“I have independently and, as the lead-designer of project teams, effectively tackled many such questions of identity development, web orientation and routing, infrastructure and location navigation. Whether you need corporate design, editorial design, web design or spatial designs, I can develop and produce products that help your customers find their way.”
A selection of projects and annotations on orienting and design.
On identity design:
“The logo is one of the main visual building blocks of an identity design program and a primary identifying feature in branding. The identity design program acts as an organisation’s visual code. A typical program will provide principles for information to be ordered across media, such as typeface use, colours and images, but can also include for example product
aesthetics. This visual code helps people to find their way through information and to trace it back to the sender.”
“Branding is the way in which the marketing of a product or service makes people want to use it. Commercial brands sell, compete and communicate along the lines of a fixed set of distinct values. The public sector adopted brand-culture from the private sector, but generally in a non-rivalrous way, to impress value. A public brand is about valorising, securing or preserving access to services no citizen is to be excluded from.”
On information design:
“For any kind of information to be meaningful a design space has to be created, or ‘programmed’. A small codified space such as a line chart is a narrowly defined design program. Say, the two dimensions of a horizontal and a vertical scale within which statistical data become intelligible information. A webapplication has a complex design space with many variables programmed to act on each other that need visual encoding to be
understood. Encompassing an identity design program is a set of visual codes to contextualise company data (or institutional data) as information, as well as (web-) products or even place appearances.
Many visual codes do come about somewhat happenstance. But however deliberate, people create them by design. Generally speaking a design space is most meaningful when distractive clutter is minimal and every element present contributes to the display of information.”
On orientation design:
“When we orientate, we look for recognisable environmental signals to match our actions. For example, paving stones to tell us that there is a footpath, or in a digital environment we perceive underlined text as a hyperlink. With an increase in functions, the visual codes densify. The pavement of the footpath is no longer enough as an environmental signal: so a traffic sign with the parent and child
symbol must be added, just as a hyperlink would be linked to a graphical button. Although the function does not change, the whole has become more complex, requiring more visual guidance to understand the information. Urban environments are complex assemblages in which many visual codes compete with each other. Information objects like the ones shown or more commonly digital ap-plications assist in the systemic structuring of information locally and aid navigation.”
On user experience design:
A problem of identification because of a lack of orientation is something design can address. Spatial orientation is inseparable from a personally felt experience of place. The same is true in digital environments. Notions of average ‘users’ program many social, political, sexual, cultural orientations that are at play. More connectivity has been beneficial to the multitude of design spaces we can inhabit, but economics of similitude detrimental to our affintity with them.
When we change from the interface of a gps application to following local directional signs we exchange design spaces.
Many design spaces coexist and co-opt that people continuously switch between. Some have an overtly technical nature whereas others are more social or cultural. A local might inhabit design spaces a non-local might not perceive. Or when moving through the world’s cities men and women often follow different codes. By understanding the many ways of inhabiting spaces we can make them both inclusive and diverse in their design.”