GRAPHICS PRO

July '20

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 0 J U L Y G R A P H I C S P R O 6 3 Perhaps you even prove that the client's primary product, rather than his own name, deserves top billing, with no other copy besides a phone number. Risky busi- ness? Certainly! But you have now dem- onstrated your expertise as a collaborator in your client's success. Those relation- ships are solid gold, and the ones you want to forge. Competence in the realm of experi- ence design requires diligence, study, and genuine commitment to the success of the project, even if it entails the understand- ing and mastery of concepts presently out- side your wheelhouse. Perhaps upgrades to a project's lighting are required; you are certain that guest experience could be elevated, and you believe your firm could provide those improvements. But in order to make your case, you may first need to become conversant in the principles of in- terior design. What began as a request for more effec- tive golf course signage may mandate a better grasp of landscape architecture. Or, during the installation of ADA plaques, you notice that patients at a clinic are getting lost. You'd like to recommend an overhaul of the facility's wayfinding sys- tem, and you should, but not until you have thoroughly investigated best prac- tices and studied successful precedents in similar facilities. Your enthusiasm, passion, and focus upon the experience will get you an ap- pointment. Your curiosity, knowledge, and preparation will earn you a seat at the table. A DISCIPLINE OF ASPECTS Experiential design is a discipline of end- less aspects, a field that includes, but is by no means limited to, exhibits, digital signage, public art, retail and hospitality venues, museums, schools, and hospitals. It touches upon the fields of architecture, branding, print and industrial design, and motion graphics; a modest knowledge of psychology can be a plus; and it is best undertaken with a strong command of proportion, composition, typography, color, and technology, skills that are yours to develop. Experiential design succeeds when it enhances the sense of a place, builds con- nection, and enriches lives. Many sign and graphics fabricators develop the ex- pertise to offer experiential design services to their clients. And experiential design is a stand-alone profession in its own right. The SEGD (Society for Experiential Graphic Design) is a worldwide profes- sional organization, dedicated to excel- lence in the practice and the education of those entering the field. I encourage you to begin your investigation and to consider how an emphasis on Experi- ence might fit your career. Finally, I invite you to examine the images throughout this article for evi- dence of experiential thinking at work. I admit that I gravitate toward those which exhibit playful imagination and an element of the unexpected; where the problem seems to be solved el- egantly—and just right. Many of my favorite projects are those in which a lot is done with a little. How did they come about? See if you can decode their success! GP For 48 years, MARK OATIS has worked in all phases of the sign industry, on projects world- wide. He is Creative Director at YESCO's Las Vegas division. This installation by New Zealand artist Catherine Griffiths is an elegant trio of lettering, craftsmanship, and space. It piques curiosity and invites exploration. (Image titled AEIOU—a typo/sound installation cour- tesy Catherine Griffiths, 2009/www.catherinegriffiths. co.nz; photo taken by Paul McCredie, 2010) The entry portal to the British Library in St. Pancras, London, is a self-contained experience, an invitation to discovery. Is it a building? An archway? A marquee? A sign? (Image courtesy I-Stock, architecture by Colin St. John Wilson/MJ Long, lettering by David Kindersley/ Lida Lopez Cardozo) I can't vouch for the functionality of the balconies at the Niimi Western Tableware headquarters in Tokyo, but their experiential effectiveness is unmis- takable. Presented with this facade (with its re- cessed corner), would you have envisioned this solution? (Image courtesy Basile Morin)

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