Boardwalk neighborhood is one of the first for a cruise ship with a large outdoor amphitheater and carousel. Wayfinding signs have playful design elements. Our teams’ scope was to collaborate with proj- ect architects and executive management to design signage and graphics ship wide that included all wayfinding signs, public spaces, restaurants, entertainment venues and loung- es. We also prepared production manuals and schedules for all these areas that include the crew area and ADA signs.Oasis of the Seas arrives at Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale for the first time. (Photo-RCI October 2009) Due to size of the ship, an entirely new system of wayfinding had to be developed that RCI hadn’t used before that includes touch screen Our team played an important role in the development navigation and the use of a color quadrant sys- of the first touch screen navigation on board a cruise HOW IT COMPARES: tem that makes use of signage and art. ship. It makes use of the color quadrant system and graphics found in the static sign system to keep all In December 2009, Royal Caribbean Interna- wayfinding unified and easy to use. The program will tional (RCI) launched Oasis of the Seas on show you how to get to your stateroom and even let her maiden voyage. She is the world’s larg- Oasis of the Seas you know which restaurants aren’t busy. est cruise ship and is unique not only in her Royal Caribbean International size, but also her function. It was the end of a Largest cruise ship in the world two year journey for me of design exploration, 1,184 ft. long trouble shooting, coordination, world travel, conference calls, thousands of emails, executive presentations, tight deadlines and last minute design changes. The final outcome was well U.S. Capitol worth the trip. 751 ft. long My role was lead manager, where I worked on all areas of the project, during all phases and communicated daily with client representatives. I was also a member of the design team that Airbus 380 Largest passenger airplane developed and executed wayfinding and venue Central Park a real park with living trees and plants, 240 ft. long sign systems and graphics. I managed the as- has winding stone paths that take you to restaurants The color quadrant system on a pedestal directory. sembly of the sign package and production of and retail stores. Shown here is the main gate fea- Source: Washington Post the working drawings. The system divides the ship into four colors and all tured made up of organic leaf shapes. signs in those corresponding areas will match the quadrant color.
Me on board Oasis of the Seas in what would be a stairwell lobby once finished. (November, 2008) We made several trips to Turku, Finland where Oasis of the Seas was built. A large shipyard held the massive shell of iron and steel in a dry dock during the three year process it took to Me on board Oasis on what would become the Board- build her. walk. I’m standing approximately where the carousel would be located. (Nov. 2008)One complete fire zone ready to be raised and welded into place sitting off on the dock. (November, 2008) Oasis in dry dock long before her final paint job. She maxed out the dock. (Nov. 2008) Me with RCI’s design team in an empty Central Park. Me on board RCI’s Independence of the Seas prior to Plant and trees would not be planted until the ship her release for the Finnish ship yard. You can see reached warmer climates a year later. (Nov. 2008) Oasis behind me in her early stages. (April, 2008)
Peter Zorn building a 1:20 scale model of the aft lift and stair lobby. It was used to help study traffic flow andto locate all the primary sign in this area. Early design stage involved hundreds of draw- ings and sketches. The design team met sev- eral times a day in what we called the “War Room” to review sketches and concepts. We made use of many 4’ x 8’ foam boards to pin everything up on. We also built scaled models of the main elevator lobby and key signs out of paper to view flow of passenger traffic and to determine optimal locations. We made sev- eral presentations to the CEO and his executive board during this phase. Once the main design directions were approved we where able to be- gin working drawings phase of the project. During the working drawings phase a 3000 plus page catalog was created documenting every sign location, message and specification for production and installation. Every file was downloaded to the ship yard servers for fabri-Picture of the “War Room”. All sketches and drawings cators to use. This phase took 15 months and Typical working drawing produced for Oasis, used by fabricators to build signs.pinned up and reviewed by committee here. approximately 40,000 individual signs were built and installed when it was all over.
