Re-branding I-5 rest stops


Escape is a re-branding proposal for Caltrans I-5 rest stop to reflect its location and provide important travel-related information. Interstate 5 is a 1,381-mile route running north to south from Canada to Mexico. Re-branding includes developing materials for way-finding, signage and information systems to support the identity system.

Escape was created during my master's degree in Art Center College of Design.


Branding strategy  |  Identity design  |  Package design  
Independent project
Art Center College of Design
2017 Bronze Winner I IDEA(International Design Excellence Awards) 
2017 Adobe Design Acheivement Awards




A new identity was developed to give the rest stop a more pleasant look and feel. Collaterals were developed to support the identity system and give travelers the information about the city prison. 

I branded the California rest stops as the “escape”. Escape means escaping from everyday life, and escaping from your car while driving on the highway. The logo is symbolic of the highway intersection. 


The present and future image of Avenal


Each student chose a city that would be the flagship rest stop on I-5.  The rest stop design would be inspired by the chosen city and should be carried through the rest of the rest stops on I-5. The flagship, Escape, is designed in in the city of Avenal, Kings County, California. Avenal has a bad reputation for the Avenal State Prison and I wanted to give the visitors a positive impression and elevate the image of the city. I was inspired by the minimal and simplistic images of the prison rooms which are filled with light and serenity.


The industrial materials such as concrete and black metal would be used for the rest stops, which are not only economic but also easy for maintenance especially for public rest stops. This re-interpretation of prison is carried through into the rest stop design and the color palette for the support materials and literature was decided based on the mood of the space. 


City map and visiting loved one in prison


Two brochures are designed specific to Avenal city. They have practical information for people who visit Avenal rest stop, such as city guide map and how to visit your loved one in Avenal State Prison. The brochure deals with the concept of confinement. For example, when visitors first see the brochure, the name of city, 'Avenal', is shown in a small window frame in a dark color cover.  When the brochure is unfolded, it shows the bright inside with the city map. It represents the changing image of the Avenal city from dark and unpleasant to welcoming and inviting.


Poster : On the road with your pets

A poster is created for highway travelers who visit Escape. More and more people are traveling with their pets on the highways because of the strict flight rules for pets and the high expense of pet care service. The poster contains detail information on how to travel with pets. Bright color brings fun and pleasant feeling for the travelers and it would easily attract visitor's attention in the minimal concrete walls of Escape rest stops.


Vending machine items

Wet tissue, motion sickness pill, water bottle and lottery ticket were created for the vending machine in Escape rest stops. Each packaging represents the look and feel of the products. They focus on the idea of "Escape" and each packaging tells a different story of escaping.

Wet tissue : Wet tissue packaging has foot prints of a person escaping on the outside cover. When the user flips open the cover, he or she will see the escapee erasing his footprints with a mop and a bucket.

Motion sickness pill : On the back of the packaging, there is a prisoner's escape story. When the user pops out each pill, it exits through the packaging and it looks like the prisoner is trying to avoid it on the way to an island.

Water bottle : Water bottles has a safety seal on the side and it has a prisoner in chains trying to run away. When the user twists and opens the cap, the seal breaks and the prisoner would be freed from the chains.

Lottery ticket : The prisoner is running away from a car chase. If you win the lottery, you will see an island that the prisoner can be freed to. If you lose, you will see the prisoner is in chains and back to prison.


Restroom signage

Restroom sign was designed to deliver the same brand message.  Footprint was used for the ladies’s & gentlemen’s restrooms and baby changing rooms to illustrate the concept of someone escaping.


A little thing that makes us smile.

Escape is building a conceptual experience for California rest stops. I thought about a space where travelers can experience a consistent Escape brand throughout architecture, interior and materials. It's a place where travelers can have fun and have a pleasant experience with items from the vending machine after their long and tiring journeys.

When users come into the rest stop, they will first encounter the coherent brand language. Then, when they see each element, they will find the hidden story of "escaping", especially with the packaging of the vending machine items. The story completes when the travelers finally use the items; when they open the water bottle cap, flip open the wet tissue cover, unfold the brochure, scratch the lottery ticket, or pop out the pills...the users are engaged in 'the story of escape'. It's a little fun experience that makes the travelers smile during their long drive on the highway.