This week we were told to observe the world around us and open our eyes to how much bad design is out there. To think of all of the signs that are unclear and misleading, often overtly sexist and unwelcoming. I couldn’t help put think back to the signs I encountered when I was traveling through India and Cambodia. Often terrible, I must admit that they did induce endless laughter and giggles and were a big source of entertainment on 20 hour long bus rides. Here is a sample of the types of signs I encountered:
Our assignment was to use illustrator to fix a sign. I chose to redo not necessarily a sign but a badge that irked me every time I received it. Over the summer I took a Unity Course through Playcrafting that was located at the Microsoft Times Square building. Every Monday and Wednesday for 8 weeks I went and received this badge.
It’s one of the most unwelcoming things a visitor could see. The user friendliness of it is very much in sync with Microsoft in general. At first glance it appears like you’re not even welcome in the building. It reads visitor and then a universal bright red no sign over it. The icon used is also clearly a man. So double points for me. Then there are some redundancies: the whole building is Microsoft. You couldn’t possibly be visiting another company in that building, Microsoft is all 12 floors or so of the building. There is also absolutely no branding or anything that would associate the badge to Microsoft.
To fix it badge I first took out the NO colors – black and red. I made the type and borders a dark blue that is more welcoming and less severe. I then made the icon androgynous and welcoming. Less a dark figure of a man and more a clean tech sign person. I took out the redundancy of visiting Microsoft but put their instantly recognizable logo in place that added a nice touch of color. Simple, clean, informative and welcoming.