As early as 1993 Atelier Gassner designed a guidance system for hiking trails throughout the State of Vorarlberg, working in collaboration with the state regional planning office. A simple system of signs made of natural coloured aluminium was developed, as tests had shown that this material and colour best remained visible in poor weather. In contrast to trails based on specific themes, the focus here was on providing orientation aid. In the intervening period around 20 000 signs have been erected at 6800 different locations. The guidance system on the Schlossberg trail augments the overall route guidance system and provides information on the newly developed “fitness track”. The goal was to provide an unobtrusive guidance system appropriate to a woodland trail – in the form of simple recurring accents in the forest.
The design concept of Atelier Andrea Gassner made use of natural colours and materials. Deliberately, only parts of the sanded steel angles and steel tubes were sealed with a clear varnish. The protection against corrosion protection together with the natural oxidation of the untreated areas of steel generated two different colours in a single material. The grey steel takes up the colour of the gravel paths, the rock, and the other shades of grey in nature.
The combination of materialisation, formal idiom and the neutral, easily legible lettering provides the information required, while avoiding being a disruptive element in the natural setting. The typography is based on the Corporate typeface used by Atelier Gassner in 2010 for the revitalised public appearance of the City of Bregenz. The graphics at the individual stations that provide orientation and offer illustrations are timeless, designed to appeal playfully to a broad target group (children, families, sports enthusiasts).