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go take a hike DOCUMENTING THE JOURNEY By Katie Tonkovich


GO TAKE A HIKE

Blaze An MFA Graphic Design Thesis Project Written and Designed by Katie Tonkovich Phone / 206.890.6944 Email / katietonk@gmail.com Web / katietonk.com Graduate student of the Academy of Art University 79 New Montgomery Street / Fifth Floor San Francisco, California 94108 USA Project Website: blazechallenge.com Printing and Binding: Blurb Books Paper: Blurb Pro-line Uncoated Typefaces: Akzidenz Grotesque, FF Quixo

All rights reserved Copyright Š 2014 Katie Tonkovich No portion of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without prior written consent of Katie Tonkovich.


Katie Tonkovich

go take a hike DOCUMENTING THE JOURNEY This book chronicles the creation of Blaze, an app which allows users to support the California State Parks by completing sponsored hikes.

003


THE MOU ARE CALL AND I MU GO TAKE A HIKE


UNTAINS LING, UST GO.

Katie Tonkovich

—John Muir

005


GO TAKE A HIKE

contents 01

02

03

MOTIVATE

STUDY THE MAP

DEFINE GOALS

PAGE

PAGE

PAGE

010

036

052


007

Katie Tonkovich

04 05 06

07

PICK A PATH

LACE UP

GET MOVING

BLAZE ON

PAGE

PAGE

PAGE

PAGE

062

086

114

130


PART

01 MOTIVATE PAGES

010-035


what is happening with the california state parks?


GO TAKE A HIKE


Katie Tonkovich

011

the event that inspired this project

At the time that I was considering what topic to tackle for my thesis, the California parks were facing tough times.

Two years ago, the California Parks Department announced that it would be closing 79 of its parks come July 2012. “These parks are our cathedrals,” explained Parks Director Ruth Coleman, “They are what defines us as Californians to the rest of the world. But they are not cheap to run. And so I think Californians need to decide whether it’s worth it to them to save these parks.”1 A decade long trend of steadily decreasing funding and public support for our California State Parks system has brought us to a breaking point. Beyond the 79 closures, many other parks were facing further minimization of already bare-bones staffing and extremely limited operating hours. These closures were unprecedented in history, until the most recent decade of California’s history. Throughout the near-century which these parks have existed, never has even one of them been closed down. Even during the turmoil of the Great Depression, the people of California saw fit to keep their state parks alive and well-funded. Many community groups fought back against these closures. Many city, county and federal parks departments have stepped up in order to save 1: Ruth Coleman, Director of California’s state parks system 2: CSPRA Testimony on Hidden Costs of Park Closures

some of these endangered parks. Additionally, many grassroots volunteer groups have stepped up to provide guardianship to their local parks. Their actions are generous, however the reality is that they do not provide a long-term solution to a severe lack of consistent funding. Frantic fundraising only when closures are eminent is not a sustainable model. In addition, it is less useful for parks in small isolated areas or in low-income communities, where large local donations are more difficult to acquire. In addition as the closure process begins, entire park infrastructures will either be trucked away or left to rust. It is currently estimated that it will be impossible to re-open these parks without at least double the funding it took to run them in the first place; especially with the $1.3 billion backlog of maintenance which would be necessary to get these parks back up to today’s health and safety codes. 2 Even though most of these parks dodged closure in the short term, the threat is still looming. As a lifelong nature lover and frequent user of the state parks and beaches, I felt that this thesis was a perfect opportunity to step in and try to help the state parks that I so loved.


GO TAKE A HIKE

during early july 2012

70 OF THE 279 STATE PARKS WERE DAYS AWAY FROM SHUTTING DOWN.


Katie Tonkovich

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the financial situation

The imminent closures in July 2012 were largely due to a recent trend of plummeting funding from the state government.


