Design Charting

Posted 19 September 2011 at 10:21 PM | Comments (0)

Yesterday, Co.Design posted a veeery interesting infographic chart, “America’s 50 Most Influential Designers.” It covers the entire scope, from graphic designers to fashion designers to architects.

I’m not familiar with all the designers on this list, and the ones I am familiar with, I don’t necessarily agree that they belong in the top 50, but (nerd alert) I can definitely appreciate a well-designed, easy-to-read-and-understand chart!

Co.Design Infographic Chart: America's 50 Most Influential Designers 2011

In two seconds, I knew who the top designers are, which industry they’ve influenced, and which industry they cross over to. If only all infographics were this easy! We’d never get lost at a bus stop in Queens! (Granted, that was years ago—hopefully things have improved since.)

Caution Crossing Road Sign

Posted 15 February 2011 at 10:56 PM | Comments (5)

Designing a road sign is possibly one of the coolest things I’ve ever been asked to do.

I was asked to design a “caution crossing road” sign at the end of a pedestrian staircase that leads right up to a busy street. The foot-traffic is heavy and cars just fly down the hill, oftentimes neither party seeing each other. So the goal was to post a caution sign that would alert pedestrians but not obstruct the landscape too much.

My first round of drafts was totally text-based, as you can see from this one example.

Caution Crossing Road Sign Draft

After some discussion, it seemed appropriate to combine the text with a visual, since the pedestrians in the area are multinational and not necessarily English-speakers. Since I had never designed a road sign before, I did web search after web search looking for an appropriate symbol to use, but found nothing. It seemed that, while there are many caution signs for drivers, there aren’t many designed for pedestrians. I had to improvise.

The first symbol I came up with was an exclamation point and a car.

Caution Crossing Road Symbol Draft

The problem with this symbol was that the car didn’t look like it was moving. It was like, “Caution! Cars are parked!” So I tilted the car to look like it could be in motion, albeit in a cartoony way, and I liked that the symbol instantly looked more reckless.

Caution Crossing Road Symbol

I did another round of drafts using the new symbol.

Caution Crossing Road Sign Drafts

But the one my client liked best was in a triangle format, where I dropped “crossing road” and just left “caution.” We used green because it’s strong but unobtrusive (you’ll see).

Caution Crossing Road Sign Final

I finally managed to get a photo of the sign in action. Unfortunately it wasn’t cut exactly right—if you look closely, you’ll see the trim-line was printed—but my client was quite happy with it.

Caution Crossing Road Pedestrian Sign