“Signs Have Much to Say,” a children’s book about signage and wayfinding.

Read Time: 2 minutes 30 seconds

In elementary school,
Lauren Stern’s love for books blossomed. For several years, she and her classmates were coached through writing and illustration projects, resulting in hard-bound books for each student to enjoy. This process eventually became the seed of a big idea for Lauren. Her first book, “Signs Have Much to Say” is scheduled for publication in early 2023.

Throughout her schooling, Lauren explored her passion for storytelling and creativity, choosing to study Interior Design at Appalachian State and then Exhibition Design at the Corcoran College of Art + Design (now called, “the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design”). Through her course work, Lauren explored visual storytelling and Experiential Design. After graduation, Lauren’s professional career expanded across fabrication shops to experiential design, wayfinding and signage design firms.

Lauren’s passion for storytelling came full circle in the summer of 2021 while visiting her niece. Lauren spent time reading books to her niece that introduced coding and architecture to young children, but nothing represented Lauren’s design field. An idea was born to combine her passion for storytelling and experience design by writing a book about the importance of signage and wayfinding. Signs are everywhere and as her book is titled, ‘Signs Have Much to Say,’ from regulatory signs to information displays and identifiers, the world is filled with signs and visual communications.

This passion project pulled at her heart strings for almost a year. In summer 2022, Lauren decided to act on the idea, and with easy access to self-publishing through online resources, this book could become a reality without securing a publishing house. She leveraged her professional connection to a talented illustrator, whose styles and creative processes aligned with Lauren’s. Located half-way across the world in Australia, James Bevelander is working with Lauren to create these visual interpretations. 

Lauren started with an idea that evolved into a creative storyline. The story follows a little girl named Lauren and her dog (a parallel to the real life Lauren and her furry best friend and co-worker Dewey). Lauren and Dewey go on a fun adventure and use signage and wayfinding to help them navigate the world around them and from their experience interacting with examples of signage and wayfinding at the zoo, hospital, school, and more, they learn to appreciate the importance of this field. The rhyming storyline offers a playful tempo for the reader.

Always a creative problem solver, Lauren is developing curated sponsorship opportunities to help fund the illustration and publishing fees. There are three sponsorship tiers that each come with their own special benefits and for two of the tiers, Lauren and James collaborate with the industry sponsors to integrate logos and themes directly into the illustrations. This book is a fun way to teach children the importance of signage and wayfinding and is a way to promote the sponsors involved as it will highlight them on the book’s website and in the back of the book. The sponsorship list could come in handy; you never know who might read this book to their child and need assistance on a project. A proud supporter of this effort, SEGD is currently working with Lauren to integrate our legacy of excellence and community of vanguards who represent the pinnacle of experience design for the built environment for 50+ years. As Lauren states on her book’s website, “we are all one big multidisciplinary family, so let’s show it in this book.” Lauren has garnered sponsors within the EGD industry from all over the country and Canada! If you are interested in being a part of this special book, please visit her book’s website to sign up. The sponsorship window closes on December 31, 2022.

Signs Have Much to Say” is scheduled for publication in early 2023. The next time a child asks “what do you do,” or “what is wayfinding,” Lauren’s book could be the spark that inspires a future wayfinding and signage expert.