Internship Series: Avon Branding & Wayfinding System ~ Design Development
Me and RLR designer Andre are moving forward with designing the wayfinding system for Avon. Together we conceptualized some signage designs. Andre helped me with implementing some of my signage shape ideas into a formal presentation. Once you have an idea for a design, it’s important to show the family of signs together; creating a gateway piece, a welcome sign, a two- or four- directional sign, a destination sign, and a promenade set all make up the sign family. We presented six designs to the rest of the group to choose a top three. We gathered some great advice, since neither of us had designed signs before. Color schemes, other attachment ideas, and pulling back some design elements were some of the feedback we gathered.
We are also in the process of creating a design intent document for the wayfinding signage. This document is presented to the client to show the design of the signs, their construction, their locations, and their messages. Once the design intent is signed off by the client, it is sent to the fabricator to be constructed. In this way, the design intent is written for someone with possibly no experience with architecture terms, and for someone with high experience in construction and materials. There is a balance to consider. The document must be as explanatory as possible for the client and the fabricator to understand. From looking at example design intents, RLR applies plenty of graphics of the products. Measurements and scale are also crucial. Also, RLR adds a glossary explaining architecture specific terms for further clarity.
The design intent document comes in four parts: the design drawing, the location plan, the message schedule, and the specifications. Graphics illustrating the product in consideration is a part of the design drawing. For Avon, we would present the look of the sign family, the type in use, the view of the signs in different dimensions, and the terminology of symbols.
The location plan is what I am currently working on now. From looking at a map of Avon, we have to determine the key destinations that we will sign to, keeping in mind the branding of Avon. The use of location tags help with placing a specific sign type with a certain message on our map. What I had trouble with at first was making sense of which way the sign should face at an intersection! It took some practice, but I finally got it. As far as trying to determine what destinations to put on our signs, Rod explained that we want to leave bread crumbs for the driver to follow. What I am also adjusting to is being able to work quickly and efficiently. But, I’m glad that I have Andre there to ask questions about how I can improve on doing something.
The message schedule could be either a spreadsheet, or visual representation of what is being said on the signs. I am creating this as I finish placing signs in each section of Avon. We would indicate the location tag with the certain sign type and message number, and connect it with the list of destinations we are signing at that point.
The specifications will probably come later into the process as we narrow down a final sign family. This section would dive deeper into explaining the materials needed, the dimensions, the dimensional type specs, and much more. Check out the process so far down below!