The Kinlochen marked the start of a 10-year, $60 million expansion at northern Michigan’s Crystal Mountain golf and ski resort. The three-story, 29,000-square-foot lodge houses Crystal’s Pro Shop, Nordic Center, and The Thistle Pub & Grille, a 100-seat restaurant. Signage for the facility had to reflect the high-end nature of its clientele as well as the ancestry of Crystal’s Scottish owners, the MacInneses. Besides the public amenities, Kinlochen is also home to 12 condominiums and the people who live there, so the signage had to differentiate between the two audiences. Corbin Design’s elegant yet affordable system uses painted aluminum and acrylic sign faces with vinyl graphics.
The new Water’s Edge development at Crystal Mountain Resort includes 22 single-family dwellings that recall the character of early 1900s northern Michigan cottages, and a water park with a 4,200-square-foot pool, a water playground, sun decks, a sand play area, and a climbing wall. Corbin Design was tapped to develop exterior signage for both the cottages and the water park, and interior signage for the pool building’s concession stand, activities desk, restrooms, showers, lockers, and lounge. The wayfinding system and cottage identities are designed to convey the feel of traditional, rustic northern Michigan cottages and boathouses while being simple, basic, and elegant. The use of natural elements including wood and stone, and the hand-hewn appearance of the signs, help to recreate the atmosphere of a cottage community that has expanded over generations.