Katie Tonkovich

12.5%

As of 2013, the government of California was only funding 12.5% of the parks necessary operating costs.1

CALIFORNIA GOVERNMENT SUPPORT FOR STATE PARKS

PERCENT OF PARKS OPERATING COSTS

100%

75%

50%

25%

0% 1970

1980

1: California State Parks Department, Annual Budget Overview, 2013. parks.ca.gov

1990

2000

2010

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GO TAKE A HIKE

a brief history of the California State Parks

For nearly 150 years, the parks system expanded and flourished thanks to ample government and public support.

1864

1901

The first state park in the world was conceived in California. California state is the birthplace of the first public parks system in world history. Before it was adopted into the National Parks System, Yosemite was the very first of California’s great parks. The area of Yosemite Valley was set aside “for the purpose of preservation and public enjoyment,” by California U.S. Senator John Conness. The bill passed through both the senate and the house, and was signed by Abraham Lincoln on June 30, 1864. In an effort to preserve the majestic redwood trees which were quickly being chopped down to use as building materials, Big Basin Redwoods is acquired by the State of California on May 30th, 1901. Today, Big Basin is the oldest of the State Parks (as Yosemite became nationally owned in 1906).


Katie Tonkovich

1927

1964

“Thousands of tired, nerve shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity.” —John Muir, 1906 In 1927 the State Parks Commission of California was established. Even in the midst of the Great Depression, the people of California realized the value of the natural world, and saw fit to dedicate energy and funding to the preser vation of California’s beautiful parks and beaches.

During the 1960s, there emerged an intense public interest in preserving California’s wild lands from encroaching development. In 1964, by a 1.5 million plurality vote, Californians approved a $150 million bond act in 1964, which allowed acquisition of new state park lands, including Torrey Pines State Park, pictured above.

017

1967 William Penn Mott became the Parks Commission director in 1967. Mott vowed a new era of growth, even though he was faced with gubernatorial budget cuts and hiring freezes. Mott successfully transformed the Division of B e a c h e s a n d P a r ks int o t h e Depar tment of Parks and Recreation. With the formation of the Department, a shift was made to management of more active recreational facilities that everyone could easily enjoy.


GO TAKE A HIKE

a brief history of the California State Parks

But, the second half of the 20th century spelled trouble for the parks.

1974

1990

2008

California State Parks began the 1990s with over 260 park units, 280 miles of coastline, 625 miles of lake and river frontage, nearly 18,000 campsites, 3,000 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails, and 450 miles of off-highway vehicle trails on nearly 1.3 million acres.

On January 10, 2008 Governor Schwarzenegger’s office announced that the California State Parks System would consider indefinite closures of 48 specific individual parks to help meet the challenges of the looming $14.5 billion deficit facing California for its 2008-2009 budget year. At least $1 million of more than $14 million in total proposed cuts resulting from park closures would take place during the current budget year. The deficit reducing measure would also reduce or eliminate over one hundred staff positions in addition to seasonal lifeguards at many of the state beaches.

In the late 1970’s government funding for the parks began to decline from covering over 95% of operating costs then to just 19% of operating costs in 2010. A mandate to acquire and operate state recreation areas and facilities was provided in 1974 when the people of California approved Proposition 1, a $250 million state park bond issue. By the end of the decade, the California state park system had 500 miles of lake shoreline, 87 miles of river frontage, 200 miles of coastline, 14,000 campsites, and 1,500 miles of riding and hiking trails. Historical units included missions, forts, the gold discovery site at Coloma, Hearst San Simeon, Jack London’s home, Bidwell Mansion and many other sites. In addition, an entirely new division—the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Division --was added to the Department.


Katie Tonkovich

2009

019

2011

Governor Schwarzenegger announced that, due to budget cuts, he planned to close 220 of the California State Parks, leaving just 59 parks open. However, due to massive public outcry, later that year on September 25, 2009, Governor Schwarzenegger’s office announced that all state parks would remain open during the 2009-2010 fiscal year. The government would use one-time budget reduction methods in maintenance, equipment and services. Examples of service reductions included some parks only being open on weekends and holidays, or closing accessibility to portions of an otherwise open park.

