Tag Archives: Wayfinding

Wayfinding in Moscow’s Gorky Park

Gorky Park Moscow

The park recently accumulated more grounds to include the Muzeon Park of Arts, Neskuchny Garden and the green hills of Vorobyovy Gory. However many visitors weren’t exploring beyond the original confines of the Gorky Park grounds, so Russian design firm Art Lebedev Studio was brought in to help visitors expand their horizons and discover what else Gorky Park has to offer.

Gorky Park wayfinding

The signage serves a more practical function during the day. By night, however, the signs transform into art objects thanks to backlighting, which showcases eye-catching graphics, animations, moving image works and even film clips, making for a surprising twist that demonstrates how form and function can coexist in harmony.

Getting lost in the V&A

As one of the most famous museum’s in the world, the V&A attracts around four million visitors every year. Of those four million, some are first time visitors and some have become regulars, and some are happy just to explore the museum’s permanent collection, while others have come with a specific object or exhibition in mind.

Navigating the South Kensington museum’s three interconnected buildings, seven floors, 60,000 objects, five temporary exhibition spaces, four shops and three cafés is no mean feat even for the hardiest of gallery goers, meaning that its wayfinding system is an integral part of the overall visitor experience.

“Our brief was to facilitate an outstanding visitor experience, enabling people, whatever their interests, to explore the museum with confidence and curiosity. It was not just about getting people from A to B, but encouraging visitors to go beyond the ground floor, and discover lesser-known parts of the building and the rest of the museum’s collection,” says dn&co Creative Director Patrick Eley.

“Getting lost in museums is part of the fun – so much so, the shop even sells a keyring stamped triumphantly with the tag ‘Lost in the V&A’. But when you can’t find your way out, or more importantly to the toilet, it becomes frustrating and disorientating,” Eley adds.Black and white remain the core colour palette, while any extra colours have been stripped out except to highlight the museum’s paid exhibitions. “Acting as a beacon, these colours draw visitors through the busy ground floor getting them to their destinations faster, protecting one of the museum’s core revenue streams that help keep the permanent galleries free to enter,” says Eley.

One of the other key changes is a new map, which has been redrawn to work across digital platforms and environments as well as in print. Walls are now drawn as solid barriers, galleries are named as well as numbered, awkward cross-referencing has been removed and type sizes have been increased, all while making the map larger, more relevant and more compact to carry around.“Since the building is so vast, we took a city wayfinding approach,” says Eley. “People always need more help when a destination is out of sight, so similar to finger posts in an urban environment we introduced signs at the thresholds between spaces to reassure visitors they were still on the right route. They’re a bit like the breadcrumb trail in Hansel and Gretel, or the Theseus’ string in the Minotaur’s maze.”

Kunstgewerbemuseum, Berlin

As I’m in the middle of doing an ISTD brief rebranding the Design Museum I was supper excited to see the singage and wayfinding by Double Standards.

Berlin 3 berlin muesum berline 2 berline 4

Designed in 1996 by Rolf Gutbrod, Berlin’s Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Decorative Arts) is the oldest of its kind in Germany, housing industrial design and textiles as well as furniture, fashion and arts and crafts. The building was recently refurbished by architectural studio Kuehn Malvezzi and reopened in November with a simplified white foyer.

New Subway map for NYC


Transport mapping expert Max Roberts recently unveiled a radical new take on the New York subway map. Based on concentric circles and spokes, it’s the ninth ‘Circle’ design he has proposed for an underground transport system.

As anyone familiar with the NYC subway will know, Roberts’ new approach is very different from the MTA’s official map. (old map below)Image


Roberts talked about his new design “I’ve mapped the New York subway before, so I’ve got a good familiarity with the trouble-spots. Lower Manhattan is the obvious problem, with all those lines and long-name stations in close proximity. I hate station names interrupting lines, it defeats all the clarity of the map. The arrow for World Trade Centre station hurt a little bit, but the payback was a lovely straight 1-Line all the way from South Ferry to Central Park.”

Chelsea Children’s Hospital


Design studio Thomas.Matthews has designed the look at feel of seven new wards in Chelsea Children Hopital.

