FENWAY PARK 2002—2012 ASHTON DESIGN
PROJECT TEAM CLIENT
Boston Red Sox Larry Lucchino: President/Chief Executive Officer Janet Marie Smith: Vice President of Planning & Development 2001–2009 Jonathan Gilula: Executive Vice President/Business Affairs Paul T. Hanlon: Director, Ballpark Planning & Development ENVIRONMENTAL GRAPHIC DESIGN
Ashton Design FENWAY PARK ARCHITECTS
D’Agostino Izzo Quirk Architects, Inc. FENWAY SOUTH ARCHITECTS
Parker/Mudgett/Smith Architects, Inc. Populous
16 West Hamilton Street Baltimore, Maryland 21201 410-727-1151 email@example.com ashton-design.com OTHER RELATED PROJECTS
Ed Smith Stadium | Baltimore Orioles (Sarasota, FL) JetBlue Park at Fenway South | Boston Red Sox (Ft. Myers, FL) M&T Bank Stadium | Baltimore Ravens Minute Maid Park | Houston Astros Oriole Park at Camden Yards | Baltimore Orioles Petco Park | San Diego Padres Phillips Arena | Atlanta Thrashers Rose Bowl (Pasadena, CA) Salem Memorial Ballpark (Salem, VA) | Salem Red Sox Turner Field | Atlanta Braves BOOK DESIGN
Ashton Design Jenny Romei Hoffman WRITING
Kim Carlin PHOTOGRAPHY
Ashton Design, Boston Red Sox, Mikey Hall, Rob Arra, Boston City Walk, Geoff Livingston, Asten’s Photostream, Ben Ostrander, Mike Ivins, Michael Fe Benito, Kurt Haugli, Stephen Ghio, Willem van Bergen, Eric Kilby, Roopez, Andrew Malone, Mike Burton, Bob Dennis
“The greatest compliment we get about the changes at Fenway is that it feels like nothing has changed.”
When Larry Lucchino and I selected Ashton Design to create the environmental graphics at Camden Yards, we were looking for a firm who understood that signage is more than a way to direct people around a ballpark. In all the great ballparks, the most memorable moments are often signs—think of “Hit Sign Win Suit” at the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Ebbets Field, or the Wrigley Field scoreboard in Chicago. Ashton Design understood that signage can create a sense of place. Twenty years later, the signage they designed for Camden Yards remains an essential part of the experience of that ballpark. Fast-forward to Fenway Park, and there was no doubt in my mind that we wanted to work with Ashton Design again. At Camden Yards we were creating something new that needed to have the spirit of the great old ballparks. At Fenway we were working with one of the best-loved ballparks of all time. Looking around the park, you saw signage that dated from 1912, 1934, and virtually every decade since. Our goal was not simply to clean it up. We wanted to peel back nearly a century of layers and celebrate the good, eradicate the bad, and fill in what was missing. Ashton Design did a beautiful job of going through the Red Sox archives, discovering pieces that are timeless, and using them in ways that are an honest expression of the Red Sox today, while also acknowledging a hundred years of tradition. It’s a testament to their ability to design at so many scales that they could create so many picturesque moments at Fenway. Ashton Design married the visual history of a club and the architecture of its building to the messages that are important to convey today.
Ashton Design understood that what we came to call “signature signage” is part of the larger composition of the ballpark. They collaborated with the architectural team throughout the process. I have watched many people take pictures in front of the Ted Williams statue, and they always frame their photos so the Gate B sign is in the background. It’s the signage that conveys that you’re on Yawkey Way, in Fenway Park. The work of a firm like Ashton Design is something people appreciate more than they realize. They may not know why one sign resonates so positively and feels authentic and another just seems like advertising. It’s the level of care and attention to detail that is given to every aspect of a project that makes even a commercial sign in their hands feel like a work of art. Their ground-breaking work developing a compelling visual vocabulary for Oriole Park at Camden Yards in 1992 was the first large-scale exercise of environmental graphic design for a sports arena. Camden Yards represented a paradigm shift—raising the bar for ballparks as destinations — and earned Ashton Design an international reputation for design leadership that they have continued to build on in their exceptional work on Fenway Park.
