Internship Series: Avon Rebranding & Wayfinding System ~ Schematic Design
I am officially entering the world of environmental design. My real test will be if I can grasp the principles of environmental design as I work with the designers at RLR on Avon’s new wayfinding system.
Rod provided me with a lesson breaking down what all goes into environmental design. For a place, like Avon, branding is the top branch. RLR has established that Avon is a place to live and play, emphasizing cultural events, recreation, residents, and beautiful parks. Our goal for Avon is to ensure that this message is known statewide, where the wayfinding system embodies that visualization.
The “live and play” phrase is something we as designers can pull from when trying to make all of Avon look cohesive. We plan to split Avon into four sections, which references our final logo for the town. These sections must have assets or destinations that allow wayfinding to function. The Farmer’s Market, Town Hall, parks, and schools are great destinations to highlight in our “live and play” theme.
Under the large umbrella of branding, wayfinding and gateways are two tracks that can either be separate entities or work cohesively within a place. Gateways are usually large structures that express an official entrance into a place, or they can work as piece for the epicenter of a place. Wayfinding includes promenades (sectors of a place that follow a theme) and signs. Sign types can include a gateway, such as an arch, but this can also be a separate entity. Other sign types consist of destination signs, directional signs, and welcome signs.
The look of the sign is determined by four elements: size, shape, method of attachment, and message. The size of the sign should fit it’s anticipated environment. Seeing that most of Avon is populated with retail stores and huge retail signs, the size of our signs will have to be large. Also, the signs will have to be big enough for drivers to read quickly. Shape can usually express the branding of the place. I am learning more about the method of attachment as I see the engineering side of design. The structure has to be stable enough to withstand certain winds or a car accident. The message will be different depending on what type of sign, but it should be clear enough for people to read.
Rod also introduced me to considering some ordinances when creating a sign. We have to keep in mind the the guidelines of the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA). This can influence the method of attachment, the colors we apply to the signs, the typography on the signs (line spacing, character spacing), and where we plan to place the signs. I learned about the right-of-way, which is the dividing line that separates one piece of land over another.
More to come on the designs that stem from my new understanding of environmental design!