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University of Washington Wayfinding

Client: University of Washington, Seattle, Washington Design Team: Kristine Matthews and Karen Cheng, lead designers; Kaito Gengo, Scott Ichikawa, designers Photos: William Wright

The University of Washington’s 700 acre Seattle campus is one of the most beautiful in the country, yet was woefully lacking in navigation. We were brought on by lead UW landscape architect Kristine Kenney to develop a sign family that would integrate seamlessly into campus, providing navigation to students as well as tourists. Along with the physical sign structures we also re-designed the campus map, making it more user-friendly. Routes and buildings are simplified, while icons direct visitors to viewpoints, eateries, and featured venues. The new map design will soon roll out across all UW media. Tight coordination with Patrick Pirtle on Kenney’s team resulted in a map underpinned with GIS for fluid updates. With map panels that can be swapped out easily, the signs are designed to last.