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Organisation: Dotdash
Name: Despina Macris
E-Mail: info@dotdash.com.au
Category: Wayshowing

Name of Project: Brisbane Multilingual Hub Signs

Description of Project: A complete family Dotted throughout Brisbane City and surrounds, these signs stand as major information nodes integrating with the existing network of multilingual directional signage. The hub signs provide information and orientation for users, providing the following information and services: • Place name. e.g. Chinatown Mall • Directional information to nearby services • Visitor orientation through mapping of immediate, local and broader areas. • Regulatory information to advise visitor behaviour, video monitoring, etc • Emergency contact information • Promotion of upcoming events in the precinct • Linkage to further digital information such as maps, Council’s website, timetables and interpretation, through media such as QR codes and NFC. • Step-Hear Navigation and Information system visually impaired users. • BCC branding including tagline, logo and cleat integrated within the sign. What was the solution? As part of the design process, consideration was given to the evolution of the ‘walking man’ identifier. This element was developed through an approach of gestalt thinking - that is, the walking man is ‘of the sign’ rather than an applied device. The cut through walking man comes alive as it elegantly and dynamically frames it’s context. Simplicity predicated the development of information design. The destination hierarchy was defined by communicating transport, urban centres and precincts, retail centres, malls and significant places of tourism or geographic interest. Landmarks were illustrated to assist users to form cognitive boundaries and touch points. The legend carried information in five languages, Korean, Mandarin, Japanese, Arabic and as with the directional finger signs, English was the dominant language. All maps were designed heads up, and following on from the earlier colours selected from the City’s brand identity. For both the context and local area map, geographic boundaries were determined by walking distance. The physical presence of the signs achieved a number of solutions. Firstly, the key to consistency was to ensure the hub signs conveyed a visual relationship with the current multilingual finger signs to appear as one suite of sign types. The signs were designed to be sited in busy footpaths and walkways with minimal impediment on pedestrian traffic flow. It was imperative that the sign forms be of a size and visual impact that drew attention while still integrating into a range of different urban environments and include illumination for night use. It was critical that we follow design principles that contribute to a universally accessible and inclusive Brisbane, particularly in the planning and design of signs that are safe and provide maximum benefit and value. What was the effect? The newly constructed Brisbane City Council hub signs are the towering, vibrant parent signs to the current multilingual finger sign family. Located on footpaths throughout the 1,343 km2 local government area of the City of Brisbane, these distinct yellow signs attempt to draw attention whilst still integrating into their surroundings and causing minimal impediment on pedestrian traffic flow. Providing a high contrast to their surrounding urban environment, the hub signs reference the vibrant yellow colour palette and angular profile of the directional finger signs, allowing for a recognisable trail of visually connected pedestrian information throughout the city. The now completed signage network intends to encourage pedestrian movement, displaying a circular map which highlights walking times to surrounding destinations.

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