Academic Year 2010/11 – Day 1

For my first year of college I had to do this thing called ‘Personal Development Plan’ (‘PDP’ for short)  this was clearly not a great system of confusing sections to fill in on a Word document, this had to be done at the end of every week and, if used correctly, should aid the user in identifying where their project needed more work and how much more time you should spend on the said work. For the second year the college introduced the concept of using blog’s to showcase our work, thoughts and processes and here it is. Well in the third year they are sticking with the blog concept as it was accepted and embraced by most and turns out to be a highly useful form of communication and discussion.

Well this year I’m going to take the blog one step further and make sure I write up a blog post at the end of each day I spend at college. The purpose of this is to create a more diary form to the blog, plenty of short but sweet updates based upon what i have done and where I would like it to go.

Day 1, strictly speaking, isn’t until the 22/09/2010 but I thought I would use the induction day that was held on 09/09/11 as the first, day as we basically did start that day.

So what did I get up to on day 1? Well I sat through discussing the briefs for the year ahead and looking at the modules. I then had to write out rough initial proposals based upon what I believe I would like to achieve by the end of the year, in regards to my final project. That was about it to tell the truth, not much excitement on this first day. However, I thought I would just post a small section of my essay introduction so you can all get a brief idea of where I am going with it. I can’t upload anything major until the end of year and when it’s marked, but for now enjoy:

Debating how the use of certain factors within wayfinding systems can help or hinder the user’s interpretation.

Navigation has been a necessary part of human life for thousands of years. From Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics to 21st Century maps and signage, how to get people from one part of a city or country has always been a key problem. However, this problem was never addressed as much as it has been in recent years. Due to the ever expanding metropolises of the 20th and 21st centuries, the need for clear defined navigation has never been stronger and with the world getting smaller due to ease of travel the problem of navigating ourselves has never been more prominent…..

Despite it being one of the most important and integral parts of our society, wayfinding is often overlooked. Low, last minute budgets and short amounts of time stretch the designer’s ability to produce clear, uniform signage systems. Nicholas Hawksworth underpins; “we still find that the budget on a project is often very small or just added at end. Signs are in the last fix but they’re often the first thing people look for and interact with.” This can be potentially damaging on a number of fronts; firstly the client organisation, secondly the people for whom the system is intended and lastly the designers themselves……

Tom out!

2 thoughts on “Academic Year 2010/11 – Day 1

  1. I think people take signs for granted I mean as soon as I’m trying to find something in a place I don’t no I rarely find where I want to go to. The thing is people want something for cheap as you said, so making something cheap but also effective which is probably key.


    • I’m sensing this is talk from past experience in the signage field haha. You understand, as do I that this actually does happen from work, so yes, cheap but good looking effective signage probably is the key. It’s just finding the correct combination of both i guess. I’m sort of hoping this essay could also be used as a good research document towards my airport practical and also a good research document towards people who deal with wayfinding systems, I think it’s about time a definitive guide was placed together looking at all factors, that way it would be easier to produce a cheaper effective sign… who knows, maybe one day I’ll be able to expand and be just the person to do it!! Cheers for the comment scotty m’boy


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