The wayfinding signage for this ship is very im-portant. Great thought was placed in develop-ing not only the look but the function. 5,500plus passengers will need to be able tonavigate the ship on any given cruise and ourteam took advantage of classic branding design,informational design and interactive media tomaximize their experience.Signage varies in size and amount of informa-tion starting with the primary elevator directo-ries. These signs hold a complete ship’s direc-tory and maps, which show an elevation anddeck plan. The signs then become progressive-ly smaller with less information as you get intothe stateroom corridors. Once in the corridors,signs only display deck information and state-room numbers. The last sign in the system isthe actual stateroom ID sign found on the door.The ship was divided into four color zones. Allsignage within a specific zone used that color tohelp identify the zone. Also, a small accent on Touch Screen Wayfinding System uses the samethe signs points to the forward of the ship and graphics and wayfinding principles.also serves as a reminder in which way the shipis moving. Free standing pedestal directories This system serves as the ship’s static wayfind-are also found in key locations in public spaces ing system and functions to get passengersand highlight information on a particular deck. from place to place. An additional wayfinding device was developed in cooperation with RCI that takes advantage of touch screen technolo- gies. The system uses the same static graphics Typical Elevator Directory. Silkscreened graphics on edge light glass. Light source housed in a mirror polished stainless and gives the passengers an interactive experi- steel cabinet that protrudes a decorative illuminated acrylic fin that glows in the quadrant color. This sign is located in ence. You can punch your stateroom number the blue quadrant. in and it will show you how to get there from where you are standing. Additional functions allow you to book shore excursions, dinner res- ervation and even find out general information of ship activities. These stations are located at the end of each elevator lobby and are also ac- cented with art inspired by the zone color. Opposite Page Bottom Right -Typical Stairwell directional sign in the greenquadrant. These signs contain less information than do the primary directories in the elevator lobbies. They only highlight the quadrant color a passenger is in and directs to only staterooms and venues on thatShip map on directory showing Central Park. Note the deck. Bottom Left - Elevator directory found in theuse of color on the ship plan to identify the quadrants. red quadrant.
Interior of elevator. Internally illuminated sign above door had neighborhood logos and digital screens withinformation streaming. The ship is home to five very distinct areas, Typical wayfinding sign in stairwell directing to Central Park. Sign located in yellow quadrant. Note the slight accent on which have been designated as neighborhoods. the right of the sign that indicates forward. We developed logos for these areas that ap- pear on both the static and interactive wayfind- ing systems. We also developed neighborhood specific wayfinding signage that only highlights areas within each neighborhood. A final piece of wayfinding signage that is found on board the elevators acts as both static and interactive. We developed a subway looking sign that visually demonstrates deck and the neighborhoods that are found there. In addi- tion, small digital screens are running informa- tion pertinent to the deck and ship activities. Also, neighborhood logos are found next theElevator deck buttons have neighborhood logos to fur- call buttons within the elevator cab as a furtherther help the passengers find their way around. reminder of the locations of the neighborhoods. Central Park logo on glass doors as you enter. Detail of information listed on the directory by deck, which includes neighborhood logos. All information is Opposite Page Botton: listed by a hierarchy, starting with the neighborhoods Logos for the five neighborhoods. Logos appear on and their occupants and than any major attractions signage including directories and maps to identify the outside the neighborhoods within that deck. Every- neighborhoods along with text. This gives guests a thing is listed in alphabetical order within the quick visual reference and is used whenever possible. categories. All five logos were designed to represnt the area with one to three visual elements. The Royal Promenade uses the old style car because it appears on every RCI ship.
Picture from insdie a Loft Suite, high living on the high seas. the ship. Not new, but not to be excluded are the Presidential and Royal Suites which are found on higher decks. Identification signs for all these include use of the color quadrant sys- tem. However, the Presidential and Royal Suites get an additional upgraded sign to mark the entrance. All signs within either the stateroomsTypical stateroom plan with sign locations. As you can see the average stateroom has many signs. The color of the or suites use the standard set of signs.signs were determined by the wall color on which they where mounted. Signs are visible and complimentary to theinterior color palates. Entrance to key card portected loft cooridoor.Identification of the guest stateroom is the last size, location and amenities. Within each state-piece of the wayfinding package. The design room, a set inventory of signs are used to aid The Lofts are the newest suites and are foundmatches the look and makes use of the same the guest with safety, emergency instructions on the highest deck of the ship. They are twotools as the wayfinding signs used throughout and standard hospitality information. level apartment style living spaces with largethe ship. A ship that holds 5,500 guests has two story glass windows with ocean views.many staterooms and an excess of 30,000 Most of the standard staterooms have either a The Lofts are branded with unique graphics forsigns were needed for them. balcony view of the ocean or a balcony view of the identification and directional signs. Inte- either the Boardwalk or Central Park. Also in- rior signs use the standard set of signs usedOasis of the Seas caters to guests with a variety cluded are upgraded Suites on higher decks that throughout.of different staterooms and suites that vary in include views of the Aqua Theater off the aft of Presidential Suite door sign. Glass and marble sign with pin mounted polished brass letters.
Aft entrance into the Royal Promenade has an arched raceway with fabricated polished stainless steel letters inter-nally illuminated with color changing LED lights. A staple feature on board every RCI cruise ship and also present on board Oasis is the Royal Promenade. Twice as wide and nearly twice as long then on past ships, is reminiscent of a typical city street. It has several retail shops including a jewelry store and various merchan- dise outlets. It also has a couple of different coffee shops, a pizza parlor and specialty des- sert shop. It also includes several entertain- ment venues including a karaoke bar, a cham- Typical sign panels within Royal Promenade to help pagne bar and a Latin- style dance club. guest as quick reference to the ship direction and main attractions. Royal Promenade serves as primary point of entry at the beginning of any cruise. It is the Opposite page first place guests walk into upon first boarding. A shot looking forward from underneath Rising Tide There are several information kiosks and it also elevator bar.It is shown in the up position sitting in houses the primary guest services desk. Central Park three decks above Royal Promenade. The newest and most amazing feature is Rising of Royal Promenade. The base of the bar Tide. It is an elevator bar that moves up and serves as a light and water show while the bar down from the floor level and up into Central is situated in Central Park. Large sky lights also Park three decks above which sits on the ceiling let in natural light to guests.
Cafe Promenade - Coffee and sandwich cafe. Above is the Schooner Bar overlooking the street level.Champagne Bar main sign. Polished metal lettersmounted to edge light etched polymer.Opposite pageTop - Boleros Latin style dance club and lounge.Large brass channel letters with led light source. The Sorrento’s Pizza Shop. Architecture was a firehousedesign challenge here was to work with a curved fa- brick facade to mimic a city feel. Large block stylecade and two story deck. letters are reminiscent of a more historic looking, cityBottom - On Air Karaoke bar. We worked with the style signage.architect to develop a theater style marquee entrancesign to hold large graphic panels and information.
What cruise ship wouldn’t be complete with out an ice rink? Studio B is just that. This sign is located above primary entrance into the rink. The venue has skat- ing shows with a theme of fire and ice. The sign uses specific warm and cool colors to add to the theme. Entrance to Entertainment Place at the top of the theThe main theater on board Oasis is the Opal Theater. This main marquee style sign is designed to be a giant tiera forward stairs on Royal Promenade. Sign located above the entrance to the jazz club.with a large inset stone. Entertainment Place it is the secondneighborhood on board Oasis and is primarilyhome to late evening clubs and entertainmentvenues such as a jazz, comedy and night club,an ice rink, a casino amd theater.It is found on deck 4, the forward area of theship. The main entrance into the neighborhoodis through the Royal Promenade at a grand setof stairs at the forward end.This is a new area on board RCI ships. The ar-chitects wanted to create a club type district bygrouping these specific venues here; by doingso they created an adult focused entertainmentzone during the late night hours. Blaze is the night club and has a fire theme. Signs are Aft entrance to Casino Royale on Deck 4. The casino has several other entrances with similar signs. All are internally designed to look like raw iron cut with a blow torch. illuminated with color changing LED’s. Logo design was an update of already exsisting logo on board other RCI ships.
View of Aqua Theater. Free standing directional sign post made to match the theme. Typical information acts as a quick reference for passengers to direct to restrooms and major ven- ues on board.Entrance into Boardwalk is spanned by a midway style arch with chasing lights and channel letters that shift colors. The first of its kind on a cruise ship Boardwalk is just that, a carnival themed area complete with a working carousel, face Johnny Rockets burger joint. We used the logo to de- painting, ice cream and donut shops, and mid- sign a clock that is synchronized with the ship clock. way style games and food. The Boardwalk is the third neighborhood and is geared towards the younger passengers. It also has childrens shops and a playground. Other food venues include a seafood restaurant and Johnny Rockets, a fast food burger joint. The greatest feature is Aqua Theater which is a large amphitheater off the end of Boardwalk. During the daytime guests can swim in the pools which transform at night into a high dive water show. The amphitheater is open to the ocean; on each side are rock climb- ing walls that go up several decks. While on the Boardwalk you can look up to open sky Art piece as you walk into the board walk. since the ship from this point is split.
Aqua Theater ID sign at night. There is another one mirroring this one on the opposite side. The sign structure isdesigned to mimic the ship architecture and dive platforms. Ice Cream Parlor sign at overhead entrance. Smaller letters have LED lights inbedded within the acrylic and allows the entire letter to glow. Previous Page Top Left - Seafood Shack front facade and signage. The Rock Climbing Wall Identification on the Boardwalk The sign is designed to look like a worn sign. The res- level directs guest upstairs. There are two walls, both taurant theme is a sea side surf shack. of which are dentified in the same way on the opposite Top Right - Donut Shop ID sign. side. Bottom Left - Ice Cream Parlor Tower Identification. We worked with the architect to develop typography for the tower.
