NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Katie Osborn calls her small business, Via Collective, a “wayfinding” company.
“Wayfinding are tools that people use to navigate public spaces, or any space really,” she tells Joe Connolly. “So signs, or a map, or an app, or even a customer service.”
Their clients include universities, hospitals, public parks, and transportation – like the MTA. They also work directly with architects.
“Being at the table in the beginning is very important, because as architecture is being designed, as engineering problems are being solved, we are thinking about how the visitor is going to navigate that space and how they’re going to be experience walking into it,” she says. “Whether it be because they’re excited about going on their next trip, or they’re nervous because they’re visiting their grandma in the hospital.”
Osborn says it’s crucial for the customer experience, because getting lost is frustrating, nerve-wracking and even scary.
She also says they base their prices off the scale of the space and the project’s timeline, specifically how many rounds of meetings they’ll have to have, and how many people will have to sign off on the work.
So what makes a good sign?
“There’s a lot to be said for a how a sign communicates the brand of a business. We think about branding as the overarching layer of a company and it’s reputation, it’s attitude, the way people perceive a business. Signage, specifically, can be a translation of that brand. It can communicate the colors, and the typography, and the logo, or logo attributes,” she says. “So you can see a particular sign or walk through a particular space and have an experience that you know you’re in a fully branded environment.”