On May 11, 2011, state park officials announced that seventy parks would be closed down entirely due to department budget cuts in response to California’s continuing budget crises. Jerry Emory, the Director of Communications for the California State Parks Foundations, stated that: “For the first time in over 100 years we are going to leave a legacy of closed parks to future generations. This is nothing to be proud of.” And beyond just the closures, hundreds of parks faced further staffing cuts and severe reduction in open hours and functioning facilities.


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Katie Tonkovich

For the first time in over one hundred years we are going to leave a legacy of closed parks to future generations. This is nothing to be proud of.” —Jerry Emory

Director of Communications, California Parks Foundation

Today, most of the parks remain at least partially open. However, they are perpetually underfunded, understaffed, and under-serviced. Closures are a very real threat. In many instances, local grassroots communities have taken it upon themselves to maintain their local parks, however no long term solutions have been found.

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the situation remains dire

In 2008, the California Parks System was declared one of the ‘Eleven Most Endangered Places in the United States.’

The parks have yet to be removed from the list. The declaration, put out by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, cited deterioration, neglect, and poor public policy as the causes for the state parks. This state is due in large part to plummeting government funding and dwindling public support. Californians love their parks, but often forget that they are not a guaranteed right but rather an amazing privilege which require all of our support and care to be sustained for ourselves and generations to come. As former Parks Director Ruth Coleman explained it, "These parks are our cathedrals. They are what defines us as Californians to the rest of the world. But they are not cheap to run. And so I think Californians need to decide whether it’s worth it to them to save these parks.” Californian’s need to be reminded of just what these parks mean to us.


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the benefits of parks

The value of our parks system goes far beyond pretty views and nice hiking paths.

70+ Million annual visitors to the California State Parks

60.92

million population of Italy

18.9 million

annual visitors to Washington D.C.

16.9 million

annual visitors to San Francisco

01 tourism generator

The state parks have 70+ million visitors every year. This is how many people frequent the California State Parks each year. This is nine times more than stop by all of the state parks of Texas.1 It is slightly larger than if the entire population of Italy stopped in for a visit.


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027

2,100 Plant species found only in the California State Parks1

2.35

$

40

For every dollar we put into the state parks, $2.35 comes back to the local economy.

Wildlife species found only in the California State Parks1

02

03

environment & history

economic value

CA State Parks encompass the largest and most diverse natural and cultural heritage holding of any state agency in the nation.

The state parks make money for their local economies.

The CSPs include a treasure-trove of museums, historic sites, and cultural heritage centers, boasting 3,200 historic buildings and nearly six million museum objects. 3 They also provide many vital environmental benefits including creating migration corridors, preserving the giant Redwoods—which have trapped more carbon dioxide than any other plant species on earth, and encompassing the largest and most diverse natural and cultural heritage holding of any state agency in the entire nation.

1: Compensating for the fact that Texas has one third (93) of the state parks which California has (279), attendance is still significantly higher at CA park at a rate of three visitors to every one park visitor in Texas. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2012.)

Beyond the obvious aesthetic value, parks directly benefit our communities. For every dollar California puts into its state parks, the state gains $2.35 back in the form of sales tax. The parks also stimulate local economies, create local jobs, and significantly increase the property value of those living near them.4 Parks provide countless social and educational benefits including running programs like junior rangers and educational field trips. Parks also lead to the increased physical and mental health for local residents and visitors.5

2: California State Parks Department, Natural Resource Management Report, 2010. (www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id =22197)

4: J.K. Incorporated, “The Economic Impact of State Parks on California’s Economy: Final Report,” pg 5

3: Ibid, California State Parks Foundation, “Did you know?,” 2013.

5: Trust for Public Land. “The Economic Benefits of Seattle’s Parks & Rec System.” 2011


GO TAKE A HIKE


Katie Tonkovich

There exists nothing so American as our parks. The fundamental idea is that the country belongs to the people, that it is for the enrichment of the lives of all of us.” —Theodore Roosevelt, 1886

04

05

american values

cultural value

The parks spring from an idea as uniquely American as the Declaration of Independence and just as radical: that the most precious portions of the land should be preserved, not for the rich or the royals, but for everyone, for all time.1

From museums with massive collections dedicated to California’s history, to community building camping sites, to From junior lifeguards and ranger programs, the Ca State Parks offer countless avenues for cultural enrichment.