One of four cast maps that are positioned in the correct orientation allowing guests to quickly orient themselves.Main gate feature of Central Park. Designed for photo opportunities, the gate resembles iron work with custom designedlight post. The fourth neighborhood and another first for a cruise line is Central Park. A living breathing park, it is probably the most unique feature on this and any other cruise ship cur- rently sailing in the world. Close view of the map. The design vision was to cre- ate tactile graphics on the map similar to a bronze Our team spent time developing signage with casting. The map frame is designed to match the main the design team and landscape architect that gate feature. included free standing maps, sign posts and a grand entry gate feature. The park is home to high end retail stores and Right - Custom designed post and panel directional restaurants, including a wine bar and Rising sign. Inspiration came directly from New York City’s Tide, the elevator bar that comes up from the Central Park signs. The post itself is designed to hold Royal Promenade. climbing plants. The top lights up for visibility at night. There are three posts positioned at decision Bottom Left - Picture from pool decks down onto Cen- points in the park. tral Park.
150 Central Park is a high end restaurant with classic art nouveau architecture. Entry sign was designed to compli-ment the ornate overhang and organic supports. The sign is edge light and illuminates at night.Park Cafe is a more casual dining area where passen- Window graphics for Giovanni’s Table. It is a high endgers can get food 24 hours a day. Italian restaurant. Opposite Page Chops Grille is RCI’s stable brand steak house and is found in Central Park.
One of the entrances into the Solarium Bistro, the adults only swimming area and restaurant.Flyover view of the pool deck with themed pool areas visible. The Solarium is visible forward. (Photo RCI 2009) The Pool and Sports Deck on Oasis is not new but for the first time is classified as the fifth neighborhood and has very specific areas branded for all ages and activities. There are four separate pools that are desig- nated for specific activities including the H2O Zone for children, Sport, Main Pool and new the Beach Pool. We designed logos for each that One of the pools in the Solarium, the adults only also matched the overall design feel we created swimming area.. for the entire area. The Solarium found on this deck is an adults only pool with a Bistro that serves buffet food by day and formal dinner at night. Lastly, the Sports Court has the new Zip LineTypical pool rules signs designed to hold up against which spans nine decks above the Boardwalkthe open air and salt of the open ocean. and two surf machines now straddle the backBelow - The four logos created for pools. end of the ship. Wayfinding map at elevator lobby for quick reference of the sports quart area. Right - Zip Line starting point. The Logo was created match the theme of the entire Pool and Sports Deck neighborhood.
Sign- Typical door mounted sign found within the spa area. Design uses palm graphics as accent . Identification sign for the salon using the same branded and simple look. Relaxation Room in the spa area. Simple door etc was used to identify the space.Primary entrance signage into spa and fitness center. A duplicate sign appears to the left side. Trident palm logo isinternally illuminated.The Vitality at Sea Spa & Fitness Center onboard Oasis is a new experience for guests thatincludes all the spa and exercise amenities plusspecial classes for nutrition that are integratedwith the ship’s restaurants.The area spans two decks on board and includesfull beauty and wellness venues for men, wom-en and children including salons, a full spa withexotic treatments, a full gym with a variety ofaerobic classes and a café.Brand development of Vitality at Sea is a prod-uct of RCI. We worked closely with the architectand interior designers to implement the brandinto the signage and environment. An Asiantheme was used that used real bamboo andtropical palms throughout the spaces. Signs Vitality Café signage. The sign follows the sameand venue identification were designed to be simple theme as seen throughout the spa and fitnessclean and simple to enhance the visual experi- center.ence and yet provide necessary information.
