Wayfinding Design

As a human behaviour-focused wayfinding design company, we specialise in helping people to read and react to their environment with a unique blend of scientific strategy and creative design.

We understand that the heart of a good wayfinding design is about delivering a better experience by aiding navigation and orientation for all customers – visitors getting lost is an immediate detraction from the experience. Our output is a carefully crafted solution that works harmoniously with the visual language of your brand but delivers the functional need for the user.

We know that wayfinding is about more than just signs – signage design is just one channel to communicate wayfinding information. Wayfinding design has to work with architecture, landscape, digital information, landmarks & other visual cues such as lighting, interaction with staff and other people all as a cohesive system.

Wayfinding systems have to deliver their primary function which is supporting people movement and navigation. We do this through an investment in research into user behaviour, psychology and navigational needs.

We offer a full wayfinding design service from getting the right strategy in place as early as possible, through user research, planning, and the design of signage, maps and wayfinding software. We take our work through to project management and implementation support.

We don’t manufacture or generally supply because we value the independence of our advice to you. But we have strong relationships with a number of manufacturers to support the detailed design of signage and other wayfinding products.

CCD brings diverse experience from work on railways, sports stadia and major events, university campuses, healthcare, airports, ports, leisure and urban spaces including mixed use developments. Our wayfinding team is led by Chris Girling whose past experience includes the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as extensive experience in mass transport systems for Metro, Rail and Aviation in Dubai, South Asia and Europe.

Our clients include the V&A, Network Rail, Gatwick Airport, Canal & River Trust, London Underground, Aecom Sports, HOK architects, University of York, CERN, DP World Ports and Stansted Airport.

Navigation is a human process – it is about our individual perception of a space and how we process information and make decisions. There are significant differences between all of us when it comes to these processes. Good wayfinding design is impossible without a good understanding of behaviour and psychology.

We bring the discipline of human factors into our research and wayfinding design process. This gives our team the benefit of scientific knowledge and research methods to sit alongside the creative thinking of the designers. This integration is at the heart of how CCD thinks and works.

At the core of a good, long lasting wayfinding system is a robust strategy. The strategy is where we explore your objectives and the design implications of your longer term plans.

In the strategy we define the user behaviours and examine the principles by which people move through your space and where decisions are made. We also explore the cultural or language diversity of your user group. The strategy also sets out our approach to accessibility and sustainability.

The strategy is the driver for design in how it sets out the principles we will use for information content and hierarchy, how the visual language of your brand identify will be addressed and how we will use pictograms and colour.

Missing out the strategy is often a shortcut taken to save cost – in our experience this is always a mistake as it leads to higher costs in the long run.

Good wayfinding signage has to do more than just reflect your brand identity. Our design team are specialists in designing information and structuring it to help people navigate. Driven by our understanding of human behaviour and customer needs, we design signage that is inclusive but that still captures the brand identity in a visually appealing and creative way.

Our design skills cover typeface selection, pictogram design, mapping and cartography, and production artwork. We do all of the information planning and sign scheduling. We work with manufacturers on material selection and on the industrial design of sign products.

We can help you find the right manufacturer and give independent advice on their selection. To help you future proof your scheme, we also produce design guidelines to support the production of new signs.

We will get you from design concept to something that can be built and installed.

Increasingly wayfinding is being supplemented by digital solutions through mobile devices, kiosks, websites and location-based technology such as iBeacons. To actually help wayfinding they have to work harmoniously with the other elements of the system. So it is important to capture the technology strategy early on and be guided by user research.

We have a digital design capability that can integrate wayfinding software into the wider design. Our digital design team can develop the concepts for the solution and run the necessary trials and usability tests with end users. This gets you to a usable, well thought through solution that you can take to development.

We are about helping you develop technology solutions that support and work as an integral part of your wayfinding scheme. We are about helping you develop usable technology that your customers love.