Like any other built element, a sign should

complement the natural and cultural context.

The signs themselves must follow the Forest

Service Sign and Poster Guidelines for the Forest

Service, Engineering Management (EM) Series

publication (EM-7100-15). Within the standards

of the publication, the sign and its supporting

base should adhere to its province’s guidelines for

massing, scale, material, color, and sustainability.


For example, a base of large natural timbers and

massive boulders might be used to support an

entry sign situated within the massive trees of

the North Pacific province.

Conversely, more delicate, dimensional (machined)

materials, such as four-by-four wood posts and

board-formed concrete might be used as the base

for an entry sign within the more slender

vegetation of the Southeast Coastal province.

The Forest Service shield is a powerful and widely

recognized symbol of the agency and its values.

To help establish identity, place the shield as an

emblem and icon in key locations. Guidance for

use of the shield can be found in FSM 7160.34

and in EM-7100-15.2.6.


In addition:

• Highlight the Forest Service image through

signs and inviting building entries.

• Incorporate the main entry sign or monument

marker so that it makes a statement about

the character of the place.

• In locations with distinctive natural features,

integrate sign elements into the setting by

using complementary materials, such as local

stone or timbers.

• Locate signs to support, and not obstruct, the

interpretation of the natural resource.

• In unique areas, consider using site-specific,

handcrafted details to create a high-quality


• Place highway signs to direct visitors to Forest

Service facilities.


Figures of Signs with Positive Characteristics

Wide and appropriate use of the Forest Service shield helps establish the agency’s presence and identity.

The low-angled mounting of this interpretive sign does not block the view and reduces sun glare.

Simple sign using ‘in situ’ material is in character on this primitive trail

High-quality crafted details create a high-quality image




Chapter 4 Table of Contents

Reader’s Guide