A Map of the World

Last night I had dinner at Jar with my good friend, Michael Bierut, who is always a perfect dinner partner providing a mix of great stories and smart insights. I regretted the 2 martinis at 3:00 in the morning, but that’s probably a bigger issue. Michael talked about some of the things that tie all designers together. Since I had the two martinis I don’t remember what they were, but I do recall they were smart ideas. I know that as designers, we share the predilection to collect and covet odd items that others find confusing. One of the items that I collect, and you may find this hard to believe, is Disneyland and Walt Disney World maps. I love that there are so many different types. Some rely on illustration to give a simplified overview, while others detail every building. Each exists to help direct a guest around the park, but they all presume different ways that the guest thinks. Anyone who has ever designed a signage program has faced the problem that a client insists on a floor plan for a directory. But, large percentages of people stare at floor plans and have no idea how to read them. The next time an office building or hospital signage program needs a directory, I’m going to follow the cute 3d building and funny people with a trombone style.