Wayfinding: Consistency is Key

Wayfinding strategies and systems are important for users of any public space to aid them in navigation and create a pleasant experience. To create a good wayfinding experience it is important that designers create a consistent and intuitive system that allows users to understand spaces and navigate them effectively. So how do designers do this?

Here are some examples of effective wayfinding strategies:

East Sydney Early Learning Centre  – Uses consistent typography, icons and distinct colours associated with each space to help users recognize and navigate between spaces.


Eureka Tower Parking Garage – Uses consistent typography and  distinct colours associated with each level and also with anticipated actions that users would want to perform as they navigate the garage. Also anticipates the perspectives from which users will view the directions to create clear pathways.

Moi Helsinki Bar – Uses consistent typography and design across the environment to enhance the users experience and reinforce the brand within the space.

Consistency in wayfinding systems is key to a positive experience within a space. Typography and colour are important factors that allow users to predict, understand effectively navigate their environment.


Infographics: Effective or Distracting?

Infographics are becoming more and more common as methods for communicating data. Along with the explosion of infographics has also come an explosion of difficult to understand and ‘chartjunk’ filled visuals that can create confusion and distract from content. So what should designers avoid when creating infographics?

Here are some examples of what not to do:

sunshine_rating Meaningless colour, repetitive information, unnecessary shapes, 3D confusion.

TJzEbJsBnP-ZHAvLhr5VAnpYhht0foC3lrpZLU1W8cQMeaningless graphics, lacking hierarchy, small text, odd typography and layout.

image01_f_improf_500x323Lacking hierarchy, meaningless colour, lacks legend, difficult to read, lacks connections.

A powerful infographic is not cluttered and allows the viewer to make connections in the data that is being portrayed. The ones above are guilty of creating more confusion than they solve.

Modern Logo Design: Back to the Future

In the digital age we are saturated with abundant information and less time and attention than ever before. Some less effective logos of the are often complex and filled with gradients, colours, type and graphics that will often pass by viewers unnoticed. So how do logo designers ensure that their designs are impactful and able to break through the noise and overload associated with modern living? – By going back through the pages of history  to borrow the design principles from of simple and recognizable shapes, meaningful and contrasting colours and straightforward typography.

Here are some examples of powerful logo design from the past:


Lost Logos from the USSR


1970’s US Government Logos


The Golden Age of Canadian Graphic Design

And some more current examples:

The minimalistic approach creates memorable logos that are effective in capturing the attention of viewers which is arguably the most valuable currency in the logo design world.

White Space: How much is too much?

White space is an essential design principle to consider when creating a document or design. It helps to reduce visual clutter that comes from an overly busy page and keeps designs looking clean. But how does a designer know how much is too much?

Here are some examples of good white space at work:


Business Card – Bravo Store


Pamphlet – Gallerie Voss


Document – Quattro Esposizioni


Signage – Art Gallery


Packaging – The Base Collective

The use of lots of white space creates breathing room for a design to stand out and be impactful. It is often difficult to leave significant portions of a page blank, but adds strength and focuses the eye on the layout of graphics and typography that is remains.

Helvetica: Clean or Cliché

Helvetica is one of the most widely used typefaces of our time. So much that it appears in everything from logos, documents, advertisements and in film. But has its iconic design become tired and overused?


Signage – Parking Garage Wayfinding


Music – The Life of Pablo by Kanye West


Packaging – Häefele Homeware Products

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Web – Daytum App


Document – Ivan Picelj Monograph

crate and barrel truck © Peter Dawson

Logo – Crate & Barrel

The typeface portrays a crisp, clean and modern image. It’s use for a modern look is widespread throughout design culture and perhaps has led to overuse. This presents designers with a challenge to find a more unique typeface to stay a step ahead of the curve.