Different stages of Design:
- Understanding the organisation and the signage environment
- Identifying a facility
- Locating the place for signage
- Designing the elements of the signage system
- Design Process for developing a Directional Signage System
- What is the brief from the Client?
- Is it a new design or a redesign?
The Design Process design process for directional signage systems involves 6 stages as below:
• Stage One: Understanding the organisation and the signage environment:
- What is the name/title of the organisation/environment?
- What are the major activities of the organisation/environment? (useful for creating visual expressions connected with the organisation)
- What is the unique identity specific to the organisation/environment?
. Is there a well conceived visual identity program?
. look at the background, history, context, etc. of the organisation
. look at the vision, goals, future directions of the organisation
. talk to your client and consolidate their viewpoints.
- What is the need for the signage? How will the signage make a difference?
• Stage Two: Identifying a facility:
- What are the facilities specific to the organisation/environment for which the directional signage is required? (including staircase, lift, toilet, help, dustbin, etc.)
- Identify the different types of signage that you might require:
. Informational? statuary? directional?
. Floor mounted? grouted? free standing? hanging?
. Indoors? outdoors?
. Back lit? front lit? not lit?
- Debate over these issues for imparting identity to a facility:
. whether to use graphical pictograms/visuals only?
. whether to use graphical pictograms in addition to text?
. whether to use text only?
. whether to use graphical pictograms/visuals/expressions around the facility
when one reaches the facility?
. whether to use numbers/alphabets to identify a facility?
. (multilingual considerations, visibility, remembrance, etc.) . . . .
- If you have chosen pictograms/graphic symbols, whether they should reflect the function of the facility or be arbitrary (like selecting different animals/seasons/plants to depict the facility):
- Semantic factors? should the signage have an unique identity? should it express the identity of the organisation? or should it have a unique theme?
. expressions, meaning, content, feeling, etc.
. macro view, micro view, etc
- Functional factors? How should the signage be? Should it convey additional information?
. educational, entertainment, emotional, promotional
. humorous, serious, expressive, etc
. to Identify, to differentiate, to focus, etc.
. to inform, to direct, to warn, etc.
- Influencing factors? Can you make use of shape, form, colour, number, size, texture derived from contextual themes for this?
. cultural factors, local idioms and conventions
. aesthetics, trends, etc.
- Usability factors? Do you need to conduct experiments to verify these factors?
. visibility, readability, recognisability, etc.
. human factors, etc.
. human product interactions
- Technology and economic factors? The cost factor can influence the selection of material and the determine the method of fabrication
. materials and processes
. method of manufacture - batch, mass, hand fabrication?
• Stage Three: Locating the place for signage:
- If the facility already exists, do a walk through the outlet
. identify the location for the main signage - usually at the entrance of the lobby or visible from the main approach road
. identify the places/corners/forks where one needs additional information to move ahead
- How would the users navigate through the different spaces in the organisation/environment?
. Note the places where there is need for display of information, the types of information, etc.
. If it is redesign, by observing, studying and documenting (using photography, sketches, video-taping)
. the users navigate through different spaces
. the different interactions the users have with the environment and how they use the facilities
. interact with the users to talk to them, narrate their experiences and getting their feedback
- Use the map of the site or floor plans of the environment and mark the positions where different types of signage’s are required.
• Stage Four: Designing the elements of the signage system:
- Classify/group these facilities into information chunks that make more sense.
. functional? floor wise? direction-wise?
. colour coded?
- Sequence/order them for easier information retrieval:
. alphabetical?, numbered?
- The elements of the signage:
. Use of expressions, colours (foreground and background), shapes, textures for designing the elements of the directional signage system
- How would you represent the 'The Directional Sign'?
. arrow? pointing finger? layout?
- How would you represent the 'the name of the facilities' in text?
. typeface, style, etc.
- How would you represent the 'the name of the facilities' in visuals:
. symbols, icons, pictograms, etc.