Thats just say if this would have made my 9 months in hospital much more interest that looking at 4 blink walls day and night.

They created a concept of My Universe born from reseach into patients experience in each ward. with the help of illustrators Gilles Jourdan, Cecillie Barstad & Malika Faver they concept was brought to life.

At the heart of the creative idea is that each ward is the home to a particular family of illustrated characters who have unique character traits, behaviours and expressions that compliment the role of the ward itself. So the Mars family live in the Burns ward and are, Favre tells us, “super adventurous and want to fly no matter what and end up with bumps and scratches all the time but nothing would stop them from trying.”

“Our wish was to make the hospital a more welcoming, friendly and colourful space,” say Gilles & Cecilie of the project. “The illustrated characters within the wards are designed to interact with the visitors of the hospital to give them comfort, assurance and advice. We hope the designs will be a tool to help the patients feel better and more relaxed.”


Thinking inside the box

Following on from a recent post about Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) new wayfinding plans, I was given a link to Focus EDG.  Roark Gourley was enticed to make a difference in the lives of children.  He created a fantastic jungle, breathing life into the situation.  The approach was to design a child’s toy box with a jungle inside.  The graphics were put into action of the floor, room signage and wayfinding. 

New wayfinding system in Great Ormond Street Hospital

Landor Associates have created two distinct wayfinding systems for Great Ormond Street Children’s’ Hospital (GOSH).

The first, which is already up and being used, sees each of the hospitals 6 buildings taking on a colour identity.  This is to make navigation between the buildings easier.  The second, which is not completed, is based on the natural world.  It hosted different animal characters which will help visitors find their way around, as well as put the children at ease. 

Carl Halksworth, design director at Landor on the project explains, “Great Ormond Street Hospital came to us with a brief in 2008 based upon the organic mess that the wonderful hospital is architecturally, and knowing that there was a huge redevelopment scheme – old buildings being knocked down and new ones built. The wayfinding problem that existed was that people knew they were in the hospital but not which particular part. How to get from A to B was also a problem.”

“As you travel through from building to building, there was no signage to tell you where you are,” adds Landor’s associate creative director, Ben Marshall. “On our first visit I found it easy to reference the Lego model of the hospital I’d seen in the reception area, thinking, ‘are we in the orange bit now’ or ‘are we in the purple bit?’ It was kind of obvious what we should do.”

Instead of just colour coding the hospital’s buildings Landor’s design team wanted to develop a more rigorous wayfinding system.  “For me, it required a multi-storey car park level of simplicity of navigation,” says Halksworth,” but we couldn’t stop there because when you understand the nature of the organisation, you don’t want to just apply some big numbers and say that’s what it’s all about. We wanted to take the opportunity to really get into the culture of the hospital.”

The team came up with a more complex wayfinding system that has two purposes, to direct and also distract.  “We wanted to use whatever method we could to make sure that it’s as clear and simple to find your way around as possible for the parents, partners, visiting GPs – a huge audience of people,” explains Halksworth. “Now it feels relatively common place, but for me it was an eye-opener when we started to talk to the team at GOSH about the way distraction / distraction therapy – is a key part of the therapeutic environment. The thinking is, if you’re going to give someone a big injection in their bottom, give them something to look at, get them to count the number of bees on the wall – it will make the situation better. So we wanted to look at how we could bring that distraction into our scheme and to make it more of an inviting and welcoming environment.”

The theme came about given the fact that many of the wards were already related to animals and they were named after them. The basic idea is that each floor of the building takes on a natural world theme, with the lower ground floor being under the sea, the top floor being the sky and the remainder positioned within the middle section adapted a range of habitats’. 

I love this use of wayfinding, it creates a very colourful child friendly place which relaxes the children and makes the job of the parents and staff easier.  The only negative that I could see would be that it might take a long time to travel from one section to another because the child would want to spend time exploring the zone they were currently in. In my opinion the illustrations are beautiful and extremely effective.  I wish the team the best of luck and I hope their ideas are put into practical use and you never know this idea may appear at a local hospital near you.  At least that is what I hope.