Traditionally, car parks are uninviting and disorientating, sometimes to the point of being dangerous. The BrandCulture Communications design team was intent on turning this around at the World Square Car Park, by creating a welcoming environment that is simple to navigate and easy to understand.
Located in the heart of Sydney’s central business district, World Square Car Park is an amalgamation of several car parks situated under the new developments that make up the largest multi-functional complex in Australia. Covering an entire city block and bordered by four of Sydney’s busiest streets, it is home to a retail center, residential block, and hotel. BrandCulture was engaged to research and propose the best solution for getting cars and people around with minimal confusion and stress.
Research conducted by BrandCulture showed that car parks are often quite dangerous, with poorly identified exits and emergency equipment. Pedestrians are often not considered in car park planning and design, leading to problems for people trying to return to their car and recall which floor they were parked on. World Square’s massive size compounded these issues.
BrandCulture used cognitive mapping and circulatory navigation approaches, combined with integrated and intuitive design for the best outcome. Every graphic, color, and typographic element was considered for its ability to communicate information concisely and consistently. The wayfinding solution established two lines of sight: the first visible from motor vehicles, using full-height icons, type, and colors, and the second from the more elevated position of a standing pedestrian.
Playful, super-scaled level numbers and icon graphics were combined with blocks of bright, punchy, and memorable colors to help orient drivers and pedestrians from the moment they arrive at World Square. Graphics reminiscent of paper stencils contrast with the building’s heavy use of concrete and add an element of fun to the otherwise drab environment. The block colors reflect onto surrounding concrete surfaces to create a warm glow and imprint the color in users’ memory for easy navigation back to their cars.
The primary wayfinding signage was painted directly onto concrete walls and floors. Supporting wayfinding lightboxes were installed in the ceiling at key visual points to aid the journey. Additional signs in and around the elevator lobbies and retail entry were made from routed-aluminum composite panels with vinyl lettering.
Stephen Minning (client liaison, creative and design director, project coordination), Bobby Rakich (design and artwork), Matthew Hayes (prototyping, production, and installation project management)
Wizardry Signs (signage fabrication, painting)