Signage system at IIT Guwahati, Thesis Report


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Title: SIGNAGE SYSTEM for I I T Guwahati

Abstract: The project aimed at improving the current system of navigation and information in IITG by exploiting the built environment and architecture of the campus. The project also focused on the possibility of managing the campus from strategic positions.

Design Brief:

Aim: To attain an effective signage system that meets all the requirements of the university, including corporate identity, whilst not compromising usability, and remaining usable and effective.

Project Brief: The research was to find out the background to the signs’ conception and learn from the successes and failures of these direction finders.

• Analysis of the problems faced by the users.
• Critical Appraisal of the current system.
• Current market trends and area of application.
• Interpretation and exploration regarding all aspects of environmental design.

Space planning Circulation systems Human Factors and Behaviour
Ergonomics Human Psychology Graphics & Brand Identity
Interface design Articulation of form Layout and Placement

The main focus of the project was to develop the GUI (Graphical User Interface) through the system approach, making the interaction user friendly and less time consuming, for giving the guidance to the visitors. The basic concept is to guide the visitor to the destination, and that destination’s guiding factor need not be any place, rather it can be any person or any event or occasion.
Generally in wayfinding, people find it difficult to respond to the new environment and the other problem is language. The analysis starts with the listing of the difficulties and the problems. The system approach was followed and various information and data were collected. The information collected were tooled down to wire frame models and a multilingual interface was made.

Deliverable: Proposed for the signage system of IIT Guwahati.

• Directional sign board
• Map of the Campus
• You are Here maps
• Signboard for building identification
• Information desk
• Layout of the Letter pad
• Installation of the maps in the buses and the bus stops
• 3d scaled model of the campus

Signage system at IIT Guwahati, Thesis Report

  1. 1. SIGNAGE SYSTEM for IIT Guwahati Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements For the Degree of MASTER of DESIGN By: Deepak Kumar ( 07420511 ) Project Guide: Prof. Pradeep Yammiyavar FDRS Department Of Design INDIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY GUWAHATI NORTH GUWAHATI, ASSAM - 781039
  2. 2. CERTIFICATE This is to certify that the thesis work titled “ SIGNAGE SYSTEM for IIT Guwahati ” is an authentic work carried out by Deepak Kumar Roll no - 07420511 Department of Design IIT Guwahati Assam at Department of Design Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati Guwahati 781039, Assam, India For the award of M. Des. Degree during the academic year 2008-2009The matter embodied in this project has not been submitted earlier for the award of any degree or diploma to the best of my knowledge and belief. Project Guide: Examiner 1 : .......................... ........................... Prof. Pradeep Yammiyavar Examiner 2 : .......................... Professor Department of Design IIT Guwahati, Assam Examiner 3 : ..........................
  3. 3. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati IPR DeclarationDeepak Kumar I declare that in accordance to the IPR norms generally followed in Academics, I have acknowledged appropriately all sources of material / content including visuals / designs / copy rights accessed from others authors / sources /references and used in this project as part of the academic reporting. I declare that the contents of this project report including visuals / designs other than those whose origin / source has been appropriately acknowledged, are a result of original efforts. Signature: Deepak Kumar M.Des (07420511) Department of DESIGN IIT Guwahati Signage System for IIT Guwahati
  4. 4. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati ACKNOWLEDGEMENTDeepak Kumar My thesis is a culmination of my ideas, experiences and work. They have been moulded by several very special people along the way. Without these people I would not stand at this threshold today. I would first like to thank my family for all that they have given me: love, support, cherished memories and the strength which has placed me where I am today. I would like to express deep gratitude to my guide Prof. Pradeep Yammiyavar for his guidance, encouragement and gracious support throughout the course of our work, for his expertise in the field that motivated me to work in this area and for his faith in me at every stage of this research. I look forward to continue working with him and further developing our relationship. I would like to thank all the faculty and staff of Department of Design for their support throughout and last but not the least special thanks to Prakash, Vikash, Vikram and Pravin for their constant support and help whenever I needed. Signage System for IIT Guwahati
