12 January 2010

Making London Legible

Thanks to Twitter, I was alerted by a colleague from the London Information and Knowledge Exchange (LIKE) of a talk organised by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP). I know that none of that sounds like fun but bear with me.

The talk was by Tim Fendley of the Applied Information Group (AIG, to keep the acronyms going) who described the Legible London project that his company is working on.

The aim of the project is to make London more legible to it's main users, pedestrians. And the main way of doing this is through vastly improved signage, such as that shown here.

But signage is not easy and Tim explained the research, design and testing that went on over a few years to produce signs that work.

There was also a lot of lobbying to do to get to the situation where all the stakeholders (primarily TfL and the London boroughs) would agree to the designs. One of the main issues here was resolving boundary issues, such as where does Fitzrovia end and Bloombury start?

The new signs also have to meet the requirements of purposeful and casual pedestrians and also those who know nothing of the local area and those who know a lot.

Ledgible London is also looking at the existing signage to try and introduce some consistency and Tim showed lots of current bad examples that proved the point that something needs to be done. One, hopefully simple, part of this is getting the local boroughs to ensure that all streets have road signs, like they are supposed to.

Tim impressed throughout the talk with his knowledge of the subject and his enthusiasm for explaining cities. It was just what I hope for but even more so.

Other factors that made the evening work well were the location (The Sekforde Arms in Clerkenwell), the unexpected free food and the intelligent company (including two people who work in the same building as me but for another company). I'll be back for more.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a very interesting project. Good luck to them!


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