Very often, graphics and wayfinding elements are embedded directly into our exhibits or architectural designs. Graphics may need to display or organize complex information In a way that is accessible to all kinds of users like subway commuters reading transit maps or concerned citizens learning about the resiliency of their city. Or graphics can be playful when they add visual texture in children’s playscapes. It is becoming increasingly popular to marry static graphic displays with dynamic digital media, giving users opportunities to interact with what would otherwise be stagnant surfaces. We utilize two-dimensional graphics to sculpt and wrap multidimensional environments and guide users through visual stories.
Wayfinding is indicative of where we are and tells us something about our surroundings. Effective wayfinding might include typography, iconography, abstract images, distinct materiality or use of color. This design niche requires consistency that Is visually evident to users in clever and inconspicuous ways. Elements need to stand out enough to draw users’ eyes but blend in enough to complement their environment. Subtle design moves differentiate wayfinding from road signs. The National Park Service may want clearly marked site installations to inform park goers of their natural surroundings. Townships may request graphic markers to build their brand for tourists. Museums may want subtly to direct visitors to specific galleries. It is an artform that not many people stop to think about, and that’s precisely the point.
Developing a Graphic Standards or Wayfinding entails: