Wayfinding – Junior Typography
IntroductionI designed the project Traversing Multiple Formats for the Boston University Junior class, during the spring 2022 semester. The project was part of a course, Junior Type: Motion + Interactivity, co-designed by Assistant Professor Mary Yang and myself.
The purpose of the project was to provide wayfinding for the Multiple Formats Artbook Symposium, organized by BU Associate Professor Christopher Sleboda. In the first half of the project, students practiced the fundamentals of animating typography in Adobe After Effects with a few basic composition assignments. The students then applied the tools that they’d learned to create an animated wayfinding poster for the event. Students had to adhere to a set of restrictions based on the original visual identity of the show, but they were also allowed to add their own graphic elements based on the visual identity. Students were asked to consider how the content of the event could inspire motion in their work, how dynamic typography can activate a space, and how they could use information design to create successful wayfinding posters.
MFA candidate Chen Luo designed the visual identity for Multiple Formats Artbook symposium. Chen was also coincidentally the TA for all 3 sections of Junior Type and was able to provide invaluable feedback to students throughout the project.
PlanningI began the planning of this project considering the space in which the event was occurring, particularly the path visitors would take from the entrance of the building to the event itself. I identified three major points of intervention where we could install signage to help visitors navigate to the event. The last of the series of three posters would serve as an event listing for each of the three days of the symposium. Because the intention behind the Junior Typography project was for the students to practice animating typography, I decided to display the animations on the walls with digital projectors. I also decided to have the students design their animations at a 2:3 aspect ratio, the most popular aspect ratio for printing, in order to convey the idea of a printed poster hanging on a wall.
For the project instructions, I explained each of the 5 poster variations that a student would randomly be assigned. They included two different wayfinding posters for separate locations, and an event list poster for the third location that would contain different content depending on the day. I also came up with a list of criteria for students to adhere to in order to maintain the event’s visual identity in the wayfinding. I reviewed this list with Chen, who prepared a presentation on her process for designing the visual identity to present to the students with the introduction of the project.
ProductionI coordinated with various facilities staff members in the School of Visual Arts to secure the necessary equipment for the poster displays (portable projectors, pedestals, power cords, etc.) and to make sure that all installations would adhere to the building’s codes and fire safety protocols. I presented the wayfinding locations to Christopher and other SVA faculty helping to plan the show before moving forward with finalizing the assignment for students.
Poster and Projector Location 1
Once all 35 students turned in their posters, I created reels of all animations for each poster location so the students’ work could play on rotation on separate days of the symposium. I worked with the School of Visual Art’s technical associate to test, install, and de-install the projected posters at each location, each day of the symposium.
Poster Location 1
Poster Location 1
Poster Locations 2 + 3
Poster Location 3