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Visualizing Direction and the Use of Arrows

Date March 4, 2023
Reading Time 6 Mins Read
Visualizing Direction and the Use of Arrows How graphic arrows support our natural abilities and make us better wayfinders Illustration by Joseph Mackereth I’m in the group of people that finds inspiration through nature. There is…
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The hollowed-out triangle offers space for the eye to settle and become trapped, while also giving it an escape route at a converging point — a process that mimics direction.

Arrow Diagram 1

The hollowed-out triangle offers space for the eye to settle and become trapped, while also giving it an escape route at a converging point — a process that mimics direction.
People are capable of taking the arrow from its surface plane and projecting it mentally onto the emptiness of pathways.

Arrow Diagram 2

People are capable of taking the arrow from its surface plane and projecting it mentally onto the emptiness of pathways.
Arrow projection may be the ground plane orientation lifted to a perpendicular position.

Arrow Diagram 3

Arrow projection may be the ground plane orientation lifted to a perpendicular position.
Signs perpendicular to the ground plane can represent pathway alignment.

Arrow Diagram 4

Signs perpendicular to the ground plane can represent pathway alignment.
Wayfinding Decision Infographic showing that wayfinding information is required at all points of decision.

Wayfinding Decision Infographic

Wayfinding information is required at all points of decision.
Wayfinding User Group Infographic showing priority sequence of users’ demands for a commercial airport.

Wayfinding User Group Infographic

Priority sequence of users’ demands for a commercial airport.
Circulation map of Temple University's Ambler campus.

Ambler Campus Circulation Map

Circulation map of Temple University’s Ambler campus.

About

Joseph Mackereth

Hello!

I’m Joseph Mackereth, a wayfinding designer and author living in the Philadelphia area. I earned my BFA from Tyler School of Art and my MALS from Hollins University. As part of Exit Design, I work to solve navigational challenges for a variety of institutions. I’m also a member of the Cognitive Navigation Group, Data Visualization Society, Royal Institute of Navigation, and SEGD. When I’m not working, I like to go camping, hiking, and spending time with my amazing wife and daughter.

Publications

  • Blue Ridge Country Magazine
  • Nightingale: Journal of the Data Visualization Society
  • Philadelphia Magazine
  • Roanoker Magazine
  • Royal Institute of Navigation
  • SEGD: Society for Experiential Graphic Design  
  • Virginia Journal of Education

Selected Clients

  • The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation
  • The Kimmel Center
  • Lehigh University  
  • Mill Mountain Theatre
  • Nashville Zoo
  • National Aquarium
  • Princeton University
  • Roanoke Pinball Museum
  • Temple University

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