Book: Edo Smitshuijzen

Signage Design Manual

The signage canon finally has its own dedicated textbook

Smitshuijzen, Edo. Lars Müller Publishers. Switzerland. 2007. Euros 48.50

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The Signage Design Manual takes the reader, in a simple and straightforward manner, through the step-by-step phases of a signage project. Over 900 illustrations ensure this journey to be a pleasant experience.

The depth and comprehensive scope of the content make this book a unique publication. Not only does it provide information on established working methods, design issues, and materials, but it even includes future developments such as electronic navigation tools on mobile devices (or other futuristic personal gear). Important neighbouring knowledge is also addressed, like IP (Intellectual Property) rights, and other legal issues, design management, and various commercial aspects.

The broad scope yet concise information makes this book accessible to a wide range of readers, from full-time signage or graphic designers, to design students, to all other types of professionals dealing with signage design at various levels, and to anyone else interested in the complicated art of 'showing the way'.

"...the book is basically a checklist, or a collection of checklists, and as such aims at being totally exhaustive. Smitshuijzen identifies all the parties possibly involved in or responsible for a signage project, from psychologists to the fire brigade; the different target groups of the signage itself; each phase in the design and implementation process; layout and typography options; mixed-media and interactive solutions; materials and production techniques; pictogram styles; types of signs; problems specific to certain types of sites; and more. It is an admirable achievement, and when used correctly – as an actual checklist – could be extremely useful in helping to maintain a clear working relationship with the parties involved, and / or in avoiding the blunders, major or minor, that can be so annoying to the visitor of a public space.//
—'An abundance of directions', by Jan Middendrop, Eye Magazine