Case Studies

Outdoor Park Signage Shares the Story of History at Ahrens Park

A philosophy, "leave it better than you found it" that Claude Ahrens so thoughtfully lived, resonates with the Ahrens Park Foundation. The signage weaves history, community, and artistry into the park signage.

Claude Ahrens believed in Leave it bet­ter than you found it.”, and was ded­i­cat­ed to mak­ing a pos­i­tive impact. It’s a phi­los­o­phy that res­onates with the Ahrens Park Foun­da­tion, which sought to hon­or Claude’s spir­it by embark­ing on a project that beau­ti­ful­ly weaves his­to­ry, com­mu­ni­ty, and artistry into the park signage. 

In the heart of Grin­nell, Iowa, lies a tes­ta­ment to the endur­ing lega­cy of Claude W. Ahrens, a vision­ary Grin­nell busi­ness­man and phil­an­thropist. Almost three decades ago, Ahrens’ gen­er­ous con­tri­bu­tion of land and mil­lions of dol­lars gave birth to the Ahrens/​Paschall Memo­r­i­al Park, a hub of recre­ation­al activ­i­ty and com­mu­ni­ty engage­ment. Named in hon­or of Claude’s late son, Paul Ahrens, and his dear friend Jim Paschall, the park has become a haven for res­i­dents of all ages. 

Image­First™ con­sult­ed with Lat­i­tude Sig­nage + Design on the design of the series of sig­nage pieces that would not only share Claude’s lega­cy in a time­line, but also seam­less­ly blend into the nat­ur­al atmos­phere of the park, and with­stand the ele­ments. The two cru­cial goals of this project: hon­or­ing the park’s donors and founder, and ensur­ing the sig­nage became an inte­gral part of the park’s aes­thet­ic. The cus­tom CNC rout­ed alu­minum vine and leaf motif head­ers were cre­at­ed then paint­ed and attached to the cus­tom fab­ri­cat­ed cab­i­nets. These signs are built to with­stand the ele­ments and the test of time with a robust steel and alu­minum frame, cou­pled with cus­tom print­ed high-pres­sure UV-treat­ed lam­i­nate graph­ic pan­els. These weath­er- and tam­per-resis­tant mate­ri­als ensure the signs are as durable as they are elegant. 

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