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Environmental Graphic Design – Let’s Discuss On It’s 5 Different Types!

In simpler terms, Environmental Graphic Design (EGD) rests on the culmination of architecture, interior decorations, graphical displays, environment-friendly settings and landscape designs. Along with all these and many other subtle, nuanced signage, quotes, pictures, well-placed logos, crafty phrases, and funny puns are a part of EGD. Every organization or industry uses a combination of such designs to put forward their message, vision or advertise.  In a deeper sense, it relies on emotions. Do you remember those times as kids when you laughed in front of a doctor’s door just because the sign read, “Please keep your shoes and worries here?” Do you remember the ergonomic chairs, gently colored walls and warm lighting in your office that made you feel at home?. Or simply, walking into that blue tinted office building that made you feel a part of something big, something wonderful? Precisely speaking all such delicately designed spheres evoke an emotion which connects us with an organization or better yet gets their message across in plain terms. EGD can be used in a variety of ways but in the words of the visionary late Apple Co-Founder Steve Jobs, “Design is not just what it looks like and how it feels. Design is how it works”. In this article, we shall walk through 5 different types of EGDs and relevance in different scenarios. 

Environmental Graphic Design Type 1: WayFinding & PlaceMaking

Environmental Graphic Design_humritha Sometimes we secretly curse ourselves for not remembering the everyday roads, the directions in a complicated office building or even the turns we need to take for our favorite coffee shops. At times we curse the navigation apps eating away our battery. Well, no more of that!  With strategically placed current location notes, direction symbols, or simple information about the place can take our stress away. For example, a bookstore can put up information about Wi-Fi availability, open/closed or timings. An office building can put directions for CEOs office(it’s a big deal isn’t it?), cafeteria (where would waste time on the pretext of eating 24×7), or the fire escapes and routes to numerous exits. Also, an old sign which read, “we’re thankful you’re here.”, makes for really great motivation.  In short, this is what EGD does. It makes our lives a little easier. Wayfinding helps clueless or forgetful people with directions for easy navigation and Placemaking takes it a step further to include various information about the place or locality to make us feel more at ease and maybe a little more at home. 

Environmental Graphic Design Type 2: Branding 

Also called Experiential Graphic Design. Before you re-read the word “experiential” and think something fancy, it simply means brand advertising or branding. It is a well-defined type of EGD to put their message across to their audience. The simpler, the better.  For example, whenever Philips Corporation launches a product, they add “Innovation and You” in a carefully designed logo to drive their point home. Similarly, every Indian who has had a sip of Coco-Cola knows the catchphrase “Thanda Matlab? Coca Cola”. If we just glance around the signboards, hoarding, or even TV ads is the abundant use of EGD in a branding environment.  In short, Experiential Graphic Design/Branding is a type of EGD to give an idea of what the company offers, its values or its culture in any available form to a common man.

Environmental Graphic Design Type 3: Interaction & Experience

Environmental Graphic Design_humritha Meanwhile, are you constantly changing your mind about which phone to buy, or which TV would redefine your living room or which voice assistant are you most compatible with(self-high five if you gave this a thought!). In any case, with the rise of the digital age, physical engagement with the user is a key feature of any product company.  Be it through interactive touch screens, live demos, colorful displays, voice commands or handheld experiences. All such methods are Environmental Graphic Design to take UX to make it even more refined. These interactive communications elevate our sensory experiences and help to give a clearer idea about our purchase.  For example, the Xbox, PS4 we usually refuse to let go of on our visits to digital stores points to an effective EGD of user experience.

EGD Type 4: Exhibition

An exhibition is a type of EGD that creatively and effectively uses audio, video, lighting, models, interactive designs to narrate a story, a journey or a process. It draws the outsiders into their world. It can also be in the form of charts, drawings, or pictures on glasses, floors or walls.  Museums, Theme Parks or Trade shows employ this type of EGD to make it exciting and fun to understand the mundane details.

EGD Type 5: The Social Media

EGD_humritha Sometimes just connecting like-minded people can work wonders. Social Media Environmental Graphic Design does just that. It’s a process of designing creative, safe and collaborative space for people to connect, meet and discuss their ideas. This also helps to create a healthy and lively bond between the employees and the company.  Concept of colorful selfie walls, photogenic locations and scenic office backdrops are on the rise. The employees gather, click umpteen number of pics and then post. On to show off their new outfit(Smiles), the beautiful office view or the color of the day pic. Companies like Google with its swanky offices, Facebook, LinkedIn, Apple etc. Are embracing such social media-friendly spaces very fast.

Over To You

At last Environmental Graphic Designs covers a broad spectrum of creative ways to give us a break from our humdrum affairs. Hopefully, the next time you see a sign, a board. Or simply walking into a colorful, well-designed room, pause a little bit more. Give a mental shout-out to the designer and perhaps a pat on your back. For identifying those creative Environmental Graphic Designs. Maybe it’ll make you smile!