[divider_title title=”Wayfinding” heading=h3]
MB3 DESIGN was founded by a designer who has studied the significant cognitive research leading to the development of, and acknowledgement of, wayfinding as a process by Kevin Lynch in 1960. Wayfinding, as a design discipline, is rooted in the application of cognitive science into the design process—it is much more than simply the design of signage. It should also be considered that the cognitive aspects of an environment’s legibility will be reflected in the design of any support information and graphics.
A true wayfinding analysis might involve all aspects of a given environment from the standpoint of user interaction and experience. The overall design of the given area, the location and orientation of an information desk, the location of elevators and the distinction of pathways are all considerations that affect how user’s interact with, and within, an environment. Wayfinding, as a design discipline, was established in recognition of the dictum that, to resolve significant design problems within a built environment, a designer needs to understand the thought process of the end user—one cannot responsibly address the needs of a user group without understanding the problem solving processes through which that user group will define their experience in any environment. Therefore, any applicable cognitive research should be considered in the design of the physical characteristics of, and information system within, an environment; and the legibility of a designed environment can greatly affect its functionality (as experienced by users).
Significant research has been conducted that reinforces this philosophy and much of it can be directly applied in the planning of wayfinding design and environmental graphic information systems. The effectiveness of route versus spatial orientation strategies, the use of color, the need for consistent and functional nomenclature, the effectiveness of symbols, versus text descriptions, versus photographs, etc., are all planning and design considerations that stem from an understanding of how users might hope to experience an environment without feelings of frustration and disorientation.
[divider_title title=”Presentation to the Public/Branding” heading=h3]
Consistent branding and presentation is absolutely critical in the development of system-wide environmental graphics programs. MB3 has extensive experience in creating and developing graphic programs that either introduce new branding elements—or consistently reinforce existing branding standards—across multiple facilities and locations. In fact, it is not uncommon for us to work in association with graphic design representatives so that brand colors, proportions and hierarchies are maintained throughout the entirety of an environmental graphics system. It is ideal, and it is therefore our goal, that branding be consistent from any web presence, to print and advertising deliveries and, finally, throughout the entirety of all facilities in the form of applied architectural and wayfinding graphic components. We want graphics to make sense, to be logical, to be aesthetically appealing, highly functional and completely consistent throughout. After all, environmental graphics are part of your presentation to the public—they should reflect how you feel about what you have to offer a visitor.
Furthermore, an effective environmental graphics program will reflect the intentions of architects and interior designers in maintaing a consistent aesthetic within individual or throughout multiple facilities. MB3 takes pride in our process of consistently creating well integrated environmental graphic components that compliment the carefully selected materials and textures that have been specified by those professionals who may precede us in project involvement.
[divider_title title=”Problem Solving” heading=h3]
Problem solving for any significant environmental graphics project can become challenging as the management of information will be complex. It is imperative, in any complex wayfinding analysis, that a project team is assembled to interact with the wayfinding or environmental graphics specialist so that constraints and preferences are acknowledged in the early stages of the project. Typically, user group surveys are very useful but the hard decisions must be agreed upon. In some instances, in order to create a logical information system, it is necessary to make significant changes to nomenclature or other reference information.
MB3 is committed to both analyzing existing systems and creating new ones that are founded in a logic that is functional, and will help users feel comfortable within the given environment.
Scrutinizing the logic of an information system is what MB3 does…Looking at the environment, the existing nomenclature and surveying your stakeholder group and user groups when applicable. MB3 will find out how your user groups can best make sense of an environment and then put those findings into action. If the information that is applied within an environmental graphics system doesn’t make sense it’s effectiveness will be marginal—regardless of its aesthetic value. Our goals are set higher.
[divider_title title=”Process” heading=h3]
A wayfinding audit or an Environmental Graphics project typically involves an initial analysis, or programming phase, a schematic design phase, a design development phase, a documentation phase and an implementation and contract administration phase. MB3 has extensive experience in all of these phases. All of the successive phases build upon the previous and you must therefore have an effective analysis to develop an effective design, etc.
The good news is that I love what I do and will therefore approach each project with the enthusiasm, knowledge and energy required to solve the complex issues.
Owner and President