School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) campus wayfinding system used in all campus buildings.
The SAIC Wayfinding system was created to help the SAIC community get through each unique building with ease despite the complexity of the city campus.
Simplicity in the design is key since most wayfinding graphics exist in spaces where art making is occurring and changing constantly. In order to not disrupt environmental aesthetics around campus, wayfinding graphics are simplistic and contrast against the already engaged surfaces.
Clean lines keep legibility intact and draw the eye to important sets of information, quickly. Bold, large type announce department or area names first, and specifics, like room names and numbers are secondary (which can be ignored to save mental energy, but very useful when sought out.)
Arrows have no role in this wayfinding system. In order to not overstimulate the space and those using the graphics, long lines are used instead. Thick directional header lines take the viewer’s eye from one set of information to the next. These lines are also used to connect one space to another, leading the viewer down hallways or around columns.
This systems ability to evolve over time to fit the needs of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago is its most important attribute. It can be used in conjunction with any color, texture, material, or aesthetic. It can be large, it can exist small. It performs in digital landscapes with ease and integrates into the physical world seamlessly. The system is designed to feel and look consistent across campus, regardless of what’s occurring around it. Not only will this help the SAIC community get to their destinations easily, but it will continue to function as the art around it changes.