Well, I believe I have finally discovered what I shall be doing my Graphic Design brief and thesis on!
It has been too long in coming to me this idea, and I was starting to get worried that I would never find something interesting and with enough scope, to get me through the year. However, as is said; all good things come to those who wait, my waiting paid off and I feel I have a good start of a project in my mind to build upon.
The project initial ideas:- The first thoughts I had was to find something, like the highway code, and simplify it, to make it easier to read and ultimately interpret. I was thinking for a whole day, and didn’t concentrate on much else, whilst trying to think of something that needs simplifying… I just couldn’t think of a thing.
I then went over my granddads house and he said he was taking my uncle and aunt to the airport, this got me thinking further; I always get lost in airports, I always see other people looking confused and everyone is always in a rush. Now the reason I always get lost and confused is because, to me, airports are very unclear in their signage and the placement of it, plus it doesn’t help that every corner looks exactly the same! I also believe this is why other people are confused and it would help all those people rushing, if they could quickly understand what they are looking at.
Initial Proposals:- To re-design the navigational systems of an existing airport, in a way which makes the overall journey from arrival to check-in to take off as less stressing as possible. It should be quick to understand, clear in its direction and form and most importantly accessible/understandable to all ages, abilities and disabilities.
I must consider the use of:
Typography: Do I use an existing typeface or create my own? To do both of these I will need to do extensive research in the form of letters and which are easier to read, as this is still undecided among designers i may have to make my own personal judgement, or use that of the public if I include typography questions within my questionnaire.
Symbols: All airports make use of symbols to try to communicate with those less familiar to the language’s being used. Some of these symbols, although fairly simple, could do with a re-make and re-think. It would be interesting to try and establish an international generic code for airports, in which every airport uses the same symbols. Therefore lessening the confusion of new symbols in every airport.
Colour: Colour is an important factor in all types of signage and navigation. You do not want to convey the incorrect meaning behind a sign because you used the incorrect colour. Different cultures have different takes upon what colours mean certain things. It would be good to look into what colours are standard or neutral across many cultures and potentially use those for colour coding.
Materials: This is something to consider and research if I wanted to make a piece of signage as an example for an exhibition.
Height, Sizes, weights: Height is a key factor in all navigation, if it is too low then a crowd of people obstructs the sign, however too high and with no enough backwards room, people will hurt their necks looking at it. Anthropometrics are something to look into here, the average height of people, the best height to look up at and how far back you should be to see upwards. Tie this into the navigation system and you have a good basis to work upon.
Distances to be engaged from: This links in with the one above. It needs to be made so many people can view from different standing points, thus not blocking the view of other customers.
Initial Research Sources:–
Extensive questionnaire: Asking people, who use the airports, a series of questions as to if they find them easy to navigate or not and why this is the case.
Rap up:- As you can read, it is very loosely thought out at the moment and there needs to be a lot more thought put into it and research, I am hoping to take a trip across to Heathrow soon to colect some primary research of the current systems in place. For now though I am happy I have an idea and can be content that it can only be expanded upon.
I also believe this brief has enough scope to continue through the year and offers enough background and historical research to keep me interested throughout.