Yesterday was a good day. Why? Well we were invited to Worcester College of Technology who have recently become a very good customer and more importantly, are very lovely people!
We were asked to talk to a small group of students about wayfinding and brand environments; subjects we’ve covered for other colleges and educational establishments by our project and design work. Colleges can sometimes be difficult places to navigate and there is often a challenge for users of fairly old buildings to find their way around.
Wayfinding is quite a science in its own right. Apparently Kevin Lynch, in his book called “The Image of the City” first alluded to the fact that signs are just devices to remind us of our journey when in fact, our environment and what we see on our journey as architectural and design features are far more robust factors that help us along the way. As he says “a consistent use and organisation of definite sensory cues from the external environment.”
Our workshop concentrated on this. In the first part, we presented examples of brand, brand awareness in design; buildings and people. How we are “tuned into” our environment by graphic markers that are placed there by others who would want us to retain and actively recollect these brands when in a position of activity such as retail or marketing.
In fact, as we now know, components of a branded environment can include finish materials, environmental graphics, way-finding devices and signage and identity systems. Creators of branded environments influence the effect of the physical structure and organisation of space to help deliver their clients’ identity attributes, personality and key messages.
So as we continued through the workshop, it became quite clear that signs are just a small part of a successful wayfinding strategy. If we are able to influence and determine the appearance of our environment along the journey, this will have an overwhelming effect on the success of our finding our way.
As we are involved in the interior brand environments of the wonderful new Worcester College Learning Quarter, currently being developed near the Hive; we were greatly relieved and excited to hear our workshop students tell us a huge amount of historical and cultural facts about Worcester, the College buildings and the locality. With this information, our design team will have lots of material to draw on.
Our thanks to Anne, Nicki and Debbie for setting up an engaging and stimulating workshop at the All Saints campus.
Visit the Worcester College Website
Brand Environments from TheTewGroup on Vimeo.
10 December 2013 by Jenny Jones