  5. 5. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati CONTENTSDeepak Kumar Chapter Page 1. Abstract 1 2. Introduction 2 3. Methodology and Time Plan 3 4. Resources (study phase) 5 4.1 Resources in Wayfinding and Signage Design 6 4.2 Briefing the Content of the Resources 7 4.3 Architectural Wayfinding Design 10 4.4 Architectural Wayfinding Components 13 4.5 Building Form and Architectural Features 13 5. Signage Design 15 5.1 Signage Design 16 5.2 Wayfinding 17 5.3 Signage Elements 19 5.4 Eye Level 20 5.5 Typography 21 5.6 Arrows 24 5.7 Colours 26 5.8 Semiotics: The Study of Signs 28 5.9 Maps 30 Signage System for IIT Guwahati
  6. 6. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati CONTENTSDeepak Kumar Chapter Page 6. IIT Guwahati Campus (analysis phase) 6.1 Campus 32 6.2 Topography 33 6.3 Circulation 34 6.4 Role of Topography in Circulation 35 6.5 Approaching the Campus 36 6.6 Movement of People 37 6.6.1 Distribution of People 38 6.6.2 Decision Points 39 7. Digital SIgnage 7.1 Comparative Analysis 41 7.2 Places of Use 42 8. SIGNAGE SYSTEM at IITG 8.1 Critical Appraisal 44 8.2 Studying the present system 48 8.3 Circulation 49 9. MY Interpretation & Exploration 9.1 MAP for IITG 52 9.1.1 Legend in MAP for IITG 59 Signage System for IIT Guwahati
  7. 7. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati CONTENTSDeepak Kumar Chapter Page 9. 9.2 Typography 62 9.2.1 Fonts 63 9.2.2 Experimentation on Fonts 64 9.2.3 Screening of the Fonts 65 9.2.4 Font Selection 67 9.2.5 Fonts and Size 68 9.3 Colours 70 9.3.1 Fonts and Colours 71 9.4 Arrows 72 9.4.1 Arrows and Colours 74 9.5 Representations 9.5.1 You are Here 75 9.5.2 Entrance Sign 76 9.6 Layout and Placement of Signboards 77 9.7 Placement of Maps 104 9.8 Placement of Information Desks 108 9.9 Form 109 9.9.1 Semantic Approach 110 9.9.2 Studying the brand 114 9.9.3 Extraction of Abstract 116 9.9.4 Form Exploration 117 Signage System for IIT Guwahati
  8. 8. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati CONTENTSDeepak Kumar Chapter Page 9 9.10 System Approach 126 9.10.1 Use Case Diagrams 130 9.10.2 Sequence Diagrams 131 9.10.3 Persona and Scenario 132 9.10.4 Wireframe Model 134 9.10.5 Graphic User Interface 135 9.11 Sustainability 144 9.11.1 Material, Process and Energy 145 9.12 Concept Generation 147 9.12.1 Concept 1 148 9.12.2 Concept 2 150 9.12.3 Concept 3 151 9.12.4 Concept 4 153 9.12.5 Concept 5 154 9.13 Concept 5 155 9.13.1 Final Concept 156 9.13.2 Components of Signage System 157 9.13.3 Materials 170 9.13.4 Critical Appraisal 172 10. Conclusion 174 11. Future Work 176 12. References 177 Signage System for IIT Guwahati
  9. 9. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati 1.0 ABSTRACTDeepak Kumar This dissertation studies the signs that were installed in IITG campus. The directional signs are the main focus of the study. Whether the forces of corporate identity have compromised their design and their effectiveness as wayfinding aids is tested. The reason for the research is to find out the background to the signs’ conception and learn from the successes and failures of these direction finders. The aim is to attain an effective signage system that meets all the requirements of the university, including corporate identity, whilst not compromising usability, and remaining usable and effective. Architectural wayfinding design addresses the built components of wayfinding design, including space planning, articulation of form-giving features and building identity, circulation systems, and environmental communication. Signage System for IIT Guwahati 1
  10. 10. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati 2.0 INTRODUCTIONDeepak Kumar “The term ‘wayfinding’ is a relatively new term which covers everything to do with how people find their way around environments.” (Miller, C & Lewis, D 1999:11) Wayfinding is a very broad subject encompassing many elements that work together to provide a wayfinding system. [Ref: 14] However, each element in a successful wayfinding system must be able to stand up on its own as a wayfinding aid. The unprepared visitor to a site should be able to arrive and find their destination with a minimum of hassle. IIT Guwahati, an institutional campus comprises of more than 750 acres of land, with varied terrain and uneven mass of land. It is generally taken for granted that people are aware of their surroundings and can navigate from one place to another. The scope of sign system at IITG provides assistance to users of the facilities. They also represent an important aspect of the institute’s visual identity. These signs communicate essential information about the facility, and about the Institute and its operations. Ideally, signs are part of an environmental information system that helps users to understand their environment and guides Signage System for IIT Guwahati 2