Janet Marie Smith Senior Vice President Planning and Development Los Angeles Dodgers 2013 - present The Baltimore Orioles 2010–2012 The Boston Red Sox 2001–2009
â€œWe are so grateful to the Red Sox ownership and Janet Marie Smith for recognizing the power of design to elevate even the most mundane moments to a level that deepens the emotional connection that visitors have with a place.â€? Ashton Design
10/100 Ashton Design joined the Fenway Park restoration project in 2002 and over 10 years, the firm had an impact on every aspect of the visitor experience at the stadium billed “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark.” At the project’s beginning, Fenway was a “hopelessly outdated” facility on a tiny footprint. Only a change of ownership and a grassroots outcry had saved the park from demolition so that a state-of-the-art stadium could replace it. A member of the new ownership team observed, “Replicas just aren’t the same. Part of what makes Fenway so special is that it’s got a lot of old memories.” The project teamed Ashton Design with the same architects and management team with whom they had collaborated on several other projects, and the designers moved into a makeshift office at Fenway for months at a time during the off seasons so that they could apply the ethos of good design to every aspect of the renovation—directional signage, the branding of restaurants, the look of the new Green Monster seats, the typeface on the scoreboard, sponsorship ads (ranging from a skyline-dwarfing, environmentally friendly Coca-Cola sign to the reintroduction of painted ads on the Green Monster). Each year offered a new menu of projects that allowed Ashton Design to deepen and expand the working design standards that guided every aspect of the project. The close collaboration of the designers, architects, and management team resulted in a ballpark that maintained the soul and century-old Fenway spirit while accommodating the needs of 21st-century baseball fans.
1999 Fenway Park prior to restoration. The pages that follow list Fenway Park improvements throughout Ashton Designâ€™s engagement.
2002/03 Improvements/Additions: Yawkey Way, Concessions (Laundry Building, Big Concourse), Wayfinding and Banners, Green Monster Seats, Expanded Green Monster Scoreboard, Jimmy Fund Logo on Green Monster, Bank of America Illuminated Sponsorship Sign
2004/05 Improvements/Additions: Budweiser Right Field Roof, Concession Signage and Menus, Wayfinding and Banners, 2004 World Series Champions Signage, Gate E and B, Main Faรงade, Expanded Green Monster Scoreboard
2006/07 Improvements/Additions: New Upper Deck, Pavilion Levels, State Street Pavilion, EMC Club, Retired Numbers and Hall of Fame Banners on Van Ness Street, Third Base Deck, Absolut Clubhouse
2008/09 Improvements/Additions: Coca-Cola Corner, Aramark Directional Signage, Historic Plaques, Gate E and Gate C, Best Buy Club, Left Field Picnic Deck, Concession Signage and Menus, Wayfinding, Yawkey Way Improvements, Right Field Pavilion Extension, Cumberland Farms Illuminated Sponsorship Sign, Frozen Fenway
2011/12 Improvements/Additions: Gate B Team Store, Concourse Ad Panels, Directories, Gates E and D, Ticket Office, Grandstand Concession, New HD Scoreboard, Yawkey Way Faรงade, New Bank of America Sign / HD Scoreboard, New Balance Sign, Team Stores, Historic Display Cases, Red Sox Living Museum, JetBlue Park at Fenway
Design standards evolved over the first three years of Ashton Designâ€™s involvement, but Yawkey Way set the tone. Hand-stitched banners celebrating championship seasons established the exacting material and fabrication standards that would continue through the entire restoration.
Historic artifacts and images discovered in the Red Sox archives often inspired the environmental design throughout Fenway Park.
The vintage typefaces selected for wayfinding, gate signage, decorative elements, and even the scoreboard, were guided by historic references.
Sponsorship ads, essential to any ballparkâ€™s economic survival, were historically a memorable visual element in Fenway Park.
Ashton Design collaborated with Red Sox management to suggest appropriate placement of ads throughout the park.
