The Wayfinding Handbook -- Where am I? What can I do here? Where can I go from here? How do I get out of here?
Consciously or not, we ask such questions every day as we navigate the places and spaces of our lives. Whether we find ourselves in a museum, hospital, airport, mall, or street in an unfamiliar city, we depend on systems of visual, audible, and tactile cues not only to lead the way, but also to keep us safe. They are the fundamental questions of wayfinding—a process that encompasses both the experience of choosing a path within a built environment and the set of design elements that aid in such a decision. A decade ago, the professional practice of wayfinding design simply involved devising sign systems. Today, the field is much broader and continues to expand to address technological developments—kinetic media, GPS systems, web connectivity, smart materials—as well as cultural changes in areas such as branding and environmental awareness. Similarly, a cross-disciplinary familiarity with graphic, architectural, landscape, interior, industrial, and information design has become an essential requirement of twenty-first-century wayfinding design.
The Wayfinding Handbook is an exciting new volume in our acclaimed Design Briefs series. Professional wayfinding designer David Gibson draws on more than thirty years of experience collaborating with architects, planners, developers, managers, and civic leaders to offer an insider's view of this rapidly evolving discipline. Using real-life examples, Gibson illustrates the way type, color, mapmaking, dimensional forms, material selection, and new media are used to create effective wayfinding systems.
The Wayfinding Handbook is a complete guide to the discipline, from planning and design to practical considerations, such as setting up teams and managing projects. "Other Voices" sidebars, presented throughout the book, reveal the opinions of experts who plan, manage, and shape wayfinding projects. A comprehensive bibliography and gallery of resources round out what is likely to become the go-to resource for students, professionals, or anyone charged with designing people-friendly, universally accessible environments.
As cofounder and managing principal of the graphic design firm Two Twelve Associates, David Gibson has developed environmental graphic design systems for Downtown Baltimore, the City of Chicago Streetscape, Children's Hospital Boston, Massachusetts General Hospital, Radio City Music Hall, the General Motors Technical Center in Detroit, and numerous other places and organizations.