  11. 11. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati 2.0 INTRODUCTIONDeepak Kumar them to their destination. Planning signage means interpreting the needs of users and defining operational requirements. •A friendly, welcoming atmosphere where necessary information is readily available for visitors, new students and staff to become easily familiarized with the campus. •A distinct identity for the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati within the campus. • Uniformity of design elements to contribute to the overall aesthetic value of the campus. The ease with which one proceeds is facilitated through an environment from one point of interest to another. Way finding systems include such components as basic layout of building and site, interior and exterior landmarks, views to outside, signs, floor and room numbering, spoken directions, maps, directories, logical progression of spaces, colour coding. Signage System for IIT Guwahati 3
  12. 12. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati 3.0 METHODOLOGY & TIME PLANDeepak Kumar Pre-Study Phase hase on Project selection t selecti udy p Literature Study dy stu prest projec ure do cu se rat ha me lite dy p Study Phase nta u st t ey User Study ion surv ph imp Survey ase rove dy men t user stu testing final product design phase l Design Phase e mod to type con Concept Generation n pro cep tio tg ene Detailing ula rat sim ion Execution/Engg/Testing Phase 3D engine de ta Prototype/Model execu ilin g ering Testing tion Documentation Phase Signage System for IIT Guwahati 4
  13. 13. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati 4.0 RESOURCES(study phase)Deepak Kumar The problem identified for this piece of work was that the new external signs in IITG campus, while serving well to improve the look of the campus by replacing the tatty and worn old signs, are ineffective as a wayfinding aid due to the nature of their design and the provision of only building names. Providing only building names on the new signs gives the impression that the university would prefer that people became familiar with the school or facil- ity they are looking for. For this reason, the main question was at first “Has the Institute’s corporate image taken precedence over wayfinding and usability?” and this was refined further to give the title, “The signage system for IIT Guwahati campus.” Signage System for IIT Guwahati 5
  14. 14. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati 4.1 Resources in Wayfinding and Signage DesignDeepak Kumar The Literature Review begins with a brief outline of what has been written about wayfinding and sign design and then focuses on what has been written about usability that is appropriate to the cause of wayfinding. The Literature Review identifies the major writers in the field, and gives a brief evaluation of their work and how it is relevant to the present study. Signage System for IIT Guwahati 6
  15. 15. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati 4.2 Briefing the Content of the ResourcesDeepak Kumar Publications on wayfinding, in the context of the built environment, are relatively few; as it is relatively recently that a need was identified for research into how people find their way (or get lost). Books covering the topics of signage and sign design were read and considered, but contained little relevant information to this work. The reason for the lack of books about wayfinding is summed up in the opening paragraphs of Arthur & Passini’s (1992:7) [Ref: 5] second chapter in which they compare getting lost to other inconveniences placed before us in modern everyday life “it is unlikely that a person will actually die from the stress of getting lost” The authors of both books find the space, to qualify the need to improve wayfinding systems and the existence of such books. Arthur & Passini include a scenario, which they hope the reader can relate to, whilst Miller & Lewis (writing for healthcare) outline the consequences of patients getting lost in a healthcare site. Arthur & Passini also provide snippets of information throughout the book to remind the reader of the need for good wayfinding. Signage System for IIT Guwahati 7
  16. 16. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati 4.2 Briefing the Content of the ResourcesDeepak Kumar “The fact is that we are exposed to [electronic variable-message displays and LCD digital watches] in contexts very different from that of reading print. Looking at signs and trying to get information from them has more in common with glancing at our watches than it has with reading a book.” (1992:165) [Ref: 5] Dumas & Redish, in A Practical Guide to Usability Testing, claim to cater for product designers, software engineers and documentation specialists (1999:back cover) but the bulk of references and analogies are to IT applications, making it difficult to relate the theory to anything else, let alone wayfinding. Use of a poor typeface & dull use of language, compared to Jordan, made this book about usability less than usable. [Ref: 15] The Design of Everyday Things (1988) by Donald A. Norman provides a very interesting read into the human factors that affect the usability of almost anything one comes into contact with. This would be a good book to consider whilst designing usability into a product such as a wayfinding system, though like so many sources, working backwards from this and using it as a basis for evaluating and testing something. Signage System for IIT Guwahati 8
