October 2, 2013

Walk a mess?

signsnight2

Does any city really need more signage?

Judging from Walk Your City, the answer appears to be ‘yes’ and for economic, environmental and health reasons. Not a bad ideal, but I’m not convinced that the application’s idea really stands up to scrutiny.

Take a look at the system here Walk [Your City]

The originators claim the approach “empowers you to promote walkability” but whatever that means, adding more plastic signs and zipties certainly isn’t going to improve anyone’s environment or perhaps encourage “walkability”.

‘Hacked’ systems – and this signage is effectively doing that to underlying systems that are already in place – is subject to questions of trust, few of which are implicit in ‘municipal’, local government or even corporate systems (where we take information presented on signage as given). What’s to stop systems like this being hijacked for nefarious means…

What the idea does draw attention to, however, is that your signage system needs to be much more attuned to the needs of all travelers – not simply those in cars or with smartphones. Of which there are increasingly many, better examples than Walk’s.

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About Richard Hill

Creative director, writer, designer, illustrator based in the UK with global project experience and consulting skills across sectors.

Category

Design, Re-thinking, Signage futures

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