This is not a commonly accepted practice all over the globe. For instance, one-third or 240 miles of the California coastline remains free and open to the public because it is California State Park land .2 In the vast majority of countries in the world, you would be hard pressed to find even10% of the coastline free and open to the public.

The social and educational benefits of the State Parks system are numerous. They run many valuable programs including junior rangers, junior lifeguards, educational field trips, and social programs. Benefits also come in the form of increased physical and mental health for local residents and visitors—an asset which becomes evermore vital as our obesity rate increases. In addition, the California State Parks include a treasure-trove of museums and historic sites, through which we can experience history first-hand.

1: Paraphrased from The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. PBS Series, First Episode, 2009. 2: California State Parks, “Statistical Report Fiscal Year 2011-2012,” 2012.

029


PART

02 STUDY THE MAP PAGES

036-051


how can i attract new donations for the parks?


GO TAKE A HIKE

initial research

Before jumping into designing solutions, get the lay of the land.

In order to gather first-hand knowledge of how the California State Parks function, it was important to me to visit as many parks as possible. Before I even knew what direction my thesis would take, I began frequenting as many state parks as I could. One of my objectives was learning the natural lay of the land, and gathering a lot of photos. The second was to learn as much as I could about the communities which form around these parks by chatting with local park rangers, volunteers, and visitors. All in all I think I got to about seventy state parks over the course of three semesters working on this project, interspersed thorough the next few pages is a small sampling of the bunch. Right: China Camp Historic State Park


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GO TAKE A HIKE

finding the untapped opportunity

Supporting the parks monetarily is not exactly a simple endeavor.

Even if you want to donate or pay your visitor fee to the state parks when you go for a visit, the process is not exactly easy. At many parks, there are what’s known as ‘iron rangers’— metal boxes by the parking lots that you must insert exact change into in order to pay your parking fee. Many people avoid this hassle by simply parking in non-designated areas. Not only does this mean the park looses their monetary support, these visitors also do not get counted on park censuses and thus the parks receive less government funding. One ranger at China Camp estimated that at least half the park’s visitors go uncounted. From my observations at the parks, it seemed that no one would mind giving the park a few dollars, just the process was such a hassle that many avoided paying all together.


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finding the untapped opportunity

Current trends in park donation show that there is a lot of room for potential improvements.

When you visit the parks, do you make a donation?

42% Rarely

0%

+4216z 42

Every time

01 conclusion one:

People are generally willing to donate.

16% Never

42%

Sometimes


043

Katie Tonkovich

Assuming you do not donate, what is stopping you? I don’t know where I can donate.

What would you consider a reasonable amount to donate on a single park visit?

27%

4%

400+100= 500= 450+50= 285+215= 380+120= Wait, am I supposed to donate?

43%

I don’t have the exact change necessary

10%

I don’t see any benefit in doing so.

12%

Two Dollars

60% 0%

+1260204z 4

I would not donate

Five Dollars

Other

20%

4%

Twenty or More Dollars

20%

Ten Dollars

02

03

conclusion two:

conclusion three:

The procedures for donating to the parks are not very easy or clear.

The optimum donation amount is somewhere around five dollars.


GO TAKE A HIKE


Katie Tonkovich

045

Big Basin State Beach


GO TAKE A HIKE

finding the untapped opportunity

Hiking is a simple, accessible activity enjoyed by many.

REQUIRED HIKING GEAR: 1. LEGS 2. SHOES* *asterisk denotes optional items

01 reason one:

Anybody can do it. Hiking is an extremely accessible activity. Practically any person, anywhere can go on a hike with very little preparation or a lot of necessary gear.


