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.
• 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
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