Corbin Design

Corbin Design (Traverse City, Mich.) developed a comprehensive wayfinding system for Detroit's COBO Center as part of the center's $300 million upgrade.

Home to the North American International Auto Show, COBO (one of the largest convention centers in the country) was notorious in the past for confusing visitors who were unfamiliar with the facility, or limited in terms of language or mobility.

Working with Atlanta-based architect tvsdesign, Corbin developed a simplified system of wayfinding logic and graphics to help visitors orient themselves to the building. Exhibit spaces are now lettered sequentially, and meeting room numbers are simplified to indicate only building level and room number. Public elevators, entrances, parking, and transit are also featured, so that visitors can easily find their way back to their transportation or hotel.

Colors and typography were selected for contrast, visibility, and integration with the context of the environment and materials in the architecture. Visitors with limited English proficiency can easily navigate using international symbols and consistent English language cues; maps at decision points help people orient themselves to their location within the building, including all amenities. The system was fabricated by Harmon Sign.

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