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what is environmental graphic design & some of our favorites


What the heck is environmental graphic design? Well, first of all, it’s a lot of letters to type out, so let’s start by referring to it by it’s acronym, EGD. Long story short, EGD is bringing a narrative into a physical space with the purpose of creating an experience that will be memorable. It creates culture and identity while engaging the viewer.


Picture this, you walk into a new local shop and the walls are blank, the lighting is fluorescent, and the whole vibe is pretty...blah. You’ll look around for a minute, flip through a coffee table book, and leave feeling ultimately indifferent. Thank you...NEXT. Now think about walking into a space that immediately captivates and excites you. There are murals on the walls, it’s spunky, fresh, different. If you have ever walked into a space like this, it probably already popped into your head, right? It was memorable -- and THAT is the power of EGD.


With a pretty broad definition it can be hard to understand how exactly you can utilize EGD for your benefit. There are a few different categories that we want to point out (wayfinding, wall graphics/murals, and exhibitions/installations), and we’re even going to show you some rad examples of local, Spokane environmental design.


wayfinding

Image from Merje Design

Wayfinding is probably the most prominent type of EGD--and you see it every single day. It’s all around us.

Do you use any form of signage to tell your consumers what things are located where in your business? Maybe a sign to get to the bathrooms? This is Wayfinding. Most wayfinding designs are easily recognizable for obvious reasons, but this doesn’t mean they can’t have a touch of individuality that coincides with your brand identity.

Wayfinding is such an important system that there are entire design firms that specialize in just that! Merje is a design firm that has currently been working on a new regional wayfinding system for Spokane County. Check it out! https://merjedesign.com/projects/spokane-county/


wall graphics & murals

Environmental Graphic Design -- Wall art in Steel Barrel

If you have ever been to Portland, Oregon you should be familiar with this idea. Graphics and Murals cover the exterior and interior of most buildings in that city. Lucky for us, we have some pretty awesome artists and designers here in Spokane who are working to paint the town.


Environmental Graphic Design -- Wall Mural in Zona Blanca

One of whom happens to be working hard right next to me! Brittany Stodgell (One of our amazing founders here at Maker + Made) has created some sweet graphics and murals you might recognize. Zona Blanca, Steel Barrel, and Nectar are just naming a few of the establishments where her designs cover the walls. Follow this link if you want to see more reasons why we brag on Brittany so much.

https://dribbble.com/brittanymadethis


Environmental Graphic Design -- Nectar Tasting Room in Kendall Yards - photo by Tony Roslund


exhibitions & installations

Environmental Graphic Design -- Mobius Science Center - designed by Renate

You might be thinking, “exhibitions and installations are just for art galleries though, right?” Wrong! They are for anyone, anywhere. The Mobius Science Center is a rad local example of this. If you have had the opportunity to visit, you probably remember making a mental note of how unique and fun the interior of the building was laid out. This is all design folks. Using identity and storytelling to create a memorable experience. This specific example was brought to us by a design firm called Renate, here is a link to their website!

http://www.projectrenate.com/


other local egd examples


Here are a few other cool designs that are happening in Spokane that I want to be sure to mention before we go:


Utility Box Covers

Environmental Graphic Design -- Fun Fact! This is Brittany's Design

heart project for the ronald mcdonald house


Environmental Graphic Design -- Downtown Spokane heart sculptures to raise funds for Ronald McDonald House


underpass murals

Environmental Graphic Design -- Mural by Todd Benson