GHK Way Finding

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As a key element to elevate the prestige and brand of a new jointly established Sino-US institution of higher education, Ge HeKai Hall was recently built for the Michael Graves College of Architecture and Design (MGC) at Wenzhou-Kean University (WKU).

Within the international environment of WKU, bilingual design is not only necessary but also celebrated. Therefore, a visually complementary group of typefaces, Archer, Verlag for letterforms, and Hanyi for characters, were selected to represent the College. The typeface group is particularly easy to read as well as beautifully architectural and elegant at the same time – an embodiment of the design philosophy at MGC.

A variety of materials and techniques are in use in the wayfinding system, such as copper, neon, and silk screen printing. Of note is the use of lenticular printing adopted to deliver bilingual messages in an appropriately creative yet legible way. Although the text in English and Chinese overlap, they can be read individually from both the left and right directions without interfering with each other. A series of motion graphic icons also correspond with the wayfinding. The combined playfulness of the mixed-use materials and motion is meant to be functional but also pleasant and even delightful to experience.

In this project, it was challenging to match the speed of movement (of the graphics) with the best reading angle of the static signage. Therefore, a variety of lenticular lens degrees, thicknesses, and printing methods were tested in order to determine the best experience.

The final outcome, tested by many, is appealing and enjoyed by faculty and students. The process of development and the results will be in use as a case study for the students in both schools and the many materials and techniques are meant to be an inspiration for design study.