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Graphic Design

Environmental Graphic Design Breakdown – Relevant Concepts You Should Know

Have you ever heard about Environmental Graphic Design? It is also known as an EGD in the design industry and recently engaged much interest.

Not many people know the exact meaning of Environmental Graphic Design, which is the main reason you need a breakdown of all the concepts and notions that can help you understand the purposes of EGD.

Starting with basic concepts such as the definition of the term and continuing with relevant terms that have to do with EGD, this article will sum up the necessary information a graphic designer needs to assimilate about this topic.

After reading the article, you can expand your field by specializing in Environmental Graphic Design and follow a career in this direction. Remember that this is a subsection of regular graphic design, and you should have basic knowledge of graphic design to understand it. Here are the things you may want to know:

What does environmental graphic design mean?

Environmental Graphic Design is also known as experiential. It refers to a field based on traditional graphic design and other industries that include visually pleasing principles such as architecture, public art, and urban planning.

Even though this concept was built on shared principles of traditional graphic design, it promotes experimenting with other guides and tools to give birth to a multidisciplinary outcome, combining the best parts of different industries to create art.

The purpose of EGD is the same – but a bit more extensive – as the same as traditional graphic design, which is to transmit a message and efficiently communicate identity. Shaping ideas and expressing emotions through graphic design is why people use visuals instead of text. EGD follows the same criterion but extends it to more than just that.

expressing emotions true environmental graphic design

What is specific about Environmental Graphic Design is that it usually helps people connect with a particular place, and experience is thus related to the place instead of the idea.

EGD finds its origins back in the prehistorical phase when Neanderthals told their stories by drawing on walls, and that is the only proof people have of how people lived back then.

Modern EGD follows the same principle – using visuals to tell a story that people in a specific location can relate to.

Environmental Graphic Design is based on wayfinding, representing the process of understanding space. The space around a person is perceived in subjective ways that have to do with each one’s opinion, culture, preferences, etc. Wayfinding is also the process of engaging with the space more efficiently.

EGD includes designing signage and information systems that should play the role of a mental map that is easier to follow.

SEGD – Society for Environmental Graphic Design

SEGD translates as the Society of Environmental Graphic Design. It represents an association where people who create experiential design gather together, share their ideas and transform the world into a better place by developing wayfinding systems and other environmental graphic design projects.

The members of SEGD are diverse; they all know traditional and experiential graphic design and work with all sorts of content related to this subdomain.

People who want to participate in SEGD are welcome to join, sign up anytime, and use the platform’s many free materials to encourage experiential graphic design.

SEGD organizes a yearly event called SEGD Global Design Awards which features different applied themes in EGD. People can submit their work to this competition, and Honor & Merit awards will be offered to the best participants.

Architectural spaces – museum exhibits

EGD includes a subsection that refers to designing museum exhibitions, and this subsection is also known as architectural space design and has many other intricacies to discover. In general, museums and commercial exhibits have to attract the eye.

The public must be visually appealed by what it sees. Yet there is a major difference between these types of exhibits because museums have a sole purpose – transmitting education, expression, and information – while commercial ones are only financial-oriented.

Even though it might be challenging to acknowledge the missions of each exhibit, the process behind them remains the same: expressing an idea with the help of visuals.

Of course, a significant impact on museum exhibitions is held by modernism and neo-modernism. The conventional image of a museum is no longer the one we know.

Designing displays must follow the rules according to the trends promoted nowadays. Without respecting these trends – but in a unique manner – the design won’t be appreciated at its real value.

Retail design

The difference between retail and commercial graphic design is that, in the case of retail, you have to sell through space.

Moving people through the use of space and making them feel emotions through retail design is an absolute necessity.

Designing retail is the same as any other subcategory of Environmental Graphic Design. Location is everything – the designer has to find creative ways to present the space to make it appealing to the public.

Besides visually appealing, space also has to be efficient and intuitive. Without these last features, you risk having a lot of clients not understand what you are supposed to transmit, which means you won’t fulfill your original purpose.

A simple visit to the mall will give you the best possible picture of retail design. Pay attention to the way a brand is sold through the image. Enter a fashion store and look at how everything is designed – visually pleasing photography, catchy fonts, wall designs, floor designs – all gathered in one space.

The moment your foot enters the door, you instantly see the style of the designer who made everything possible. The same effect should go for you.

Retail design attracts eyes and makes clients feel comfortable in the respective space.

Placemaking and Identity

This one is similar to retail design but is mainly used for events and public spaces. The primary purpose of placemaking and identity is to make people aware of their space and remember it accordingly.

Environmental Graphic Designers who work with placemaking and identity can use colors, patterns, video, motion, fonts, and other graphic details to differentiate a particular place. This creates a strong sense of identity among the people who visit this place.

Placemaking and identity EGD is essential for urban/civic events.

To sum up

Now that you know most things about Environmental Graphic Design, what is your opinion? Do you prefer working with such projects instead of traditional graphic design?

What would the benefits be? But what about the drawbacks?

You should know whether you are interested in this topic by now. If you need more information on similar issues, don’t forget to check out other similar articles on this website and expand your knowledge horizon.

Keep in touch with the latest trends in graphic design by just reading a few sentences.

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