Warhol, these bridges act as the glue that connects one neighborhood to the next. They hold the communities together, both physically and symbolically.

These bridges have been there since the birth of the City. They have been permanent markers amidst all the expansion and change that the city has faced. These bridges have really seen it all.  Below are different variations of the wordmark, with the final one shown at the far right. 

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 Helpful guidebook filled with information on why the reader should partake in Paint the Pavement.

Helpful guidebook filled with information on why the reader should partake in Paint the Pavement.

Primary Colors & Iconography

The vibrant handouts showcase a cohesive primary color palette. The bright, fun and saturated colors help to evoke childhood memories of our primary school days, when we drew with markers and crayons.

I wanted the design to appeal to children as well as adults so that entire families could feel like they're a part of the application process - not just the parents or older adults. The initiative is meant to be a celebration for everyone of all ages and backgrounds. 

The design of the icons scattered throughout the branding is also meant to bring about nostalgic feelings. The simple rounded icons complement the colors, bringing readers into a creative atmosphere.