047

Katie Tonkovich

MOST LIKED ACTIVITIES

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

290+210 = 320+180 = 425+75 = 500= 480+20 =

2

290+210 = 250+250 = 480+20 = 500= 480+20 =

1

385+115 = 270+230 = 405+95 = 420+80 = 500=

5

460+40 = 250+250 = 425+75 = 440+60 = 480+20 =

4

290+210 = 415+85 = 435+65 = 415+85 = 435+65 =

3

460+40 = 345+155 = 270+230 = 460+40 = 460+40 =

2

460+40 = 385+115 = 310+190 = 405+95 = 440+60 =

460+40 = 425+75 = 425+75 = 290+210 = 405+95 = 1

1

2

3

4

VIDEO GAMES SHOPPING

GOING TO A MOVIE

OBSTACLE COURSE

BICYCLING

READING A BOOK

HIKING

EATING ICECREAM

2.5 avg.

3.2 avg.

3.3 avg.

3.6 avg.

3.7 avg.

4.7 avg.

4.8 avg.

2.9 avg.

02 reason two:

Most everybody likes to hike. For this Blaze survey, one hundred and forty people were asked to rank various activities on a scale from one (don’t like) to five (like a lot).1 The results were averaged to the approximate appeal of that activity. Hiking ranked at the very top, so in focusing exclusively on hikers this project will actually be drawing from quite a large potential audience. Only slightly more loved was eating ice-cream, and really what can compete with that?

1: Random sampling of people polled via Google Surveys, October 2011

5


GO TAKE A HIKE

4,500+ finding the untapped opportunity

miles of trail in the California State Parks System1

Many people are looking for new reasons to hike.

15

miles an average American walks per month2

03 reason three:

It will never get old. There are 200 miles of trail in Mount Tamalpais State Park alone. Multiply that by 279 state parks and you have enough trails to keep even the best of hikers busy for a lifetime.


Katie Tonkovich

4%

Never

38%

Once every few months

38%

+3538158z 4

Do you wish you went on more hikes?

15%

Every few weeks

8%

At least weekly

Once a month

04 reason four:

Most people wish they hiked more often. Hiking is one of those things that many of us love, but often find ourselves doing less frequently than perhaps we would like. When 75 people were polled, the vast majority hiked a decent amount, but also wished they hiked more.1

1: California State Parks Foundation, “Did you know?,� 2013. 2: Distance acquired from study published in the October issue of Medicine & Science Magazine, 2010.

88%

Wish they hiked more

88+12z

How often do you go hiking?

049

12%

Hike a good amount

0%

Wish they hiked less


PART

03 DEFINE GOALS PAGES

052-061


so hiking is the name of the game. now what?


GO TAKE A HIKE

defining the measures of success

Set realistic targets.

overall objective:

CONNECT CALIFORNIANS TO THEIR STATE PARKS goal one:

goal two:

More people engaging with the parks

More donations coming into the parks

strategy one:

strategy two:

strategy three:

strategy four:

Give people a reason to visit

Make it a social endeavor

Find larger more consistent donations

Make it easier to donate

tangible one:

tangible two:

tangible three:

tangible four:

Challenge hikes every month

Make hiking with friends easy

Allow sponsorship of the challenges

Simplify the ability to donate


Katie Tonkovich

solution:

BUILDING AN APP THROUGH WHICH USERS CAN COMPLETE HIKING CHALLENGES.

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defining the measures of success

Create an intelligent donation structure.

When soliciting donations, you should never solicit donations. One of the worst ways you can go about fundraising is to only ask people for money. Instead creating a mutually beneficial relationship with all parties involved will prove fruitful for everyone. Blaze is a model in which all parties involved are gaining something. The parks are gaining donations from the company that sponsors the hike. The sponsors aren’t just feeling good because they are supporting the parks, they are also gaining great positive exposure to a relevant outdoorsy audience. The audience is provided with new adventures in parks they may not have explored yet. The whole cycle is building a hiking community, not simply raising money for a cause.