  17. 17. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati 4.2 Briefing the Content of the ResourcesDeepak Kumar Again, the amount of material available for usability in a way finding context is very limited. Most is aimed at the IT industry. However, Patrick W. Jordan’s (1998) Introduction to Usability proved very useful as a general guide to usability testing, without the disadvantage of being context-driven. Jordan explains each type of testing method, with its advantages and disadvantages and sometimes an example of what kind of scenario a particular method is used for. Jordan also includes useful information about choosing participants, warning against the use of colleagues. This makes sense, as other students from the Information Design faculty will see the signs as items of design, therefore casting a critical eye over them, rather than proceeding with the test as a participant who formed part of the signs’ target audience would. Signage System for IIT Guwahati 9
  18. 18. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati 4.3 Architectural Wayfinding DesignDeepak Kumar Architectural wayfinding design is important to inclusive design because it facilitates user access, increases satisfaction, and reduces stigma and isolation of users with disabilities. It reduces the confusion of visitors and mistakes by employees, saving time and money and preventing accidents. It also reduces stress, boosting health and productivity (Evans and McCoy, 1998)[Ref: 7]. Most designers believe that wayfinding is not a high priority issue relative to other design concerns, or view it as a problem that will interfere with good design. It is often considered simply a signage issue (Carpman and Grant, 2002: 434). Kevin Lynch first discussed the impact of “the apparent clarity or ‘legibility’ of the cityscape” on urban quality of life in The Image of the City in 1960]. Lynch defined legibility as “the ease with which the parts can be recognized and . . . organized into a coherent pattern.” Because legibility and clarity facilitate movement within the built environment, Lynch claims they are integral to personal growth and “furnish the raw material for the symbols & collective memories of group communication.” Legible surroundings promote “emotional satisfaction, the framework for communication and conceptual organization [Ref:10]. Signage System for IIT Guwahati 10
  19. 19. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati 4.4 Architectural Wayfinding ComponentsDeepak Kumar Legibility of the built environment is served by clear articulation and coherent grouping of interior and exterior spaces, legible circulation systems design, and integrating communication systems (Arthur and Passini, 1992) [Ref: 5]. These three objectives can be divided into the following components. 1. Wayfinding is as much an architectural issue as a graphic issue. Architects and designers need to take responsibility for inclusive approaches to wayfinding and remain apprised of psychological and health-related impacts of building design. If they are not ready to do that, a wayfinding expert should be engaged at early stages of the design. 2. Whether addressed through architecture or information, the design of wayfinding systems should include: (1) identifying and marking spaces; (2) grouping spaces; (3) linking and organizing spaces; and (4) communicating this information to the user. 3. Wayfinding design guidelines and best practices vary by building type, size, and layout; urban, suburban or rural location; frequency of use; and user requirements, preferences, and characteristics. Signage System for IIT Guwahati 11
  20. 20. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati 4.4 Architectural Wayfinding ComponentsDeepak Kumar 4. Every building that has undergone substantial functional revisions or additions should have a user audit / post occupancy evaluation. 5. Provide as many wayfinding cues in the environment or the architecture as possible, rather than through signage. Landmarks that help visitor orientation and direction-giving can be fundamental for this purpose (VanderKlipp, 2006). 6. Designers must remember that spatial learning and thinking are not the same as visual learning and thinking. 7. Designers should also remember that small models of designed environments may produce unanticipated perceptual effects when built at full scale due to factors in the environment and non-visual effects of the full-scale building. Wayfinding elements may be too small or considered insignificant in scale models. Signage System for IIT Guwahati 12
