The Effect of Design Guidelines on Urban Identities

By Nanhee Kim.

Published by The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Urban retail signage systems give the business district character and an overall sense of unity. Without a design system, store signage results in a diverse, disordered, inconsistent and even chaotic impression of a business district. This inconsistency confuses the pedestrian with an excess of information. While the retail sign system gives the district unity and character, it may also cause the stores to lack individuality because there is little differentiation between one store and another. This indicates that an excess of uniformity in a sign system can prevent signage from functioning as identity. In developing successful retail districts, it is critical to achieve a balance between uniformity and variety in urban retail signage systems. This study investigates the effects of design guidelines on urban identity signage in order to determine how controlling various design factors affects the balance between district identities and recognition of individual stores. This issue should be of interest to those who prepare urban signage guidelines and to anyone engaged in the design or redesign of urban retail signage.

Keywords: Identity, Guideline, Retail Signage, Urban Identity, Sign System, Uniformity and Variety

The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp.105-113. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.075MB).

Prof. Nanhee Kim

Assistant Professor, Department of Art, University of North Alabama, Florence, AL, USA

Nanhee Kim is an Assistant Professor of Department of Art at University of North Alabama. She specializes in environmental graphic design and multimedia design. Kim received her MFA in Graphic Design from Iowa State University and BA in Visual Design from Seoul National University of Science and Technology. Kim is the founder and art director of the ‘Kandesign’, environmental graphic design company, in Seoul.