What Is Environmental Graphic Design?

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environmental graphic designing

Graphic Design is used to communicate with audiences and target market with the help of visual representation in the form of art that might include images, words, and even some sort of ideas. In general, Graphic Designing is a means to share one’s ideas and thinking through visual designs. 

Graphic designing is an expression of a person’s thinking and it is no less than the art itself, although many people refuse to believe that, graphic designing is a modern method of creating a painting with the use of applications and software, instead of brushes and stencils. 

Graphic designing is not only used in games and movies but also in the billboard, we see on our way to work maybe, the magazines, newspapers, and so on. 

There are almost seven different types of graphic designing, but in this article, we will be discussing the ins and outs of Environmental Graphic Design (EGD). 

Environmental Graphic Design:

Environmental Graphic Designing is, basically, conveying a beautiful story through various different illustrations, or one big art piece that not only tells the story but also brings it to life and gains the attention of anyone within sight range. EGD can be seen as an art form that digitally represents a situation in the structure of lines, shapes, colors, and so on. 

Many Environmental Graphic Design experts have to learn and make use of several elements of architecture in graphic designing such as: 

  • Colors
  • Patterns
  • Materialistic objects
  • Shapes
  • Themes
  • Typography (fonts)
  • Images 
  • Messages

Many think that environmental graphic designing is an art on a whim or just created for advertisement purposes, but it is really not. EGD requires precision working and understanding of the color themes with the background of where the art is supposed to go. 

Environmental Graphic Design includes many styles and discipline of designing, such as;

  • Graphic Design.
  • Architectural Design.
  • Interior Design.
  • Landscape work.
  • Industrial Design.

All of these designs and the visual appearance have an impact on how the people/audience will perceive the image and what information they will gather from a certain set of styles used together or separately.

The building environment nowadays has EGD looped and twisted in the foundation, as many structural buildings need to have some sort of EGD. For instance, a hospital might have both Wayfinding and Placemaking, a public park might contain public installations, and many conferences and educational centers might work with exhibitions. EGD has become a foundation for our society. While the profession was just accepted, as something solid about 40-50 years ago, EGD has been part of our history and has been around for as long as mankind.

Environmental Graphic Designing classifies into five major category and styles: 


To put everything is simple wordings; wayfinding means to get from place A to place B with the help of signages. Wayfinding literally, in all senses, means to find your way. 

Wayfinding can be described, technically as finding one’s way through a certain environment with the help of a visual path. This visual path is made up of nice blending colors, readable and understandable typography, and many other types of design elements. The wayfinding signs, designed by an expert, can fit into any sort of environment system and guide many people without many troubles. There are many different settings in which you will find yourself looking for wayfinding signs, for instance: 

  • While traveling, you can find many signs at the airport as they guide the many travelers to their flights and other places in the airport.
  • You can even find these signs in urban places like malls or large stores, one of the most prominent examples would be Ikea. 
  • What if you visited another city and don’t know where to go? These signs come in handy at those places as well. 

There are one too many benefits of wayfinding signage as it is a modern way to guide people, without people actually requiring a breathing and moving guide. That allows the people to visit and travel places with security and safety that they will not get lost. 


Exhibition or demonstration designing is another great style or form of Environment Graphic Designing. This style is more used to convey pieces of information and data to the audience and is more likely to be used in a teaching/learning environment. It is mainly seen in many cultural heritage parks or museums of history, to bring the attention of the people to the subject/topic at hand. 

The reason for the implementation of visuals and arts in learning is because of two major cause:

First, learning can prove to be boring in many settings, so this type of teaching makes the learning fun for all the people and can show true promise as people actually show interest in these exhibition arts.

Second, it has shown in human behavior that we are more likely to learn and understand something that is presented visually and in a fun and colorful way, then to read dull black and white, guides, and books.

The exhibition includes many different forms of architecture like; graphic designing, multiple interactive designs to enhance the learning experience, lightings and audio, and the technicalities of it all. Modifying all these elements in a sense that makes learning more effective and efficient is the job of the graphic designer.


Public Installation:

For exhibitions and demonstrative forms of graphic design, many have to pay an entry fee, at the very least, to see or observe them as many museums and heritage events and so on, have such fees.

But, public installations, as the name suggests, is for the public. No one has to pay anything to see these environments graphic design. Many of public installations are generally, marketing purposes. However, certain installations might show a brief history of the location or the geographical context. Public installations vary from making the public laugh really hard as it shows something funny or makes them cry as it can tell a heart-wrenching story.

These graphic installations can tell us about the legendary soldiers who once walked the path, or might even about the gum that was once found on the street, in the year 1880. Basically, the context and theme of public installations vary on different occasions and times of the year.

Placemaking and Identification:

If wayfinding tells us where to go and which route to take to reach from position A to position B, placemaking tells us where we exactly are. Wayfinding is like ‘finding my way’ and placemaking is like ‘I am here’.

Identifications and placemaking in the environmental graphic design are the second major style of it and uses the many elements of architecture; unique and eye-catching color palates, clear and vivid typography, intricate patterns, and multiple motions. It is usually found in transportation. Retail, educational and corporate setting.

Placemaking and identification EGD requires a huge team to work and many different types of designers, urban planners, developers, and engineers, since these type of EGD plans are usually large scale and require a lot of preparation work and planning.

In many locations placemaking and wayfinding are combined and paired together, some of these locations might be the hospitals, schools, offices, corporates, and so on. The reason why placemaking and wayfinding are paired is that they, first of all, work the best way in pair, and secondly, it is done to aid the public in order to find the right path and to know where they are and where they need to go from there.

Interactive EGD:

This is that one environmental graphic design that gives the people an experience they will never forget. This style of EGD focuses on the interaction at the level of an entire physical area. The entire room is designed in such a way that educates people as they interact with different points. These points are known as touchpoints and provide the user with the information and environment data as the user interacts with it.

While almost all the styles of environmental graphic designs are meant to be seen and observed from afar, this one requires actual interaction and is more on the physical and technical side of the graphic designing. In order to see the graphic design, one has to touch the points and displays to understand more about the setting they are in.

This EGD style requires a well-educated and expert team that can create this intricate but amazing room for people to interact with and understand the environment of the room better. This team works on many different things such as researching the material for the setting they are presenting, making sure the place is friendly for anyone, i.e. children, elders, disabled, tourists, and foreigners.

All in all, Environmental Graphic Designing is far more intricate and requires a lot of effort, and hard work. It isn’t just a modern way of art; it is a way to guide people, convey the message, and make them understand the environment they are in. EGD requires professional training and great expertise to work in any sense, and it is not everyone’s cup of tea, to understand the technicities behind single signage on the road.

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