When I first heard that we will be needing to do signage for the art center I was a little excited to immediately start the task but then I was told the number of signs that we had to make, I was thrown in to a state of shock, to say the least. Then one of my peers mentioned that Dr. Puccetti had mention that them must all have the same theme. It took me a few days to realize that Dr. Puccetti had given us the hint as to how way finding designers manage to make so many different signage within a tight timeline and deadline. Now I am not saying that the work that they do is easy but rather that it is made a less daunting task` to design each individual sign that provides the user with different information, once a theme has been settled by extensive trial and error and brainstorming on the designer’s part the designer can then move on to creating an infinite set of signs. In this blog post I show some of my brainstorming process and the development of my ideas for the art center event signage.
The first idea that I had thought of was to convey the same theme that our entire NYUAD campus conveys. By architecturally mimicking the layout of the New York with Broadway and the high line it is very reminiscing of New York and acts as a gentle reminder to everyone who steps foot on campus that they are on the official grounds of non-other than the prestigious University of N.Y.U. I wanted to allow the art center to, through their events not only remind them that they are in NYU but also bring a genuine sensation that they are truly in New York city.
As a result of the above thought process my primary idea was to mimic Broadway with my signs it is the art center and our own theatrical center.
To do so I did some research into the types of signs that are used in Broadway, along with fonts. Below were my findings.
This seemed promising as it gave me theme colors and standard typefaces like the one above.
Although this seemed promising I still did not like the way that they looked as they seemed tacky and attract too much attention. That set me thinking, what is something that as humans we are used to seeing but still informed by, something that does not grab our attention but rather subtly informs us about where to go? Street signs! There is simply no other more recognizable street sign than the street signs of New York City! Broadway, 5th ave and many more famous streets, avenues, city centers and boulevards are labeled with the standard green and white signage. The signage uses a nationwide standardized, easy to read typeface. The highway gothic. The color scheme, the shape, and the typeface all allowed me to be able to easily convey information that did not subtract from the event itself and was still reminiscent of New York City.
Below is an example of a typical New York street sign:
From this I designed my signage that conveyed 8 messages. A side note, The below images are images of a work in progress and so the signage’s may not be completely straight and the fonts are not an exact match…. Yet.
Furthermore, I will have to put more thought into how these signs will be displayed. If the Art department can be a little flexible, with help from the department that cuts aluminum and the idea lab I can have a proper signage system that is directly paralleled to the street signs of New York, thus giving the individual in the art exhibition the true NYU experience.
The set up:
I plan to first commence with the finishing touches with the design and then I plan to print them out on an A3 sized paper. This will be my low quality image that I will use for my presentation. If the clients accept the design I can go on to begin my interaction with the metal-cutting lab and the idea lab to, first, cut and shape aluminum into the signage that I would like. Once these have been done I will be able to contact the idea lab to assist me with figure out how to place the signage design on the aluminum, this could be done with UV resistant vinyl stickers.
A quick update on my work!!
I talked to Dr. Puccetti and he mentioned, like he always does (I never listen) that I need to focus on one particular section of my project rather than attempting to get everything complete. Thus my new course of action is to, rather than finishing all my signs, find one sign that I like and make it match the New York signs almost identically! After this my next step is to Photoshop what the signage’s would look like when they are placed into the art center.
After the simulation I plan to create a life-size version of the signage that is sturdy, made of cardboard with poster paper to cover it. This will resemble my mock-up version of the sign.
I was not able to find the exact match of the signage font (Highway Gothic), thus I took matters into my own hands and decided to take the conventional gothic and adjust the kerning and size myself in order to match that if NYC.
Furthermore, I decided that rather than photo shopping my designs into the art center environment I would create my own sign from the material that I had and I would take photos of the sign actually implemented into the art center.
I took the Turn off mobile phones sign and adjusted the text, made the color more suitable to the NYC theme and printed it out onto poster paper.
I then took a plank of wood and drilled holes into it (for the zip ties) I also used folded aluminum foil to make it look like it was all made of aluminum. I wanted to use metallic zip ties but the idea lab did not have them and so I had to be content with the plastic ones.
I put up the sign in the art center and can now say that my project has been complete and that I really hope that they become used by the art center!