Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Signs and Wayfinding from Slate

Julia Turner has a great series of articles on signs and wayfinding in Slate. The first article describes the importance of signs in general. The second article takes us on a tour through Penn Station in New York looking at how well (or badly) the signs work in helping us get from an entrance to the Amtrak trains. It reminds me of an experience I had in the Paris Metro Ch√Ętelet - Les Halles station in 2008.

The third article is on urban wayfinding, which Turner describes as completely different from wayfinding in transport stations or other controlled environments (e.g. Penn Station). She uses the example of Transport for London's Legible London project to describe the concept. This is a really excellent article filled with lots of good information.

The photo at the right is another solution: people at the Copenhagen Airport who help guide visitors (the other signs there are pretty good too).

The fourth article describes research on the hand-made maps made by normal people. The fifth article describes the 'war over exit signs' which includes a nice summary of the idea behind pictograms and their use on signs. The sixth article is forthcoming, but I am sure it will be good.

I have always been fascinated by signs. Here is a link to my flickr set signs and here is a link to my flickr set WC Signs ... I find wc signs to be especially interesting because they give businesses and people the ability to be creative about how they use graphics. As they say, "You can tell a lot about a place by their WC signs" ... well, at least that's what I always say.

Finally, my restaurant review of the Hallwylerhof restaurant in Zurich. They have a wonderful graphics and signage design used consistently throughout the restaurant, and the food is great too.

1 comment:

Andy Nash said...

The last article in the Slate series on signs by Julia Turner consists of a professional analysis of hand-drawn maps that were submitted by readers. The maps and analysis are are really fun reading - especially if you are an amateur map maker like me.

Here's the link: