Category Archives: information design

Taikoo Shing schematic map

These schematic maps on totem signs are dotted around the Taikoo Shing and Island East developments. In terms of graphic design they are quite elegantly considered, and the schematic approach is a departure from the more common plan view street … more >

Token machine at the Star Ferry

This is a token machine at the Star Ferry pier. I must commend the ferry company’s good intentions behind the bilingual instructions: they really tried to make it as clear and unambiguous as possible. However, the machine was designed and built without much thinking about how users would interact with it. The instructional graphics couldn’t do much to save the poor interaction design of the machine itself. more >

More on MTR signage

I wrote about the use of colours to establish line identities in the MTR system last time. This example shows how inconsistent directional signs can be even for one station, in this case Central. Central Station is connected to Hong Kong Station by a pedestrian tunnel, which is a paid area. So effectively the two stations form one large station with four lines: Tsuen Wan, Island, Tung Chung and also the Airport Express. The example here shows two different ways for destination naming: by line (Tsuen Wan Line, Tung Chung Line and Disneyland Resort Line) and by terminus or stop (Sheung Wan, Airport and Asia-World Expo). I don’t know if passengers would wonder why the Tsuen Wan line shows two platforms, while Sheung Wan only shows one, and no platforms are shown at all in the other two signs. more >

The state of graphic design?

This type of data graphics have been gaining popularity on the web in the past few years. For better or worse (most likely worse in my opinion), they have popularised the idea of information design amongst graphic designers. This graphic came through my Facebook news feed this morning, and to me the approach to the design itself and the rather empty and superficial content reflects the sorry state of graphic design these days. more >

MTR colour coding

Hong Kong’s railway system (MTR) currently has nine lines, each denoted with a colour. The original system only had three lines with three easy to distinguish colours: red (Tsuen Wan), green (Kwun Tong) and blue (Island). When the system extended … more >

Grid (not the Modernist variety)

Signs at the Hong Kong City Hall. I might be generalising, but this is what graphic designers typically do: come up with a ‘concept’ first (in this case a grid of four squares to reflect the architecture I presume), then … more >

Paris street, bus and metro atlas

Here is a little gem from my collection – a very charming and well designed Paris street atlas. I bought this some years ago from a secondhand bookshop on Charing Cross Road in London. more >

I acknowledge receipt of your call for help

I found this notice inside an elevator at the Bowrington Road Cooked Food Market today. As a typographer I was naturally appalled by the extra artificially condensed Univers Condensed type, but I was more intrigued by its content: what on earth is an ‘acknowledgement light’? This design is flawed on many levels, but the most offensive of which isn’t its aesthetics. more >