Katie Tonkovich

33+3334z

Parks receive funding from sponsors

055

SPONSORS

PARKS

Audience is exposed to new adventures in the parks.

Sponsors get positive exposure with a relevant audience.

AUDIENCE


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elements of the project

Build a cast of deliverables which will help support the app.

01

Challenge Application offering to audience: They can learn about and complete the challenges, thus partaking in an enjoyable activity with friends, and feeling good about helping the parks. offering to sponsors: Positive exposure for their companies, access to new audiences, a simple way to support the local economy. end game: Get more visitors into the parks, make money for parks via larger company sponsors and individual donors.


Katie Tonkovich

02

03

Website

Environmental Signage

offering to audience: Learn more about the challenge, connect to social media, download the app. offering to sponsors: Learn more about becoming a sponsor, and submit the forms to become one.

offering to audience: To be used in with the app to simplify in-park navigation. Will allowing people to interact with the park environment via the app.

end game: Get people to download the app and commit to a challenge

offering to sponsors: To get there name out in the park, get new audience exposure. end game: Assist app users in completing the in-park challenges

04

05

Printed Collateral & Giveaways

Process Book

offering to audience: Cool swag for participating in challenges. Ways to learn about the app in stores.

offering to others: Make is easy to see the project process and potentially replicate if for a similar use.

offering to sponsors: Posters and postcards for promotional use in stores.

end game: Make project extensible. Make design process clear.

end game: Advertise the challenge in environment with a lot of potential hikers.

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defining an audience

Find my people.

the surfer gal

the social chair

2

10

8

7

36

58

CHALLENGES

MILES HIKED

COMRADES

CHALLENGES

MILES HIKED

COMRADES

Lena lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband and their golden retriever. She works in the advertising department of a large athletic company. She loves to frequent the Los Angeles beaches for surfing, swimming or some beach volleyball. Her favorite state park is Huntington Beach, where the surf is always solid. She likes to hike, but doesn’t get out to on the trails with her retriever as often as she would like.

This Is Richard. Richard is originally from Seattle, but now resides in the city of San Francisco. He works as a project manager at Google, and is 27 years old. Richard enjoys frequent mellow weekend hikes with his co-workers and girlfriend. Ryan prides himself on discovering new things and spreading the word to his friends. He is always inviting everyone to check out the latest cool band, restaurant, or activity in the area.


Katie Tonkovich

the tech chick

the lone wolf

4

23

31

12

89

3

CHALLENGES

MILES HIKED

COMRADES

CHALLENGES

MILES HIKED

COMRADES

Marissa is a Bay Area native who now lives in San Francisco. Marissa works as a programmer for a small start-up, so during the week she is constantly attached to her computer or phone. While she considers herself a city girl, Marissa likes to escape her weekday routine and get out into nature occasionally on the weekends. He tries to be socially conscious with purchases and likes to peruse the farmer’s markets in his free time.

Daniel’s job in the service industry makes for a variable schedule, so he often finds himself looking for something athletic to do on a weekday afternoon. If the weather is nice, he enjoys exploring the city solo on his bike or trail-running in the parks around the city. Daniel’s latest challenge has been trailing for a marathon, he is always looking for new trails to conquer.

059


PART

04 PICK A PATH PAGES

062-086


alright, we’ve got the lay of the land, now lets build something.


GO TAKE A HIKE

design investigations

Seeing what is out there.


GO TAKE A HIKE

logo and badge development

Visual research for logo and challenge badges.

When designing the logo there were a couple of things which I kept in mind. The logo had to be fairly sturdy, scalable and simple. Sturdy so it could hang with the current imagery which the state parks use (their icon sets and signage) and not get lost or look out of place. Scalable because it would be existing in nature as well as on an application screen, printed collateral and the web. Simple because hiking in nature is a decidedly unfussy activity. I looked at a lot of outdoor company and destination logos, as well as the national and state parks iconography. The challenge badges I designed to complement the logo, while also bringing some complexity and more organic elements into play. Creating badge sets is a fairly beloved project in the design world—and I wanted to branch out from what had been done and avoid the ribbony banner / stamp-like circle genre. I eventually pulled graphic inspiration from the symbols used in topographic trail maps.


