Photography: Pentagram

The High Line is a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. Saved from demolition by neighborhood residents and the City of New York, the High Line opened in 2009 as a hybrid public space where visitors experience nature, art and design.

The renowned design firm Pentagram developed environmental graphics for the reopening of the elevated railway turned city park, including a system of over 1,000 bright green dots that help visitors safely maintain social distancing. The program builds on the identity and signage Pentagram originally created for the High Line.

The pattern of circles organizes the space and makes the experience of social distancing as easy as possible for visitors, showing them where to walk and stand in line as they wait to enter on Gansevoort. The dots help users judge the way forward and how they should space themselves along the path as it becomes wider and narrower. The temporary signage is made of outdoor-grade vinyl and is affixed to the ground to avoid obstructing the amazing views.

The new graphics are a key component for a strategy to allow visitors to safely use the park. The circles introduce a new element to the graphic identity and help unify the experience of the park at this moment. The circle also provides the basis for a series of custom icons for regulations like social distancing and mask-wearing and appears on special t-shirts for the staff.

In January 2021, the Governor proposed a plan to build extensions connecting the High Line to Moynihan Train Hall and eventually to Hudson River Park, which will create safer, more enjoyable ways to move through the city.