We are often creating wayfinding systems for our clients and as different as each system can be, they are still inherently similar in their goals and concepts. Wayfinding is the creation of a system that helps the viewer find their way through a physical environment. These systems can be found all around us; integral in public transportation systems, as maps on city streets or in any large buildings.
The goal is to create a system that is as simple as possible and yet gives enough information to communicate the best path effectively to the viewer. We find that David Gibson, in his book The Wayfinding Handbook, illustrates our philosophy perfectly;
"The wayfinding designer is responsible for enhancing how a space is experienced by finding order in chaos without destroying character...wayfinding design provides guidance and the means to help people feel at ease in their surroundings," (Gibson, David. The Wayfinding Handbook. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2009. Print.)
Thus, it is our responsibility as designers to observe the area in which our signs will be living and design a system that will enhance the natural feeling of a place. Not only is our job to create a cohesive feel, but to also have signage that is apparent enough for our audience to always know where they are in relation to where they may want to go.
Think of the instances you have been in unfamiliar surroundings and are unsure of your next destination.