After four years of work, Büro North has completed its most significant wayfinding and signage project to date at The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne (RCH).
Focused on an evidence-based approach to wayfinding and design, Büro North commissioned and collaborated with local illustrator, Jane Reiseger, on the development of illustrations for the wayfinding signage. The aim was to create an environment where, as patients move through different floors of the hospital, their journey takes them from ‘underground’ at the lower ground levels through to ‘sky’ on the top floor. Specific areas within each level are described in relation to an appropriate animal, for example, ‘Koala Ward’ exists on the ‘Tree Tops’ level.
Büro North developed the illustrations to create highly distinctive wayfinding graphics and over 5000 signs, wall panels and landmarks for the large hospital site, which introduced a playful and distinctive personality to the interior of the Hospital.
I am always happy to see Jeremy Mickel’s debut typeface Router in use. Somehow this is only the third project on Fonts In Use featuring his design, thirteen years after Router was released via Village, nine years after the wayfinding project was realised.
The typeface and the illustrations still look good while most other style elements look quite (out)dated to me now. The extra-rounded corners on signs and furniture and the color combos with brown reveal the taste of a decade that is now past. The eroded treatment of Router is plain silly. Why did the designers choose a friendly typeface, but then still make it more approachable by making it look like a worn coat?
Judging from the images not all type is eroded, and overall it looks like a solid wayfinding project, as explained in the Desktop mag text:
The wayfinding solution was subjected to rigorous testing prior to building occupation. The new wayfinding design solution provided a 45% reduction in average journey times compared to the old system, and the average number of users needing to ask for assistance to find their way was reduced from 78% in the old facility to under 10% in the new RCH.