An important part of the design of this landmark animated sign was choosing a type of bulb that best echoes the spirit of old illuminated signage. This sign was fabricated from 1,053 individual LED bulbs.
The Ashton Design team proposed this setting for a sponsorship ad by Gulf. The cropping required by the signâ€™s location at the edge of the Green Monster has become the standard application of the logo company-wideâ€”one of many examples where the designs on behalf of sponsors had an impact beyond Fenway Park.
Until the Green Monster was painted green in 1947, it was covered with painted advertising. Iconic Jimmy Fund ads that had been a part of the park throughout its history seemed the right way to re-introduce sponsorship to the wall in 2002.
Placement of illuminated sponsorship signs was adjusted to accommodate new high-definition scoreboards in 2011. The Bank of America logo here was fabricated using LED neon tubeâ€”energy efficient and environmentally friendly but with the feeling of vintage signage.
Designing everything from tabletops to menu boards, Ashton Design adapted Budweiserâ€™s brand standards for the new Budweiser Rightfield Roof.
Given the task to design a sign for the Absolut Clubhouse, Ashton Design saw the opportunity to push beyond a simple sign and conceived this entry faĂ§ade constructed of 3,000 baseballs, inspired by the sponsorâ€™s advertising campaign.
Beautifully fabricated from a core palette of materials, awnings in the concession area added a celebratory energy to the concourse while meeting a functional need.
Ashton Design established a complete set of design standards for concessions, and then applied those standards with vintage-feeling logos for each concessionaire.
Discovering this often-overlooked and neglected sign at the entrance to a parking lot near Fenway, the designers suggested restoring and modernizing it to bring out its innate beauty.
Adding championship banners and new naming signage to the home plate faรงade ensured that the views from any seat in the park are memorable.
Introducing hand-painted murals throughout the park allowed the designers to tap into the deep nostalgia fans feel for Fenway Park and the Red Sox.
Retired player numbers are just one of many historic displays that make the Ipswich Street side of Fenway a pilgrimage site for baseball fans. Year-round tours were added in 2003 as the park became a destination in itself.
This pennant celebrating the Red Sox 2007 World Series win, part of the pageantry of Opening Day 2008, was believed to be the largest banner ever produced at the time.
“The owners aspired to make an architectural statement, but also wanted a piece of Fenway in Southwest Florida. Our challenge was to create a contemporary version of what we had done at Fenway.” Ashton Design
In 2011, Ashton Design was engaged to infuse the Fenway aesthetic into a new, modern ballpark—the Red Sox’s Spring Training facility in Fort Myers, Florida. The firm had done the same for the Salem, Virginia, stadium of the team’s Minor League Salem Red Sox, which opened in 2009. JetBlue Park at Fenway South, which debuted in 2012, was conceived as a modern version of Fenway Park—replicating the original’s dimensions, and re-creating or re-using a number of iconic elements of its 100-year-old inspiration in a setting appropriate to the climate, landscape, and energy of its Southwest Florida location. The Ashton Design team continued the design criteria that they had developed for Fenway in their designs for Fenway South. Signage in areas like the near-replica Green Monster maintain the vintage, hand-made feel of the Fenway signage. Directional signage elsewhere maintained the Fenway design standards, but was fabricated using a more unified palette of materials and contemporary fabrication techniques that speak to the new stadium’s architecture.
Well-established Fenway design standards were adapted to fit the architecture of the new facility.
Continuing the tradition of the “red seat” that marks the landing point of Ted Williams’ recordbreaking home run at Fenway Park, the designers placed a seat at the same distance from Home Plate in Fenway South. At the Florida park, the red seat is actually located outside the park proper.
The sculptural dynamism of Fenway South inspired a three-dimensional approach to team-specific displays such as retired numbers and sponsorship.
The same typefaces used in Fenway adapt well to the modern look and feel of Fenway South.
The Green Monster at Fenway South includes the teamâ€™s historic manually operated scoreboard, restored after 30 years of life at Fenway.
ASHTON DESIGN ASHTON-DESIGN.COM
Ashton Design's portfolio of environmental graphics and signage completed over a decade for the Boston Red Socks at Fenway.