In our break Andrew asked us to go around the university and take notice of the signs that are presented around the space. We questioned the typography and assessed the new layout and typeface on the new signs and it came clear that it was a more effective and efficient way to display information. We gave interviews to other students in the university and found that there was general feedback that the signs weren’t generally noticed and there was surprise in realising that the sign layout had changed.
As soon as I left the room I began to think about the task and outside the elevators I started to take notice of the grey and black signs displayed around the Tower Block. Going into the canteen I noticed the room numbers placed next to the doors as signifiers, still continuing the black and grey theme up until the library. After lunch I took a walk around the university to take pictures of the different signs and came to find that they were of different colours depending on where they were situated within the area.
The group of people that I interviewed answered quite collectively were standing in line for the canteen, their response began quite negatively towards the signs (they had just come from feminist visions so I’m assuming they were feeling very opinionated at the present time). They began by acclaiming the signs weren’t even noticeable and they hadn’t really taken a moment to think about the presentation or typeface. Once they noticed the signs around them they responded individually in a more positive manner, saying that they were easy to read and did the job. The size of them aren’t too opposing and “in your face” when looking at them (in terms of colour) although they aren’t too small so you can’t read them.
The type of questions asked between grabbing a coffee and a sandwich for lunch consisted of:
Do you like the signs around London College of Communication?
What do you think of them?
Do you like the type/colour?
Yashna from BA Illustration and Visual Media Year 2 replied: “What f*cking signage?” and “The grey with the plain text looks like a hospital.”
Sanjana from BA Illustration and Visual Media Year 2 said: “They’re not noticeable and I don’t really notice the type as I’m just looking at what it’s trying to say however, they are clear and the get the job done.”
The new system of signage works better as a united system around the university in comparison to the old system. Personally I think the signs work as the type is simple and is of a good size to read.
The research method we carried out today was a form of primary research, to curate qualitative data about the signage around the university in the anthropological technique.
Ethnography and anthropological traditions
Research the field to gather data by observing behaviour, asking questions, collecting opinions etc. Ethnographic research and approach requires you to have a setting in mind when doing fieldwork but may be limited to the space you can access and the situation of the people in the space.
The type of questions you ask may have an impact on the questions that you ask.
If you look like you’re about to take an interview/take a questionnaire the passing people may avoid you.
Questions that could be asked include:
Are the signs located in the right place?
Are they at the right height/colour/style?
Pretend to be somebody (an auditor), be active in the field and become a part of the space and interact with the area/the people. Saying who you are might adjust how people see you, a part of a company rather than a student might justify people’s perception of you as someone of a higher stature/more importance than you really acquire.
Conceal design function – an employee/volunteer/student to see the real situation of things like in ‘Undercover Boss’.