Every day and everywhere we go either to the mall, museums, office buildings, hospitals, colleges, schools, or the airport - we always meet and look at the signposts, information boards, banners and others. These graphical elements had turned out not only as a mere decoration placed to complete a building or place. These graphical elements have discipline knowledge, it's named: Environmental Graphic Design (EGD for short).
Environmental Graphic Design is all forms of graphic elements that exist in the environment. This includes a signpost, bulletin boards, graphic ornament on a building, the name plate on the buildings, as well as all forms of writing in two-and three-dimensional objects. EGD scope includes: signage, wayfinding systems, exhibition design, information design, pictogram also placemaking. So don't be surprised if EGD embraces various other disciplines such as architecture, interior design, landscape and industrial design.
Then why is Environmental Graphic Design (EGD) necessary?
It is very necessary! Because humans are basically living with all that complex and completely differentiated. Just imagine if you had to go to a shopping center or to a building or buildings without any information (signposts) also no directional signs to indicate your presence. It must be very confusing! Psychologically, the information that comes along with direction signs installed, will impact on the human sense of security. Signages installation is part of EGD as a means of information and the identity of the building.
~The First Generation
EGD was first developed in the Roman era when the letters engraved on buildings and architecture to provide information and including the appointment of the identity of a place or even in making of fresco paintings on buildings (painting on the wall of limestone that develop rapidly in Renaissance periode). Unlike a poster design or packaging design which has undergone a process of decades, EGD is still relatively a new discipline. It's development covers many disciplines in terms of graphic design, architecture, interiors, landscape and others.
EGD forerunner in fact marked by birth and growth of the design bureaus in the early years of the 1950s and 1960s, mostly working on construction for the visual identity, packaging, posters, books and company profile. Some of the project from design agency are: create logos, signage, or other information signposts for public events or housing project. These projects are indirectly informal knowledge about the sign system by considering many things including: typography, material selection, and some details of other design elements. The first examples of this project (sign program) :the Fashion Island Shopping Centre, California, which was done by John Follis and signage on the East Coast for a corporate building, designed by Rudy de Harak. At the same time, a group of designers who worked at W.E.D Enterprises (well-known as Walt Disney Imagineering) make a carved signage and signposts on the playground at Disneyland.
The concept of this project later known as the Architectural Signing for how to combine function and design to blend with the architecture of a building. And was predictable, in a short time, the designers in America began to offer services to work on the sign system for housing, malls, playgrounds, hospitals, airports, and others.
~The Second Generation
Around the year 1974 to 1984, EGD identical with Architectural Signing with limited scope for transportation, corporate, and educational facilities. Early 90's, graphic design trends began referring to the place or building identification purposes, display and navigate within the public space. Sign system not only to inform but also has been designed to create interest and if necessary, entertain and beautify the environment. At first it does look like a decoration or directional signage that looks artistic in the shopping mall attached to the wall, ceiling or floor. Utilizing the power of public space facilities are potentially in EGD and graphic elements transform as the power to declare the identity of a building. 1985 to 1994, the EGD started to spread to shopping malls, playgrounds, showrooms, events, airports and hospitals and then lead to overlap between function and aesthetics. And in 1995, EGD also began to enter the arena of public spaces such as museums and exhibition venues