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Katie Tonkovich

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hiking observation & documentation

Take a whole lot of hikes.

Once I had narrowed down my focus to hiking, I went about visiting the California State Parks again. Only this time, instead of just gathering random photos and trying to get the lay of the land, it was with the purpose of understanding the hiking culture as well as the trails and wayfinding systems of the different parks.


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building the app

Structuring, user testing, restructuring, repeat.

One of the most important things I learned in the creation of this application is the most productive workflow is one in which you user test early and often. Many aspects of the app which I thought were obvious because I was so deep in the project myself were actually quite confusing to the unversed user. Generally speaking, user testing lead to a lot of simplification and the removal of functionality and design elements that while perhaps interesting was not central to the app’s purpose. On the flip side, some functions of the app I had made too redundant, because I was worried the user would not catch on. Becoming well versed in Apple’s ios7 developer guidelines was an important step in the learning curve. Finding a balance between adhering to those universally accepted standards thus making the app easier to understand, and injecting some visual interest of my own into the app to keep the user engaged was always the push and pull of the design.


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app development

Get outside and test the beta app in the park.

After ironing out the major bumps in app navigation and design, I took the app to the park to test it in action on the trails. From these interactions I made a couple of important observations. The first was that, with spotty reception, continuous navigation was not always a possibility. The second was that, people were looking at their phones a lot. I did not want people looking at their phones, I wanted them enjoying the hike. Hence, I paired down the design significantly. I eliminated almost all photos in the app, because they were only a distraction from the live outdoors scene. Second, I made the hiking directions a series of steps so that the user would only have to glance at their phone occasionally. Third, if they wanted to leave their phone in their pocket entirely, I would have small unintrusive signage at every turn of the path. Thus maximizing hike enjoyment and minimizing screen time.


PART

05 LACE UP PAGES

086-113


this is what blaze looks like.


GO TAKE A HIKE

typography system

Berthold Akzidenz Grotesque / Light AaBbCcDdEeFfGgHhIiJjKkLlMm NnOoPpQqRrSsTtUuVvWwX xYyZz 0123456789

Berthold Akzidenz Grotesque / Meduim Condensed AaBbCcDdEeFfGgHhIiJjKkLlMm NnOoPpQqRrSsTtUuVv W wX xYyZz 0123456789

color palette Primary: Blue Dusk RGB: 90 / 105 / 115

CMYK: 67 / 150 / 45 / 16

Primary: Bright Blue RGB: 65 / 155 / 155

CMYK: 70 / 25 / 40 / 0

Secondary: Light Sky CMYK: 50 / 15 / 25 / 0

Quixo Pro / Extrabold Italic

RGB: 135 / 180 / 180

Aa B b C cD d E eF f G gH h Ii JjK k Ll Mm N nO oP p Q qR rS sT tUuVvWwXxYyZ z 0123 4 5678 9

Secondary: Soft Red RGB: 170 / 70 / 85

CMYK: 25 / 85 / 60 / 10

Secondary: Dirty White

logo meaning The blaze logo draws inspiration from classic trail signs, which use simple, easily recognizable icons that can be viewed from afar. In addition, the mark leverages the symbolism of flags, both a means in wayfinding and as a symbol of exploring and discovering new lands. The flag is angled so to appear planted by someone, referring to idea of achieving victory by planting a flag in the earth.

RGB: 235 / 225 / 225

CMYK: 7 / 10 / 8 / 0


Katie Tonkovich

8x

2x

x 2x

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final designs

Blaze application The challenge badges are the calling card for each individual hiking challenge. The badge number represents the month of the year in which that challenge takes place. The badges depict a species of wildlife which lives along or nearby that specific trail. Their aesthetic draws stylistically from traditional trail maps, which use a combination of solid and dotted lines to indicate trails and small triangles to indicate directionality or safe camping grounds.