  21. 21. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati 4.5 Building Form and Architectural FeaturesDeepak Kumar 1. Facilitate wayfinding for all individuals, regardless of abilities. Research and be aware of differences in wayfinding competencies in potential users, such as gender, age and people of different abilities (Arthur and Passini, 1992) 2. Wayfinding should be designed for the first-time visitor because repeat visitors can use their past experiences for navigation. (Lynch, 1960). Keep the mental state of the visitor in mind when designing wayfinding systems (e.g., distracted, tired, tourists; worried patients at a medical facility) 3. While comprehensive and collaborative planning should be initiated between architects and designers early in the design process, we need to gather tools of good wayfinding design, including participant research, user involvement and evaluative research and assessment tools (Arthur and Passini, 1992). 4. The best-designed wayfinding plans change over time as urban space and building uses change, or buildings are added to, restored, or otherwise modified. They may also change in relation to exterior modifications and larger changes in cultural changes. One solution is to provide information in ways that are easily updated . Signage System for IIT Guwahati 13
  22. 22. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati 4.5 Building Form and Architectural FeaturesDeepak Kumar 5. Provide users with an ordered environment that has “a clear possibility of choice and a starting-point for the acquisition of further information.” (Lynch, 1960: 4) [Ref: 10]. 6. Provide users with a clear visual sweep of the site or building on entering to afford them an overview of their surroundings, so they can see a large number of elements and their relationships, at the same time giving them a sense of their relation to the whole (Lynch, 1960: 43) [Ref: 10]. The panoramic experience not only “delights”, but helps the user obtain a view of the larger spatial configuration that reinforces memorability. Distinctive views of plantings, water views, and views of shocking or unexpected sites such as large changes in scale or color variation, can also assist users to construct wider mental maps, as can strong contrasts of spatial configuration, materials, and landscaping (Lynch, 1960: 43-45) [Ref: 10]. 7. Give visual dominance to pathways, with their own characteristics of space, view and motion, because they are the main influence in forming mental maps of a space .Use design to reinforce already existing social meaning, not to negate it (Lynch, 1960: 46) [Ref: 10]. (Lynch, 1960: 44-45) [Ref: 10]. Signage System for IIT Guwahati 14
  23. 23. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati 5.0 SIGNAGE DESIGNDeepak Kumar signage: You are unlikely to find the terms signage systems, wayfinding systems or directional systems in the wayfinding dictionary. Origin: sign + age These are concepts that are as new as the subject itself. Equally new is the whole concept of systematic design that blends chiefly N. Amer. together all the technical and functional requirements of a project, although the actual task of showing people the way is as old as humankind. The arrow, for example, is an age-old sign, and in ancient time’s piles of stones used to point the way at crossroads. One important factor is the number of people involved and the amount of time available. Giving clear information as quickly as possible to large crowds seems a relatively modern concern, although Presumably Roman arenas were cleared pretty quickly, and it would be interesting to know how they did it. At a hospital, airport or trade fair, visitors want to get to the right area as quickly as possible but are often confronted with a bewildering choice of A, B, C etc. Just as people have to be directed through buildings and streets, they also need efficient systems to guide them at transport terminals. A clearly designed system of timetables and Destination is indispensable. One of the very first destinations designs to have used a combination of Words and graphics was the map of the London Underground originally conceived by Harry Beck in 1931) an Displays of train and flight times.[Ref: 4] Signage System for IIT Guwahati 15
  24. 24. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati 5.1 SIGNAGE DESIGNDeepak Kumar Signage systems you can tell a company by its graphics. If a building bears the firms font, or is adorned with the appropriate signs and lettering sends out a friendly signal that accomplishes a great deal more than simply giving address. The concept of such systems is described by the French as signalátique, which has been adopted by the Swiss and the Germans as Signaletik, emphasizing the active signal more than the sign. This term denotes identification actions - indication, suggestion, and recognition - in contrast to the less dynamic wayfindinq system. In English less of a distinction is made between these different systems, which are usually all bracketed together under signage. [Ref: 4] Signage System for IIT Guwahati 16
  25. 25. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati 5.2 WAYFINDINGDeepak Kumar Anton Stankowski objects to the very concept of directional systems, since they degrade the observer to the level of a way-finding passive, totally dependent object being led through a building. Such ‘direction differs from the passivity of wayfindinq aids, as it is up to you whether you take advantage of the latter. And if we look a little more closely at what lies behind these linguistic terms, the design too is different. Active direction imposes itself intrusively on the foreground, and is an end in itself it entails leadership, domination, irresistible authority. A way finding system is polite and restrained, and may hide itself away when it is not needed. It you were not looking for it, you could easily miss it.[Ref: 4] DIRECTIONAL SYSTEMS This is not such an appealing term. The idea of being guided, informed and helped is far more pleasant and gentle than the domineering direct", or being actively led. A leader can also mislead, as many a nation has discovered to its cost. [Ref: 4] Signage System for IIT Guwahati 17
