Woodlands Cemetery Map

Graphic Design
Project Overview
The Woodlands Cemetery is a lush Victorian cemetery in the center of West Philadelphia. The cemetery is a multipurpose community space serving as an arboretum, public park, active cemetery and historical site. During my time on the Interpretive team at the Woodlands, I was tasked with developing a map that would bring to light all these hidden histories while creating new ways to experience the site.
Roles + Responsiblities
Roles + Responsibilities: Graphic designer, photographer, researcher, archivist, digitization, prepress
Tools Used: Adobe InDesign, Photoshop + Illustrator
A close up image of a map. There is a Victorian era engraving of a man in a top hat pointing toward some pyramids and some historic looking text .
With an office with limited hours on weekends when the site is at its busiest, how might we still offer the services of our education/interpretation team when we don’t have the staffing? How can we provide way finding markers without interrupting the atmosphere of the cemetery? How can visitors find something new, or understand a landscape of cemetery markers and trees which can all sort of blend together? How can we tell the story of the Woodlands?

We decided to create a map that would combine several existing brochures and interpretive materials into one large and flexible guide with a map and directory of points of interest. This document would combine historical research from community members and subject matter experts, along with my own archival research. The map scales to the reader’s needs. Someone trying to find a specific landmark will be able to use the map feature on one trip, and learn more about the site before returning again. A recreational visitor can use the map to take a self guided tour or someone who wants a thorough exploration of the cemetery’s history would also have the resources to spend an entire day wandering the grounds.
Problem +Solution
Aug 2017 — forever

Final Thoughts

This project was a great experience in coordinating the voices of various community stakeholders and finding the common ground between their relationships to a local place that they love. Future iterations of the map would benefit from simpler typographical choices as well as user testing and reference testing. While it was fun to bring in Victorian era advertising for the Cemetery and use similar fonts for the headlines, legibility and accessibility could have been enhanced by a simpler font for the body.  A second version the map would also benefit from user surveys and interviews, although this project was undertaken before I started my UX training.

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