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The making of Moscow parking signs 2.0

• Process

When the first version of the signs was ready to be given to the client, the art director got a feeling that there is something wrong about them. There was still time before they went into production, so we decided to give it another go.

Critically evaluating the first version. Right now only the rings are colored even when the sign also applies to the zone inside the ring. The rings are on the left now, although it would make more sense for them to be on the right. The Boulevard Ring, the Garden Ring, the Third Ring Road: visitors to the city won’t necessarily remember their order. The pointer looks like a location mark on a map. It can be that, too. Let’s have it on the left side on the signs located near Kiyevskaya station and on the right side near Kurskaya. We can also mark the center of Moscow with a star!

Piling up variants.

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Thinking about the colors of parking zones.

We can’t seem to be able to come up with any logic here. The Boulevard Ring can be red because it’s the most central one. The Garden Ring can be brown because it often coincides with the Circle Metro line, but the Third Ring Road and the Moscow Ring Road don’t have their own colors. We can choose some dissimilar colors and people will gradually get used to them. Or use shades of the same color for all zones, from dark to bright. These can be shades of red, the most Moscow color, or blue, which is the traditional parking zone color. There are doubts that such color division will be easily understood because neighboring zones will be too similar. It can lead to people thinking that the differences in color are just a printing mistake. Also, the signs already have the zone number, the name of the parking space and the cost, which means we can drop color coding altogether and simply use a single color, either red, blue, or corporate green.

Better ideas go into the art director’s inbox.

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Art director: Doesn’t look too similar to what we had before. People won’t even see any of these shades in the dark. We need to use pure colors for color coding to make sure users get used to them and quickly understand how much parking in this space costs. Providing navigation hints is not a function of information signs, there is no need to overload them.

Continuing the search.

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Solid fill looks too bold and heavy, while the gradients are just horrid. How about a pattern then?

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We should probably keep the old color scheme because some people might have already gotten used to the green Boulevard Ring and the blue Third Ring Road.

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Art director: The pattern is OK. There should be a truck on the truck parking sign, just not a pink one.

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Truck parking signs become black and yellow. It’s a great contrasting color combination, just what we need. Trying different designs on a pole and realizing that the dotted pattern looks really weak. Replacing it with solid fill.

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Choosing a dotted pattern for the rings. The simplest one turns out to be the best.

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The art director writes that we should add a frame to the signs: There should always be a frame, on all signs of all formats. Just have a look at any sign or information board in the world.

Knowing this, drawing various frames: thick and thin, black and colored. All the zones have different colors but the sign itself is the same across all of them, it’s not clear how to color it. Adding a margin makes the sign more noticeable, while the colors can’t be seen in the dark. A thin black line wins by a large margin.

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Typesetting and printing, typesetting and printing, typesetting and printing many times over the information sign with parking rules. Making sure the text is correct and typesetting again.

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The parking meter should have a sticker with the zone number so that even if the sign is missing, drivers would still be able to pay. Finding a place on the meter and adding a sticker in the style of the signs.

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The client asks to prepare another sticker with the parking meter number that can be used in case of its malfunction. Preparing stickers with the logo and the ruble sign. Trying them in the city to get a better understanding of proportions and preparing the files for printing.

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Designing electronic signs that would make it easier to find a free parking space. Deciding to go with the dark design.

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Preparing files for printing, designing the brand book.

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