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What exactly is environmental graphic design?

It is not uncommon to end up explaining what environmental graphic design (EGD) is when asked what are some of the things we do. If you were to look it up, the definition says that it is a multidisciplinary field that involves the design of visual elements in the built environment. Still leaves you with questions, doesn’t it? Simply put, EGD is your brand folded into and around your environment.


At PLANIT, we work with the architecture and interior design of a space or entire building and add elements that express your brand to enhance a person's experience and understanding of a space. Those elements might be a wall graphic, dimensional type, vinyl on glass or wall, dimensional elements, and shapes… the way this can be expressed with materials is endless. EGD not only works with interior design and architecture, but with wayfinding to become landmarks that help people move through a space and experience something brand-centric.


Visual consistency within an environment and the brand reinforces the visitor’s understanding of who they are. At Akron Children’s Hospital, we had a blast incorporating their ambassador dogs into the EGD strategy and building a story that can be taken throughout the hospital. In the case of an environment like a children’s hospital, it doesn’t only focus on brand, but positive distractions as the environmental graphics become a fun game to play in a waiting room through Augmented Reality, a coloring sheet that is also a seek and find to keep visitors busy while they wait, to following a line down the hallway as it turns into different fun elements.


Akron Children's Hospital New Rehabilitation Outpatient Lobby

At Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the EGD is built into the wayfinding strategy with a system that flows through the hallways with graphics that build up as you get to your destination and then end in a flood of color to signify that you have arrived. Paths built into the floor––yes that is also EGD––give the kids a fun positive distraction to follow and help them find where they need to go by following color to color.


Nationwide Children's Big Lots Behavioral Health Pavillion Lower Level


EGD can also be a type of Informational design for either diving deeper into a brand, educating visitors about a company's history, or displaying a company’s core values and energizing their employees. Because of this, when we start any design project, we love finding out the history and story behind any company or place because having these conversations with them provides a flood of ideas and concepts. When we worked with North Valley Bank and found out that they were born from the oil boom and that their new office was going to be a renovated Jiffy Lube, the concept was too good to pass up. What came out of it was a beautiful oil-slick texture that NVB not only has a kiss of in their new space, but it also became a texture within their brand toolkit. With Velvet, they have such a rich family history, that between their antique ice cream molds, scoops photos, and memorabilia spanning 100 years, we were able to build a timeline that not only explained how the Dagars came into the ice cream business, but about the history of ice cream itself.


EGD is a visual strategy on how to tell a story, and with each client, that strategy we build for them unfolds how the beauty of their story can be told within their space.



Museum at Velvet Ice Cream


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