Finding the way

Part of what I am (or at least, will be) learn­ing in my Masters in Information Design at the University of Reading is ‘wayfind­ing’. Yes, signs. Surely, you might ask, that’s some­thing that town plan­ners, archi­tects, etc take care of?

Well, they can if they want, but if you want the job done prop­erly, you might think about getting an inform­a­tion or wayfind­ing designer in for that!

I saw these at the London School of Economics, and thought they were amaz­ing — the way they work with the walls and street lines and guide your eye and feet in the right direc­tion is very cool.

Nifty signage at the London School of Economics.

If I were to change it, I might add the func­tion of those build­ings to the sign, or replace the build­ing names with the func­tions. It took me a fair bit of googling to find out the Lionel Robbins build­ing was the library.

Inside the library was another matter, though. Got told off for stand­ing on the wrong side of the queue barrier, when all the signs were facing towards me… I grumbled a bit and turned the signs inward as I went, so hope­fully other people won’t have that prob­lem. Sometimes it just takes a small adjust­ment to fix your inform­a­tion flow.

Anyway, that’s just one of the things Information Design is about.

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Corinne Pritchard

Information Designer at Simply Understand
I believe design and design­ers can and should make the world a better place. I love design­ing things that help people under­stand complex ideas.

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2 thoughts on “Finding the way

  1. We used to do a bit of that in the light­ing consultancy — using light­ing to aid in wayfind­ing around city centres, often between trans­port nodes. It was inter­est­ing work, but I always felt a little uncom­fort­able with it. In hind­sight, I think I felt that we were amateurs mess­ing around with some­body else’s urban environment… 

  2. Well, you have to take the client into account as well, and user test it thor­oughly… other­wise what’s the point? One of last year’s students did an entirely light-based wayfind­ing system around campus — the mockups looked dead pretty, and useful too! 

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