If you drive down 14th Ave every day (like Brittany does), you might have noticed a new building pop up and open this summer—the Denver Police Crime Laboratory, at 14th and Cherokee. Zigzagging along its façade are organic window elements inspired by DNA helixes, as seen in the photo below.
Studio Pattern was inspired by those angles when we worked under Iron Horse Architects to create a comprehensive signage package for the building. You see the DNA theme again in the gorgeous light-up sculptural art that was created for the building’s entry atrium, below.
The signs angle out slightly from the wall, referring to the subtle undulations of the building’s exterior walls and windows. Many of the signs are translucent glass, with raised letters painted to match colors on the walls and in the materials used to decorate the building. We like to think our work here embodies the ideals Beatrice Warde put forth in her essay on the invisible nature of well-thought-out typography. The reason for this is that we were brought in on the process very early on, when the building was just lines on paper and ideas in architects’ heads. Working with the architects from that stage allowed us to really internalize the philosophy behind the building’s look and feel, and reflect that in a quiet way through the signage.
We used the workhorse type family Avenir to capture the open, geometric nature of the building, and also to meet ADA/ANSI regulations for the width-to-height ratio in directional signage. And also to not use Futura.
Studio Pattern is honored to have been a part of this important project and excited to share the photos with you!