New signs improve park life on Margaret Island


8/18/2014 2:00 AM

Information boards are key elements of any city: they are needed everywhere, and so they are found everywhere. Many creative cities or districts take advantage of this omnipresent necessity and often create signage with unique style. This endearing idea is freshly achieved on Budapest's Margaret Island with a new system of signs designed by Hungarian planner Ákos Polgárdi.

Margaret Island is paradoxically one of the most-used and least-used areas of Hungary's capital. On the one hand, it is an incredibly popular parkland for both residents and tourists, with a lot of people coming here every day to run, swim, party, stroll on nice summer evenings, or to just have a few drinks. On the other hand, Margaret Island's facilities are iin dire need of renovation. This time, after refurbishing the island's fountain, running track, and the Hajós Alfréd National Swimming Pool, the info-board system was next to be renewed.

The new unified signage system was made according to the plans of Ákos Polgári, who is also responsible for the corporate identity of Budapest100, commissioned by Főkert. In collaboration with the Chief Architect Office led by Sándor Finta, the orientation points are complemented by a map.

Photo: Ákos Polgárdi

Photo: Ákos Polgárdi

120 new boards replace the signs that previously marked the whole island. The old ones were not bad, but the only thing we could say about them was "brown". As the designer told hype and hyper, the new signs were made with Hungarian-designed fonts, specifically Westeinde from Hungarumlaut made by Adam Katyi, for the entire project.

Photo: Ákos Polgárdi

Photo: Ákos Polgárdi

We like the whole thing – the images, the typography and the colors – but our favorite aspect of them is how the lettering that forms the island’s name are cut with a wave shape at the bottom, probably referring to the shape of the island and the waves of the Danube. Putting up some new signs: not too expensive. What the city gains from it: a lot. We would be glad if similar signboards would appear all over the city – Budapest could be more unique in this aspect, too.

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