Environmental Graphic Design

I recently worked onsite at a larger design company who specialized in environmental graphic design. Before this gig, I never really considered this niche design service. If you had asked me what environmental graphic design was, I would have said, “oh, probably things like billboards, trade show booths, that sort of thing.” Now I know better.

Environmental Graphic Design (EGD) embraces many design disciplines including graphic, architectural, interior, landscape, and industrial design, all concerned with the visual aspects of way-finding, communicating identity and information, and shaping the idea of creating experiences that connect people to place (as quoted by The Society for Experiential Graphic Design).

Here are some examples of EGD. One of them, Fred Hutchison, won a SEGD award for their environmental design (and they’re in my own back yard).

On this job, I was building out the style guide for a renovation at one of Premera’s office buildings. This style guide is like a bible to the contractor who would do the actual installation. Some things were vinyl prints that covered entire walls. Some were vertical banners that were suspended on poles. There were also words that had different depths displayed on some walls, with magnetic blocks for partner logos to be placed (printed on metal). The style guide included things like the types of materials used, as well as measurements (how much space between the ceiling and floor, for example).

It was exciting to be working on a new aspect of graphic design!

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