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The Wayfinding Handbook

The Wayfinding Handbook

Information Design for Public Places

Princeton Architectural Press

By David Gibson


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Where am I? What can I do here? Where can I go from here? How do I get out of here?

Consciously or not, we ask such questions every day as we navigate the places and spaces of our lives. Whether we find ourselves in a museum, hospital, airport, mall, or street in an unfamiliar city, we depend on systems of visual, audible, and tactile cues not only to lead the way, but also to keep us safe. They are the fundamental questions of wayfinding—a process that encompasses both the experience of choosing a path within a built environment and the set of design elements that aid in such a decision. A decade ago, the professional practice of wayfinding design simply involved devising sign systems. Today, the field is much broader and continues to expand to address technological developments—kinetic media, GPS systems, web connectivity, smart materials—as well as cultural changes in areas such as branding and environmental awareness. Similarly, a cross-disciplinary familiarity with graphic, architectural, landscape, interior, industrial, and information design has become an essential requirement of twenty-first-century wayfinding design.

Professional wayfinding designer David Gibson draws on more than thirty years of experience collaborating with architects, planners, developers, managers, and civic leaders to offer an insider's view of this rapidly evolving discipline. Using real-life examples, Gibson illustrates the way type, color, mapmaking, dimensional forms, material selection, and new media are used to create effective wayfinding systems.

More Details

Size: 7 x 8-1/2 in;
Pages: 152 pp;
Format: Paperback
Publication: January 2009
ISBN: 9781568987699
ISBN10: 1568987692
As cofounder and managing principal of the graphic design firm Two Twelve Associates, David Gibson has developed environmental graphic design systems for Downtown Baltimore, the City of Chicago Streetscape, Children's Hospital Boston, Massachusetts General Hospital, Radio City Music Hall, the General Motors Technical Center in Detroit, and numerous other places and organizations.