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FACEB REDIR

APPLE MAPS


BOOK RECT

TWITTER REDIRECT

REDIRECT TO BLAZE WEBSITE

REDIRECT TO


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final designs

Website


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final designs

Challenge Badges The challenge badges are the calling card for each individual hiking challenge. The badge number represents the month of the year in which that challenge takes place. The badges depict a species of wildlife which lives along or nearby that specific trail. Their aesthetic draws stylistically from traditional trail maps, which use a combination of solid and dotted lines to indicate trails and small triangles to indicate directionality or safe camping grounds.


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final designs

Promotional posters


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developing challenge badges

Postcards for use in sponsoring retail stores.


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in-store promotion

When a company decides to sponsor a challenge, Blaze provides them with all the necessary in-store promotions.


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final designs

Bandanas and buttons When hikers attend the kick-off hike that happens on the first Saturday of the month, Blaze provides them with a little bit of swag for their efforts. Every challenge has a unique set of four buttons which you earn by completing the challenge, as well as a ‘blaze on’ sweatband to keep you cool and looking cool while you hike.


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final designs

Way-finding system The signage for this project is modest, but that is to a point. I did not want to clutter up the natural world any more than necessary, so the Blaze signs piggyback off already existing trail signs to direct app users. In addition, the metal signs are reusable, so at the end of the month they can be collected and used again for the next hiking challenge. The sponsor name is affixed to the sign on a sticker, so that it too can be switched out. High level text is visible up to twenty feet away, and the smaller copy is readable for those who approach the sign to learn more.

D I A S

Mount Tamalpais State Park

R I D G E

COASTAL VIEW TRAIL DEER PARK FIRE ROAD DIPSEA TRAIL PANTOLL RANGER STATION

2.4 MI 3.5 MI 3.7 MI

TO MIWOK TRAIL

SHARED USE TRAIL

RIDGECREST TRAIL 3.5 MI TRIPEAK RANGER STATION 0.4 MI

Want to join the fun? Download blaze from the App store and see what we are up to.

start here. Shoddy reception? Don’t worry, we have signs along the way to keep you headed in the right direction. Hike on, comrade. Want to join the fun? Download Blaze from the App store and see what we are up to.

SP ONSOR ED BY:

blaze on.

Want to join the fun? Download blaze from the App store and see what we are up to.

2.3 miles to victory!


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PART

06 GET MOVING PAGES

114-129


now get off your ass and make it real.


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rallying some comrades

The first official Blaze Challenge kick-off hike occurred on the first Saturday of April. Blaze used challenge postcards, the Blaze website, and a facebook invite to recruit some comrades for the very first hike. Per Blaze tradition, it was the first Saturday of the month. Challenge participants met up at the Pelican Inn and geared up with plenty of bandannas and buttons before heading out to the trails.


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the challenge begins

The hike started at high noon, and the weather could not have been better.


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the challenge

Using the Blaze app and wayfinding signs, the participants made their way through the entire 7.2 mile hike.


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the challenge

The Whitetail Ridge Challenge proved to be a smashing success.


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PART

07 BLAZE ON PAGES

130-133


this is not the end.


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Katie Tonkovich

future plans

Blaze is not a real thing...yet. This book has chronicled the creation of Blaze, an application and supporting collateral which allow users to support the California State Parks by completing sponsored hikes. My hope is that in documenting this projects development from a fuzzy idea to a fully realized design system, I can eventually receive the support to make Blaze a real thing. Additionally, there is no reason for Blaze to be limited to just hiking in the California State Parks. The Blaze model could be used not just for other outdoors activities such as biking or trail-running, but also in different parks systems across the country or even the world. While this book represents the culmination of my student design project, it is my hope that it does not represent the end of Blaze. Thank you for reading.

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thanks to My family, friends and teachers. There is more on the internet:

blazechallenge.com

Go Take a Hike  

Katie Tonkovich, MFA Thesis Project

Go Take a Hike  

Katie Tonkovich, MFA Thesis Project

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