Flacon Design Factory navigation
A creative cluster was created in Moscow, near Dmitrovskaya Metro station, on the site of a former glass factory. The cluster became home for design studios, architectural offices, workshops, a couple of magazines and even one TV channel.
Flacon’s territory contains seventeen buildings that are very easy to get lost in. To make sure people can always find their way, a bold navigation system was created at the studio.
Signs on buildings
Outlines of buildings that are attached to walls are cut out of metal sheets and fully duplicate the real objects.
Usually, each building has multiple entrances. All of them are marked along the perimeter and if necessary accompanied by pixel-style icons showing what exactly is located there.
The pictogram of a puzzled person helps understand where the viewer is located relative to the building. Each sign is positioned in such a way that people don’t have to mentally rotate the building trying to understand how to get to the right entrance.
The best route around the building is clearly visible.
The navigation elements don’t ruin the façades and provide help when they are needed the most. The building number can be seen from a distance, while identifying entrances requires getting a bit closer.
Each entrance has its own sign which has both the entrance number and the building’s full address. No more couriers will confuse entrance to building 12 with entrance to building 26.
The designers wanted to maintain the industrial style that originally flourished in the factory and decided to use metal for all media. Against the backdrop of endless bright flags, balloons, pavilions and color graffiti the signs look unusual, reserved and strict.
Steles and the map
Each confusing spot where a visitor may stop to think where to go next are equipped with tall but light steles.
The task of a stele is to show only the objects that can’t be directly seen. The nearest buildings are marked with signs, so there are no directions for them on the stele. What it does have, however, are routes to the factory’s main objects and numbers of entrances that are difficult to find.
Apart from building outlines with marked entrances, the steles contain information about art objects of which there are plenty and all of which deserve attention.
Building numbers on maps and steles are placed with bleed, that is, they touch one of the edges of the building. When we realized how great this looks, we decided to use the same effect on all formats that have building numbers.
Maps are made following the same principles as the steles. They are installed at the entrances to the cluster and contain maximum useful information: a map with building numbers, a list of organizations and pictograms. They look the best on brick walls.
In addition to the main character, the pixelated visitor, a whole set of icons inspired by unconventional images was created for the project.