What is Placemaking and Identity?

The Mexico Olympics Graphic Identity and Placemaking design by Lance Wyman

Placemaking is the design activity that creates experiences that connect people to place. Identity design creates a strong sense of “you are here” by differentiating a place or space from others. Placemaking and Identity design use the combination of physical features, people, function, history, culture, and potential that make the place unique to accentuate the experience of and identity of that place.

One of the most widely recognized and memorable placemaking projects was the work of Lance Wyman on the 1968 Mexico Olympics which took the integration of graphic communication in the built environment to new levels of excellence.

Placemaking and Identityis a multidisciplinary approach to the planning, design, and development of  public spaces.It uses materiality, form, and context to express the uniqueness of the place and inspire, engage, connect, and call users to action.

Portland Eastbank Esplanade Design by Bruce Forster and Mayer Reed

Some of the industry verticals that Placemaking enhances are education,corporate,transportation,retail,sportsand, urban and civicenvironments.

USBank Stadium Placemaking Design by Infinite Scale

Experiential Graphic Designers use the principles of communication design to make urban plans clear and understandable to visitors. Experiential Graphic Design places the user at the center of their human centered design process, whereas urban planning deals with the infrastructure, layout, zoning and other laws and the flow of traffic through spaces. Experiential Graphic Designers ensure that the place defined through Urban planning is then brought to reality in such a way that it clearly communicates it's purpose; who and what is contained within the space, as well as it's cultural and artistic significance.

American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial in Washington D.C. designed by Cloud Gehshan

In Experiential Graphic Design,Placemaking and Identity encompasses a collaborative design approach involving multiple disciplines and points of view, but leverages design methodologies to express the essence of a place visually. Typical collaborations can involve Architects, landscape architects, developers, urban planners, interior designers, artists, fabricators and vendors.

The LAX Gateway designed by Selbert Perkins Design, LA

Gateways and markers, interpretive exhibits and signage, monumental sculpture, public art, and branded graphics are some of the many devices used to communicate a sense of place to visitors. Brand design is often employed to create a unique graphic identity that contributes to the sense of place and unique identity.

Effective Placemaking and Identity design happens in collaboration with the people who live in, work in, or use the space. At its best, it can be a transformative design process that inspires people to create and improve the places where they live, work, learn, shop, play, and gather.

Find Designers and Design Agencies who can help you transform your place into something extraordinary and compelling for your patients, clients, users or the public. Just scroll down the page to the sections Placemaking and Identity Specialists and Placemaking and Identity Firms.

Visit our Index of content related to the exciting profession of Experiential Graphic Design.