I collaborated with two other students to re-design the signage and wayfinding system of the University of Southern California Pertusati Bookstore. The bookstore is a much sought-out place for student resources and gear, but it lacked an effective wayfinding system. There was no clear labeling of the floors or their contents, nor was there a directory or guide for the shoppers. The outside labeling of the bookstore was barely visible.
We approached this project with the goal of letting the architecture of the building inform our artistic choices. After studying the building, we noticed a recurring theme of staircases, or stair-like structures. The building itself consisted of step-like layers. Even the ceilings inside had blocks resembling stairs. We focused on this concept and used it to design our own typeface. We repeated the shapes of the typeface inside the building by incorporating it into the shape of our wayfinding signage. Finally, we color-coded the floors and turned the glass walls of the escalators into step-like gradients to guide the shopper to the desired floor through color.
The image below shows our process as we refined the typeface through multiple iterations.
Highlighting the existing stair patterns on the sides of the escalators, we developed a series of gradated color panels to emphasize our floor colors. The elevation below indicates that the shopper is on the yellow floor, with the blue floor above them and the purple floor below.
We used our stair-inspired typeface as the basis for the visual organization of our floor directory. The shapes that consist our Pertusati typeface are the same shapes we used to form the floor directory. The sign corresponding to the current floor protrudes out from the wall, indicating which floor the customer is on while continuing the stairstep motif.