I was hired by Gusto to liven up one of their Denver offices. With low ceilings and limited natural light, the goal was to keep the design simple and low-color, while still adding visual interest to the space.
If there's one thing Coloradoans love, it's discussing the elevations of things. And mountains. And Rocky Mountain National Park. Ok that's 3 things—but seriously, people in this state love to know how high up they are (14ers, 13ers, the Mile High City—to name a few examples).
Since moving from the flat lands of Florida to this very not-flat place, I too have a facination with elevation (and love drawing maps), so I set to work downloading dozens of USGS topographic map quadrants and stitching them together. I chose sections of the Colorado River and surrounding topography that would fit well along these long, narrow walls. I focused on the shape of the Colorado, the elevation lines at every 1,000', natural features, and cities and towns along the river.
The result was a mural that looks pretty simple, but took dozens of hours of homework gathering the complex mapping data and simplifying it. I did the same for the front feature wall—but zoomed out to show the entirety of Rocky Mountain National Park and its lakes. The Colorado River gets its start in RMNP, so I labeled that near the Continental Divide. I also added in the park's only 14er (Longs Peak) and highlighted the 5 in-park campgrounds.
This is a long description, but I'm really excited about this one! It brings together my loves of muraling, map design, hand lettered labels, and adding thoughtful design to the walls of a space in hopes of brightening an employee's day. Someone who sits by Rifle, Colorado messaged me saying it makes being at work feel more like home—and that makes this whole complex design process totally worthwhile.
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© 2018 Hillery Powers