  26. 26. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati 5.2 WAYFINDINGDeepak Kumar What is wayfinding? start The term wayfinding descnbes the processes people go through to find their way round an environment. The waylinding process is fundamentally problem-solving, and is affected by many factors which are covered in this section. Peoples perception of the environment, the wayfinding information available, their ability to orientate themselves spatially, and the cognitive and decision-making processes they go through, all affect how successfully they find their way. [Ref: 17] How people find their way? Many factors affect how people orientate themselves and find their way, but wayfinding is essentially a series of interrelated decisions influenced by personal and environmental factors and end also the availability and understandability of information. Figure 5.2.1 Having decided to make a journey, people will encounter a series of decision points along the route. They look for further information at these points in order to make a decision about which way to go next.[Ref: 17] Signage System for IIT Guwahati 18
  27. 27. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati 5.3 SIGNAGE ELEMENTSDeepak Kumar Eye Level Typography Fonts and Forms Arrows Colour in Signage Colour Coding In Signage Semiotics: The Study of Signs Figure 5.3.1 a b Maps Signage System for IIT Guwahati 19
  28. 28. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati 5.3 EYE LEVELDeepak Kumar One absurd golden rule states that an eye level of 163 cm is the ideal height for conveying information. As a general principle, rules should be questioned, and especially this one. Whatever its origin, the measurement of 163 cm divides walls into unbalanced proportions, which is far from ideal. When we are standing upright, looking straight ahead, it is pos- sible that our eyes cover a field whose average height is 163 cm above the ground. However, we do not normally walk in a strictly perpendicular manner - our heads tilt slightly forward, and our eyes therefore drop. This is another reason why information should not be placed at eye levels. A good height for the upper Figure 5.3.2 edge of a sign on a door, for example, would be 145 cm. Information at a trade fair or an airport needs to be placed high up, where it can be read above peoples heads. The same applies to signposts for lorry drivers, who are seated much higher than motorists. The information must be at such a height that it is not concealed by parked cars or perpendiculars. [Ref: 4] Signage System for IIT Guwahati 20
  29. 29. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati 5.4 TYPOGRAPHYDeepak Kumar Figure 5.4.1 Typography and architecture intersect. Every building has some kind of writing. Houses bear signs. In important buildings, stone masons and architects leave their signatures on stones. House numbers can be decorative or intrusive, while the doorbell and the letterbox may serve as visiting cards. The written word is an accompaniment to the erected stone, and well chosen typography enriches the architecture. It can work with the building, but it can also work against it. Whether unusual or discreet, hard or soft, the lettering should always be integral to the architecture, its ally rather than its enemy.[Ref: 4] Minnaert building, Utrecht University, The Netherlands Architects make so little use of typographical elements on their buildings. The main reason will be that the building design doesn’t need it. Most buildings can make their function clear without the use of signage on the façade. As you will find on the buildings listed below, architects used the signage to show the name of the building to the world; there is no building to be found with its function printed on it. The function is supposed to be clear. Bauhaus, Dessau, Germany Signage System for IIT Guwahati 21
  30. 30. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati 5.4 TYPOGRAPHYDeepak Kumar Figure 5.4.2(a) The Anatomy of Type STUDY OF FONTS: Uppercase Letter In a wayfinding system, this relationship is reversed. A handful of Serif Counter Ascender large letters stand on a small and restricted surface. The individual forms of the letters are directly connected to that Cap height Typography x X height Baseline surface and its restrictive borders, which for the most part tend to be rectangular, sharply defined and simple. These characteristics Bowl Loop Descender respond more effectively to a font with similar formal qualities i.e. Lowercase Letter sans serif straight and solid. The stems and strokes of serif characters tend to be tapered, clashing against the stiff rectangles of regular signs. Figure 5.4.2(b) Text size 64 Ft. distance 32 Ft. 16 Ft. 8 Ft. 1/4 inch. 1/2 inch. 1 inch. 2 inch. text height Signage System for IIT Guwahati 22
