Tactile Wayfinding plaques
Larimer County, Colorado
We are city dwellers here at Masterwork Plaques, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t serious nature lovers. When Masterwork was approached by Larimer County to produce their beautifully designed metal Passport Trail Markers, we were thrilled.
The Larimer County Department of Natural Resources in Colorado manages Larimer County's great outdoor places, including open spaces, trails and water-based recreation areas. They also foster responsible land stewardship through maintaining healthy forestry practices. The county is particularly committed to promoting a sense of community and deep appreciation for the natural and agricultural heritage of the area for present and future generations.
Each of the sixteen etched bronze trail marker plaques is a small 3” square. Each plaque is fixed to a wooden post placed throughout the county’s open spaces trails. The design team at the Department of Natural Resources provided the metal illustrations, and our studio optimized these designs to ensure each plaque would etch correctly at our etching facility.
The artwork for each trail marker plaque was particularly important, as the plaques were used for the county’s unique passport program. Each bronze marker was designed with a unique image that represents the space where it is installed. When hikers come along a metal marker on a trail, they can place their hiking “passport”, which they received from the county, over the metal relief and take a rubbing from the plaque (with a pencil, crayon, etc.). This rubbing has a stamping effect which marks their passports and can be used to win various prizes. This fun and interactive activity encourages everyone to hike and enjoy the magnificent nature, while also fostering a sense of pride for the community.
We’ve found throughout the years that bronze plaques large and small have a unique ability to promote a sense of community where they are installed. Bronze plaques can be used for wayfinding purposes, public art pieces, historic plaques and inset sidewalk medallions. Both long-lasting and eye-catching, metal plaques draw attention to public spaces that may have otherwise been overlooked. As is the case with these Passport markers, plaques can also help lead passers-by through a natural space. Bronze and other metals also have a beautiful visual appeal that will last for years regardless of rain, snow or sun.