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Take A Look Around

There is an area of graphic design that seems to be discussed less than, if at all, typography, web, editorial, and packaging design. It is an area of design that people experience on a daily basis, and one that serves a greater functional purpose than the more obvious areas, in my opinion. This area is Environmental Design.

Whether you are walking through Dulles International Airport, Tyson’s Corner Center, The National Gallery of Art, or even strolling through the George Mason University campus, the spaces we occupy are full of design. The success of the functionality of these spaces is dependent on the success of the design, not only of the architecture, landscaping, or interior design, but the graphic design as well. These designs are responsible for the way the flow of people move through them, the ease of access of information, and the overall aesthetic of the environment.

Environmental design is a lovely marriage of all areas of design, and when done well, is a happy marriage. Good environmental design is evident when it is “unnoticeable”. (Happy marriages don’t cause a scene, just like dysfunctional marriages do!) The design of an environment should not hinder a person’s experience in a given place. Rather, it should enhance the experience and make it more memorable, more accessible, and more enjoyable.

Next time you step out into the world, take a look around, notice the design, and appreciate the space that was designed for you, by God and by man.

If you want to learn more about environmental design, visit the website for The Society of Environmental Graphic Design.

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