Podcast | Wayfinding Europe: Public Information Systems in the United Kingdom

Podcast Lucy Holmes + Simon Borg + Jason Smith


What you will learn

This course focuses specifically on the current trends and state of public venue and urban wayfinding systems in the United Kingdom. By downloading this course, you will learn about design integration for historic contexts while integrating organizational brand and identity elements. Lucy Holmes, Simon Borg, and Jason Smith will help you reach an understanding of the logic for integrating wayfinding in large public venues with a need for adaptability. Additionally, you will discover the process for engaging multiple stakeholders and conducting usability research for large scale regional information design systems. This podcast is jam-packed with valuable information and international perspectives!

These experts from across the pond take us through three case studies of wayfinding systems in public spaces, covering everything from incorporating wayfinding in a historic context to stadium and arena wayfinding to designing a comprehensive program for an entire city. The insights shared are invaluable and will get you thinking about your own projects. 


  • Wayfinding in the public sector
  • Integrating wayfinding systems in historic settings
  • Brand and identity expressed through wayfinding
  • Information architecture and destination hierarchy
  • Developing sign families
  • Color hierarchy
  • Designing wayfinding systems for a multitude of users in a stadium setting
  • Large-scale communication
  • Iconography
  • Designing for temporary environments
  • Collaborating with fabrication teams for wayfinding signage
  • Using research methodology to integrate a wayfinding system into an environment’s existing infrastructure
  • Creating a graphic identity for a region/city
  • Linking 3D identity to visual identity
  • Incorporating digital information


Questions Answered

  • Describe the project scope and the goals and objectives that your client was looking to achieve. What was the timeframe for the planning and phasing of the program?
  • How were elements such as brand prioritized by the client? How were the institution’s brand and identity characteristics integrated?
  • How did your team audit and map the existing conditions? 
  • What were the goals and function of each sign type in the family?
  • Does the client change out the product themselves?
  • What kind of requirements did the client have for long term adaptability and changeability for the signs? Were considerations for sign maintenance and vandalism provided for in the design process?
  • What role did context play in selecting color and the formal shaping of the signage?
  • What challenges were unique to this project and what did your team learn?
  • Were any technologies or digital solutions considered for dynamic experiences?
  • What would you define as the major trends that informed this project? Have any particular outcomes already made an impact in shaping future projects?
  • How has the role of static information experiences changed—especially within public venues like arts complexes?
  • How were sign destinations to optimize viewing, scale, and positioning recommended?
  • What types of materials were used on the various sign and identification elements?
  • What kind of process was considered for repurposing, reusing, or recycling any of the material or structural elements that created the wayfinding system?
  • Was this a first “Games” project for your team?
  • How did the region fund the project, and what type of mechanisms were created for allocating funding for long term maintenance and updates?
  • Describe how color, typography, and pictograms were selected and crafted. What role did brand play in shaping the information design experience? What shifts have occurred in the last decade that have allowed your process for urban wayfinding to become more refined? Has the ‘legible’ model that was pioneered in Bristol evolved? What has remained a constant and what has changed?
  • What kind of return on investment metrics have these cities been able to develop as a result of implementing and aligning their urban centers towards legible information experiences?
  • What focus areas represent the greatest challenges for sustaining these programs over time?
  • What are the implications of technology, specifically mobile and location-based services?
  • As other cities either emulate or apply their own “legible” experiences, what are your thoughts on the set of universal expectations emerging in communities and from visitors as they navigate, explore, and experience new neighborhoods, destinations, and places?
  • What measures have your respective studios taken to ensure fluency with digital technologies as they become an increasingly more complex and integral necessity to both practice and the potential desire of clients for interactive solutions?
  • Is the legible city concept moving cross-culturally?


Course Materials

  • This course contains 1 podcast with 2 accompanying PDF presentations.



  • Approximately 98 minutes




Presented December 12, 2013

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