paint the pavement

Categories: Visual Design, Brand Identity, System Design, Print

Tools: Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Prototyping

What is Paint the Pavement?

Paint the Pavement is a nationwide program that strives to bring safety to the streets by connecting local artists with neighborhoods, organizations and residents. Through this collaboration, participants will paint murals on high traffic, dangerous roads throughout the neighborhood to ensure that drivers' will look at the road.



For this project, I was assigned with creating a visual brand and identity for this program. The challenge was to use only expressive typography, with no pictorial images, and to organize the information given in a way that makes sense. In my design process, I started with creating an identity around the idea that everyone can create art and be an artist, and my target audience were teens to young adults. To effectively represent this, I tried to challenge myself to use and understand what type as image is, and use visual hierarchy to organize the information. For the final product, I made posters, a brochure, and an application form.




For my visual system, I wanted to accentuate the concept of "painting" and "playfulness". To do so, I wanted to accentuate the texture of paint. So I started by sketching out wordmarks that created the feeling of painting.

Expressive grids

Part of the challenge for this project was to use grids in an expressive way. To make my visual system seem more playful, I decided on a more dynamic grid system that layered a diagonal grid on top of a 6 column grid. By using layers, I wanted to express use the diagonal layer for the more expressive elements and the column grid for the text so that it creates a visual hierarchy of information, while making the composition look more dynamic.

From sketch to digital (Illustrator)

Visual system

What kinds of visual elements can accentuate the feeling of "playfulness", while appealing to non-professional artists as well?

I started by creating different visual elements with paint that I might use for the visual system. I liked the idea of using paint strokes in my system to accentuate the feeling of "paint", so I mainly focused on making simple textures and patterns with paint. After choosing my final patterns and textures, I created my color palette based on those textures. I also tried different type studies with sans-serif typefaces.

I ended up using the ones on the right.

Brochure iterations

After creating the visual identity with different visual elements, I started iterating different compositions for the brochure. I started by experimenting with type and color, and the placement of type to represent type as a more expressive element in my system, instead of using pictorial images. However, the critique that I got was that the information looked all over the place, and that I was restricting myself to the different sections of the brochure. How can I make my information look good both as a part and as a whole? Another problem was my expressive grid and how I can utilize it enough so that it doesn't make the information look busy and hectic. As I made more an more iterations, I tried to tackle this problem of organizing massive amounts of information in a way that makes sense and looks good overall as a whole and as a part. In my final iteration, I decided to make a background composition with different comments of Pittsburgh residents about the traffic in Pittsburgh, to show my expressive grid while having the information following the column grid. 

As I made iterations, I changed the background to a very dark grey to demonstrate the "pavement" part of the program. I also included a map of Pittsburgh so that when people register for the program, they will know exactly where they want to paint their art. 


final system

Outside of Brochure

Outside of Brochure

Inside of Brochure

Inside of Brochure