  31. 31. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati 5.4 Text Type (10pt Standard) 12 Points = 1 Pica 6 Point 8 Point TYPOGRAPHY Horizontal Rules: .25pt, .5pt, 1pt, 2pt, 4pt, 6pt, 72pt 10 Point 12 PointDeepak Kumar 14 Point 18 Point 24 Point 30 Point 36 Point 42 Point Display Type 48 Point 54 Point 72 Points = 1 Inch 60 Point Figure 5.4.3 72 Point Signage System for IIT Guwahati 23
  32. 32. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati 5.5 ARROWSDeepak Kumar Figure 5.5.1(a) There are whole books on the subject of arrows, and of course the examples shown here arent the only varieties. Just as with fonts, there is a wide choice available, but here we shall deal with just two types that are suitable for wayfinding systems. Arrow 1 Arrow 2 Figure 5.5.2 Arrow 1 is in FF DIN Light, while arrow 2 is in Thesis the Sans Extra Light Expert. The proportions of the two arrows are similar (Thesis grey, FF DIN black), although the barbs are more tapered in Thesis. Signage System for IIT Guwahati 24
  33. 33. Deepak Kumar M.Des’09 Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahatiSignageSystemforIIT Figure 5.5.2aGuwahati ARROWS25 5.5
  34. 34. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati 5.6 COLOURSDeepak Kumar In wayfinding systems, contrast is important for ease of reading. If coloured lettering is used on a bright background, the contrast is weak. The optimal contrast is white against dark colours and black against bright colours. Against a coloured background white lettering always looks best, but only if there is sufficient contrast. Even with bright colours, or against dark shades of yellow, white is most effective. Black lettering tends to merge with the background and make the colour look dirty. Coloured lettering can be quite decorative, but it can make a very strong impact and needs to be used sparingly. Coloured letters can also convey a message - for instance, they may indicate that you are on a particular floor. In order to do this efficiently, they must be set in dull surroundings as otherwise the different elements may find themselves in competition with one another. Generally, coloured lettering is problematic and less expressive Figure 5.5.1 than white or black.[Ref: 4] Signage System for IIT Guwahati 26
  35. 35. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati 5.6 COLOUR CODINGDeepak Kumar Moscow Metro Map Colour-coded directions make it easier for visitors to find their way, enabling them to identify quickly the nature of the information they are after. This may only speed the process up by a matter of seconds, but it reduces stress and contributes to the overall efficiency of system. If plans for a building are laid out on a grid showing partition walls, the tiniest detail can be given a set of coordinates. This clear system avoids confusion if changes are made, without the need for complicated codes. If you are numbering rooms in a corridor according to a code, it is best to group all even numbers on one side, and odd numbers on the other. They should also follow the same sequence, so that Low even numbers are opposite low odd numbers. This makes it easier Figure 5.6.1 to locate whichever room you are looking for.[Ref:4] Signage System for IIT Guwahati 27
  36. 36. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati 5.7 SEMIOTICSDeepak Kumar Semiotics, also called semiotic studies or semi- Iconogram: Illustrative representation, An Iconic sign which, as an ology, is the study of sign processes (semiosis), illustrative representation, emphasizes the points in common or signification and communication, signs and between the signifier and the signified. symbols, both individually and grouped into sign systems. It includes the study of how meaning Pictogram: Pictorial representation, ISOTYPE. An iconic sign is constructed and understood. which represents complex facts, not through words or sounds but through visual carriers of meaning. Semantics: Relation between signs and the things they refer to, their denotata. Cartogram: A topographical representation with complex Syntactics: Relation of signs to each functions (statistics etc.) and iconic facts, for example an atlas or other in formal structures. the ground plan of a house. Pragmatics: Relation of signs to their impacts on those who use them. Diagram: Functional representation. A visual sign which is partly (source: wikipedia .org) still an iconic representation, but is more a functional carrier that illustrates, for example, a sequence of facts or functions. Ideogram: Representation of a concept. Corresponds to the sign as a symbol which relates to the object or concept referred to, independently of any formal identification with it. Typogram: Typographical representation. A sign, also a composed sign, derived from a written repertoire such as the alphabet. [Ref 19] Signage System for IIT Guwahati 28
