Wayfinding Stranger

Over at Bull City Rising, guest blogger NCSU design professor Martha Scotford takes an interesting look at Durham’s new wayfinding system (the colorful signage designating various downtown districts and sites of interest).

Short version: good, but there are some flaws:

The color system is a visual code for the mental organization of the city’s space; it is like any language in that successful communication happens when all those involved are speaking the same language and have agreed on the meaning of terms. Currently, the Durham color codes are slippery (and therefore not efficiently communicating).

The full post is well worth reading. One suggestion, though: Scotford is a 28-year Durham resident who already knows how to get around town. I’d love to see BCR recruit some first time visitors, turn them loose downtown without a map, and see if they can find their way to various sites using just the signs.

What do you think of the signage?

One Response to Wayfinding Stranger

  1. Katja says:

    Every time I see an arrow pointing straight up, I look up for whatever is supposed to be there, and feel confused that the ballpark is not in the sky.

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