I've recently been doing a bit of research into the field of Environmental Graphic Design and how it relates to good Office Design. According to Wikipedia, Environmental Graphic Design is "concerned with the visual aspects of wayfinding, communicating identity and brands, information design and shaping a sense of place."

We've often discussed how brands communicate their identity and brand,  noting how it should not be gimmicky as well as showing off awesome examples of brand logos in the workplace.

While incorporating brand into the workplace is an important facet to consider in modern office design, today we're going to focus on a new area that can drastically improve the function of your office spaces for everyone that enters.

how to involve your team in the design process


Wayfinding is an important aspect in the discipline of Environmental Graphic Design:

"Wayfinding encompasses all of the ways in which people and animals orient themselves in the physical space and navigate from place to place."

There are many ways in which wayfinding can be incorporated into office design to help regular occupants and visitors feel more comfortable, safe, and secure. 

Signs – Signs are the most traditional, overt, and ordinary method we generally think of as part of wayfinding. But signs actually convey a much wider variety of information than we might think. Consider restrooms: signs help us discover where they are, which restroom is the appropriate one to enter, and even which places within are occupied.

see how these companies add originality to their walls

Colors – Color can be also be used to assist occupants in understanding their space and can be an important part of wayfinding. Designers often incorporate colors to the different floors in a multi-level space as a subtle way to help people identify whether they are in the correct place or not.

Graphics – Graphics can be used as a hybrid between traditional signs and the less-overt colors. By using graphics on walls or glass surfaces, planners can help occupants become situated in a more immersive way than simply looking for an arrow or number.

You probably need a wayfinding makeover

The Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access notes that good wayfinding design is aimed at a wide variety of people – using colors, words, and symbols to convey meaning to increase the number of people that can understand the markings.

They also explain:

"Successful wayfinding systems increase user satisfaction and frequency of use. Additionally, reducing capability demands can widen the group of potential users by lowering the frustration and stress of users, increasing building friendliness and productivity, and reducing danger and hazard to users."

Having visited many offices in the last few years, I can vouch that many spaces do a terrible job at wayfinding. One of the biggest headaches is that moment when you get off the elevator and you don't know which way you need to turn to get to the correct office. Is it left or right?

Another wayfinding mistake is non-existent restroom signage. While some might argue that having to ask where the restroom is shouldn't be an uncomfortable thing, let's face it—it is. But this can easily be mitigated by adding a sign or two directing occupants correctly.

Let's look at some interesting examples:


Post Your Comment