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Desigining a Wayfinding System from Scratch

A design language of welcome to navigate with ease and a smile.


When the Wiener Hauskrankenpflege (WHS) merged four separate offices into one, it turned to Wollzelle to invent a wayfinding system that would be efficient, extensible and relatable. To help visitors find their bearings in a large foreign building, we focused on clear typography, simple shapes, and bold arrows that leave no room for ambiguity. The signs are so graphic that they can be repeated at close intervals without overwhelming the decor. This ensures readers are never left without guidance.

To echo the WHS's friendly personality, and help visitors feel more at home in an official building, we eschewed formal designations in favour of regional sayings and mannerisms. Signs speak to the public as the public would speak to the staff, creating a helpful, friendly atmosphere right from the door. The geometric type is offset by casual symbols, such as a steaming cup of coffee and a curvy bunch of flowers.

Wollzelle oversaw both the design and implementation of the system. Our background in architecture and environmental design helped us draw the countless plans, blueprints and renderings that an endeavour of this scale demands. Workers were provided with all the materials and specifications required, so that they only had to glue the signs in place. Complete reference books will enable the WHS to extend the system to new buildings over time, and keep it consistent throughout the organisation.