Logo designed for IZUMI an Asian cuisine restaurant. Design uses images and fonts that softly create an Asian feel without using strong Asian characters and graphics. Colors where inspired by the interior design pallet. Main Windjammer Marketplace entrance sign. It is IZUMI primary entrance ID sign. found in the lift lobbies guests in.Opus 4 entrance ID sign found at deck four entrance. Opus 3 and Opus 5 exist one deck below and above. The en-tire dining hall occupies three decks and rises once inside to reveal a grand hall. The Opus Dining Room is the main formal dining hall on board Oasis and occupies three decks. There is an entrance available on each of the three decks and the deck number corre- sponds to the number on entrance signs. Typical serving island found within Windjammer Mar- Due the high number of passengers, dinner is ketplace. Every island has a changeable overhead sign served twice per evening. The evening shows panel that changes for each meal. and entertainment begin at the time each sit- ting ends. IZUMI is an Asian cuisine restaurant found The Windjammer Marketplace is found high across from Windjammer Marketplace and gives above the ship. This is a casual dining area that passengers an alternate choice of food in a su- serves several meals buffet style. It includes shi bar type setting. breakfast, lunch and midnight snacks. It sits above the pool and sports decks and provides a It also sits high above the pool decks and pro- great view during meals. vides great views of the ocean. Left - View from deck five down onto the Opus dining Izumi logo being used to fully brand the restaurant on room floor. plates and serving collateral.
Library id sign inspired by the interior design resembling an old map room.Viking Crown Lounge, RCI staple lounge always found Private members only lounge directional sign.on the top deck. Next Page Top Right- Dazzles is a speakeasy inspired show lounge found outside any of the main neighborhoods and overlooks the Boardwalk. Bottom Right - Wedding Chapel glass entrance doors hold a floral graphic and gold leaf letters.
Rendering of top of stanchion. New notch added tohold the changeable sign panel in place. Sign panelsstill have a magnetic backer for an added bond. New toilet warning sign. Hangs in front of every toilet on board, both in public restrooms and in the state- rooms. Sign drawn at actual size. New stanchion in front of guest services desk. New “Wash Your Hands” symbol as seen on a sign with the supporting text. Sign drawn at actual size. We worked with RCI on several different design studies reviewing the symbols being used on On board RCI ships there have always been free board. The goal of this effort was to clean up standing stanchion signs that can be moved and simply signage where possible and to help about when needed with changeable insert pan- communicate important messages, especially to els. We had designed a custom stanchion that passegners who may not speak English. has become a fleet wide standard. It has an off the shelf base with a custom designed shaft and A major problem on board are stomach prob- sign insert that uses a magnetic backer to hold lems that can be prevented by washing hands. the sign panel in place. We worked to develop a symbol that could stand alone or with supporting text that gently Throughout the years, the stanchion has had encourages passengers to wash their hands. improvements and upgrades . One nagging These signs are mostly found in the public re- complaint from crew has been that the sign strooms. They are usually hanging in front of panels didn’t stay in place very well. The mag- urinals and on the inside of stall doors so they netic backer didn’t seem to work well. can be seen while sitting. For Oasis, we decided to reevaluate the entire Within the staterooms, there are architectural stanchion and give it a face lift and to tackle features that can cause a tripping hazard. We sign panel problem. Not only did we change designed a new more aggressive symbol to the overall look and shape of the stanchion, help warn passengers. We also designed a new we added a metal trim piece around the bot- symbol to communicate what not to put in theRendering of old and new stanchion design side by New “Watch Your Step” symbol as seen on sign with tom that creates a notch the sign panel can rest toilets. This has been a problem on board andside. The new design on the right matches the supporting text. Sign drawn at actual size. in. This addition has solved the problem and the new design is easily understood especiallywayfinding sign system and has improved its doesn’t distract from the overall design. to non English speaking guests.overall function.
Elevation and plan view used on crew signage. All crew lifts and stairs and guest lifts and stairs are found on the ship drawings. Crew are not allowed to use the passengers lifts. They must navigate the ship behind the scenes using the crew halls and stairs.Typical ADA sign on board. Designed to work along side a primary directional or identification sign to meet ADAcompliance. Behind the scenes there are many miles of hallways and stairwells that only the crew use.RCI has made an effort to be ADA compliant A special wayfinding system was adopted thatmaking it easier for passengers with disabilities provides the crew with critical evacuation infor-to get around on board. The architecture is mation, general wayfinding and identification.up to code, and along with RCI’s legal depart-ment, we designed a special series of signs that The system is information heavy but is designedare also up to code. to have quick recognition and maximum under- standing using text and ship plan and profileAll destination and areas have the specially de- on the majority of the signs. Crew on boardsigned ADA signs that contain raised letters and are from many countries and speak differ-braille. The signs are designed to work along ent languages, so it was important to be clearside the primary identification signs. Because and direct with important messages. The crewof this, we used clear acrylic signs without color. areas tend to be cramped and maze like. ClearBoth signs together meet the compliance. signs make it much easier for them to work and Typical crew area signs. Clean simple frame and digi- to get around. tally printed graphics help to reduce cost. Elevator ADA door jam signage used the color quad- rant system to help enforce the wayfinding system.