  37. 37. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati 5.7 SEMIOTICSDeepak Kumar Semantics Sigmatics Syntactics/Syntax Pragmatics intention sender/meaning relation between sign & signified visual formal modes (influencing the receiver) dependent on repertoire of icon form imperative sender and receiver image will, duty dependent on context other degree of iconicity dimension suggestive signs culture, surroundings, substantial resemblance to dot, line,flat surface, feelings knowledge, social environment original body, space degree of abstraction quality indicative substantial deviation from round, angular, regular, information, knowledge original irregular, free symbol quantity representative large, small index demarcation indicator, pointer, mainly empty, fully or partially characters; if pictorial, icon filled, open form, closed and symbol possible as form,clear contours, blurred index contours realization structured, sketchy,firm, fuzzy, fragmented, free brightness colour movement material Fig: 5.7.2 VISUAL SIGNS [Ref 19] Signage System for IIT Guwahati 29
  38. 38. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati 5.8 MAPDeepak Kumar A map is a visual representation of an area—a symbolic What is a map? depiction highlighting relationships between elements of that space such as objects, regions, and themes. Maps inhabit the realm of fact, although not exclusively. They are (source: figurative representations of dimensions, attributes and relations of things in the physical or logical world. Reproduced at a scale smaller than life-size (usually, but not exclusively -sometimes their scale is 1:1 or, when mapping the microcosm, larger). What can be mapped? Anything can be mapped, and most things are: places, busi- nesses, galaxies, histories, bodies, philosophies devices and databases. The subject-matter of a map is measured and named and ordered (captured!) by the mapmaker who, armed with carefully verified data and a language of pictorial description, puts everything in its proper place with its proper name as he or she sees it.[Ref:18] Figure 5.8.1 Signage System for IIT Guwahati 30
  39. 39. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati 5.8 MAPDeepak Kumar Why use maps? Maps give their readers the simple and magical ability to see beyond the horizon. The enlightening arid revelatory characteristic of a good map derives from its encompassing vision, contained within a single consistent pictorial model. The map provides a view that slides instantaneously between panorama and detail. A map embodies the work, knowledge and Intelligence of others. We obtain a vision of a place that we may never have seen, or divine a previously unseen pattern in things we thought we knew intimately. So, we consult a map as we would an adviser in order to locate, identify and decide onto be enlightened. As a result we suffer, sometimes. a grand illusion of Figure 5.8.2 omnipotence by believing that the map contains everything necessary for Understanding or controlling a domain. We forget that the mapmaker has an implicit or explicit agenda of his own, not necessarily aligned with ours. Maps are imperfect. They have missing layers arid gaps within the layers. Paradoxically, much information can be gathered front the gaps left in maps, not least about the mapmakers intentions. This is, one of the beauties of maps.[Ref:18] Signage System for IIT Guwahati 31
  40. 40. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati 6.1 IIT GUWAHATI CampusDeepak Kumar Figure 6.1.1 Map of IITG from wikimapia BASIC CAMPUS LAYOUT BASIC TOPOGRAPHY Signage System for IIT Guwahati 32
  41. 41. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati 6.2 TOPOGRAPHYDeepak Kumar Topography (from greek τόπος topo-, "place", and γράφω graphia, "writing") is the study of Earths surface shape and features or those of planets, moons, and asteroids. It is also the description of such surface shapes and features (especially their depiction in maps). The topography of an area can also mean the surface shape and features themselves. In a broader sense, topography is concerned with local detail in general, including not only relief but also vegetative and human- made features, and even local history and culture. (source: Figure 6.2.1 the topography of the campus hills (view blockers) lakes (appreciating ground) Signage System for IIT Guwahati 33
  42. 42. M.Des’09Department of DESIGN, IITGuwahati 6.3 CIRCULATIONDeepak Kumar Due to topography of the campus one will have to go through ups and downs (slope). -the hills in the campus are considered as view blockers as they do not allow a person to see beyond them thus creating a bit of confusion or may be the only one road gives an extra B confidence of not being misled. A J G K -the lakes are called appreciating ground because there is no view obstruction and all the buildings around the lake could be seen clearly, thus giving a clue about where the building is but E H creating another question about what’s the name of the I building? F C Figure 6.2.1 the topography of the campus D hills (view blockers) lakes (appreciating ground) entrance(A, B, C, D) circulation Signage System for IIT Guwahati 34