Review: The Wayfinding Handbook: Information Design in Public Places

Review_TheWayfindingHandbook

My Rating: 3.5/5 

About the Book
As advertised, the book is a handbook for designers interested in exploring the field of wayfinding design. The book covers a wide variety of introductory topics in the field, including how to plan wayfinding communication in public spaces (like parks, stadiums, airports, and so forth), what kinds of signs are used, how public places and cities are organized, what material to make signs out of, how to brand a public space, and what colors and typography to use.

Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press
Cost: about $17 on Amazon
ISBN: 78-1568987699
Paperback

What I Liked
I used this book for an introductory, underclassmen college course called “Information Design in Society.” The book worked really well for a class like that since the students had relatively little exposure to information design and they seemed quite receptive to it. The book has a lot of helpful images and examples and it is very approachable for beginners. The book reads quickly, as a handbook should, and the price makes it work keeping. It’s a convenient reference book.

What I Didn’t Like
For beginning students, the book works well, but I was a bit surprised at the lack of depth in many of the sections. There is very little useful information, for example, about how to choose typography and which typefaces are better for which venues. The same issue applies to color and word choice for signage, among other important topics. The book does a nice job exposing absolute beginners to the concept of information design in public spaces, but for anybody with a background in graphic and information design, the book really doesn’t add much knowledge.

 

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