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Design the sign!
Overview

An opportunity to have your say on the design in the new National Innovation Centre for Ageing building.

  • Discussion
  • Influence

In November 2019, NICA (National Innovation Centre for Ageing) will move into its purpose built home, The Catalyst, at Newcastle Helix. We will be co-locating with the National Innovation Centre for Data (NICD). The aim from the start of the building project has been for the building to be inclusive by design.  Insights from VOICE members have previously helped to inform the design, interior finishes and furniture selection.  Now we are asking for your input on the signage and would be grateful for yours thoughts, specifically on icons being used to indicate the different spaces.

The interior design company on the project, Design North, have suggested a suite of icons which indicate the activity taking place in the different spaces. Icons assist non-English speakers, the visually impaired, and people with dementia. They must be familiar and easily identifiable. Icons will be on the room signs as below, and potentially also used for directional signage. The aim is that these are engaging and professional, whilst also making sure they are easily understood.

Please can you take some time to look through the icons below and choose which you think best indicate the spaces they represent? There are 7 questions in total to vote on. Please also use the discussion area at the bottom of the page for any additional comments on the icons.

The polls will be open until Monday 17th June, you can vote for your favourite option any time until then.

To vote for your preferred option, click on the circle next to the option you would like to vote for and click the 'Vote' button for each question.

1. Should the signs across the building have a solid colour icon or outline icon?

1. Should the signs across the building have a solid colour icon or outline icon?
  • 17/06/2019
  • 24%
    24%
  • 76%
    76%

2. Which of these signs should be used to indicate the restrooms?

2. Which of these signs should be used to indicate the restrooms?

3. Which of these best indicates the stairs?

3. Which of these best indicates the stairs?
  • 17/06/2019
  • 71%
    71%
  • 29%
    29%

Some spaces do not have the commonly used icons the restrooms have. Which of these signs (if any) indicate the activity most appropriately?

4. A theatre where engaging talks and events take place?

4. A theatre where engaging talks and events take place?
  • 17/06/2019
  • 35%
    35%
  • 58%
    58%
  • 4%
    4%
  • 4%
    4%

5. The Public Insights Suite?

This is a room with a large one-way mirror for observation. It's where members of the public can be observed, with their consent, testing new products or taking part in market research.

5. The Public Insights Suite?
  • 17/06/2019
  • 15%
    15%
  • 42%
    42%
  • 4%
    4%
  • 38%
    38%

6. Soft seating areas

These are areas to be used for breaks during events or workshops, informal group discussions and waiting areas before events begin.

6. Soft seating areas
  • 17/06/2019
  • 23%
    23%
  • 31%
    31%
  • 38%
    38%
  • 8%
    8%

7. Lift announcements

VOICE members previously flagged the importance of audio assistance for way-finding. As part of our response to this, we have ensured that lifts in the building can give verbal prompts on each floor. We would like to know whether you feel this should be the standard announcement which tells you which floor you are on e.g. 'Ground Floor', or give more detail e.g. 'Ground Floor - Café, Workshop and Theatre.'

7. Lift announcements
  • 17/06/2019
  • 15%
    15%
  • 85%
    85%

Thank you!

Design the sign! Discussion

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  • Doreen Phillips
    16th June 2019

    Hope this is helpful to you.

  • Clement O'Donovan
    15th June 2019

    Regarding Q2 The question refers to it as a Restroom! Rest (Room) ....Sorry, but I have never taken a 'Rest' in a Toilet/WC. I opted for Choice B but I would have preferred removing the Humanoid figure and replaced them with a Sink,Taps and Mirror.

  • Tina Fry
    14th June 2019

    Will signs have any 'relief' features, so as to be an additional aid for people with visual problems?

    Sarah Nolan
    5th July 2019

    Leave a reply...Hi Tina, thank you for your question and apologies for the delay responding. Yes, we expect the signage to have raised font

  • Doreen Phillips
    14th June 2019

    Very interesting project, would enjoy being able to input ideas

    VOICE Head Office
    14th June 2019

    You can have your say by voting in the polls above!

  • Sarah Nolan
    12th June 2019

    Hi John, thanks for your comments. We are asking for input on the graphics specifically because we would like to know whether a wide group of individuals feel that they represent the activities taking place. Are they easily 'readable'? As you say, there are lots of other signage problems not covered, where we are using good practice guidance. Where commonly used symbols exist (eg to indicate presence of hearing loops)we are using those.

  • john  lloyd
    12th June 2019

    I do not think sign details should be selected by the votes of a wide group of individuals with perhaps the prospect of some future use. There are many signage problems that are not covered, such as when where hearing loops will operate. Solid or outline colour cannot be factually answered without some statement on use of colour coding of rooms or floors.

  • Pat Madin
    7th June 2019

    I find the graphics altogether to fussy to give clear information.

    The toilet sign should be gender free. The rest rooms in the new Biosphere Building are mixed gender which is a good idea.

    Did care for any of No 5, graphics were very confusing. I don’t think any of the 3 would convey to someone with dementia what was in the room.

    Sarah Nolan
    12th June 2019

    Hi Pat, thank you for the useful feedback. We have designated male and female toilet facilities in the building but we do also have some gender neutral toilets, as well as facilities for users with disabilities. The icons above are examples to determine a preference for style, but we should perhaps have noted that there were other examples in the suite.

  • Caroline Day
    7th June 2019

    So much depends on the background colour of these signs. Do not make the mistake of having graphics that are hard to distinguish from the background colour. They must "pop" out!

    Sarah Nolan
    12th June 2019

    Thank you Caroline. The graphics (and wider signage) are being designed with maximum colour contrast so that they 'pop' as you describe. So for example, black on a very pale wood or white on black.

  • John Dawson
    7th June 2019

    3. I'm not sure why the person is waving from halfway up the stairs?

    4. I think all the legs and chair legs on A make it too busy

    6. I think A may lead people to believe there are waiting staff?

    Helen Sandford
    7th June 2019

    ...or that we can keep potted plants alive

  • Sarah  Markham
    7th June 2019

    I think the bold graphics really help.

    Sarah Nolan
    12th June 2019

    Great, thanks for that

  • Sarah  Markham
    7th June 2019

    I think the bold graphics are really helpful.

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