WAYFINDING & NAVIGATION
George Hall Elementary School is a creative driven school that currently has no wayfinding system or campus map. Parents, visitors, and students often get lost on campus with no directional signs or directory. Working with CityWrights, we created an effective handout map and directory that saves time for users and livens up the school’s physical environment.
George Hall Elementary School is in need of a wayfinding system to help faculty, staff, students, and visitors find their desired destinations quickly.
The purpose of this study is to understand which methods best help elementary students, visitors, staff, and parents direct themselves on campus.
After creating and distributing a survey intended for first and second graders, data was able to be collected to be carefully analyzed to help the direction of the project. The same process was repeated with the parents and staff. This information was essential to the design layout of the map and the signs on campus.
STUDENT SURVEY DATA
The students thoroughly enjoy illustrating and drawing, so the pencil is the perfect icon to use as wayfinding signs to inspire children to pursue creativity. These are a few iterations of the signs that could be implemented into the wayfinding system.
Parents and visitors can visit the school’s website to view, print, or save the map. Having the map available online can save both ink and paper for the school, and it's sustainable!
This map was made to be placed in front of the office, facing the school. Nancy, the head office staff, showed us her map after we presented her the map we designed for the front of the office. She gave us her old map, which she often distributes in the office. Her map contains the names of all the teachers in their respective classrooms, which are essential to new parents and students. Although her map is quite detailed, the orientation can be quite confusing for new users. One helpful aspect she pointed out was that custodians and maintenance would need to find specific storage rooms and restroom across the campus.
SAVE INK MAP
This map is ADA compliant and is meant to save printer ink. The high contrast of colors make it easier to read while the outlined shapes save ink instead of block colors. Nancy or any other office staff are also able to edit the names for the classrooms in case there are new teachers. This was made possible by downloading and editing the PDF in Acrobat, making it easy for office staff to open the PDF and type in the names.
Big bold numbers next to the classroom would be sufficient as the current classroom either have tiny numbers at the top of the door or no numbers at all.
Orange is the color chosen for the Annex, Gina’s classrooms. Gina was quite pleased with the bottom design and wants her room to look similar to it. Two tones of orange with white typography gave the signs a little more flavor.
These initial designs to help clarify the identity of George Hall Elementary School. The custom typeface directly matches the building signs, which strengthens the collective visuals. Their school mascot is the jaguar. The logotype is one color, making it easy to apply to a variety of applications. This was my personal favorite for logos, but they decided to go with my other paw print with GH letters.
LINE UP DRAWINGS
Instead of plain white lines, we proposed using colorful and playful drawings that students can admire and make stories while in line. Although branding and line up designs aren't necessarily part of wayfinding, I wanted to help push the idea of the bigger picture that CityWrights was trying to implement on the campus.
These posters were made to help further visualize the school's spirit and bring a smile to children's faces. The blue jaguars also correlate with the school's mascot, bringing together a set of visual feelings that the students, parents, and staff can relate to
Fundraising and physical implementation are the next steps to creating a user friendly environment. Finding the perfect signage company to accommodate with the budget and installing the sign would complete the directional map process. Finding the best solution for applying the wayfinding signage would further progress the system to becoming real.
Learning all the aspects that go into wayfinding was a wonderful experience, but the fact that I worked with an experienced Principal and presented my work to a real client was unparalleled to any work I’ve done before. The iterative process and reality of accomplishments really hit me in the face, and it was nice to learn how real world projects would take place.
While there are still many steps to creating an effective wayfinding system for George Hall Middle School, the research and designs done so far have helped push the project closer to becoming a reality.