The Information Architecture Institute
A conference on designing
complex information spaces of all kinds.
New York City, October 4 and 5, 2007

Meet Betsy Ehrlich, from the National Park Service!

Two and a half years ago, I marveled at the high quality and consistency of the National Park Service brochures collected on a southwestern road trip. Poking around the Web, I found they had extensive materials on the designs of their brochures, wayside exhibits, exhibits and museums, and audiovisual media, all tied together with a strong graphic identity.

So, when planning IDEA, I knew I wanted a representative from the NPS to share with us how they are able to maintain such quality and consistency, given the complexity of their charter (380 parks, each of which is run independently, spanning from Guam to Maine, with a range of interpretive needs).

Emailing the NPS, I eventually made contact with Betsy Ehrlich, whom I had the fortune of meeting on Friday. Here she is:

Betsy and I hung out for two hours. She showed me around the Interpretive Design Center, and we talked about the structure of her presentation at IDEA. Among the things that excited me was finding out that her group also manages the training for park rangers — this means they’re not just responsible for media, but also influence the experience visitors have with, if you will, the Park’s customer service representatives. Talk about holistic experience design!

Some behind-the-scenes photos:

Drawer of Brochures

Wall of Graphic Standards

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