Core77 Design Awards
- Other Years
Follow the color.
The wayfinding system at 100 Hooper, Adobe's new workplace in San Francisco, is designed to make it easy to know where you are and where you're going. It's also designed to tell the client's brand story of being a leader in digital visual arts. Embracing color and its significance to Adobe, the 250,000 SF space is divided into six zones, each with its own signature color. These colors have been integrated into everything within the built environment — from custom designed signage and wall graphics to the paint, furnishings and various interior finishes.
To further assist with wayfinding, each wing of the three-floor building has been assigned an alpha character. Meetings room names start with the alpha character of its location and are inspired by the surrounding color palette. Within the meeting rooms, wall graphics relate to the room name and color zone while the privacy window film incorporates hand drawn and typed letterforms based on its alpha zone — completing this fully integrated wayfinding system. Various specialty rooms — including a virtual reality room and music room feature — feature monochromatic yet visually dynamic graphics, designating them as a unique destination within the building.
The overall scope for the project includes the design of a custom wayfinding system with 7-sign types and customized icon sets, an illustrated tearaway wayfinding poster, vibrant and dynamic graphic decals within the stairwells, 75+ custom designed wall graphics as well as 6-different privacy films.
For Adobe's new creative headquarters, we began by immersing ourselves in the client's existing workplaces: to observe how people use their current space and communicate to each other, to understand any wayfinding challenges, and hear first-hand what makes Adobe unique. A pattern quickly emerged of using the nearest meeting rooms as a beacon. With this in mind, the new wayfinding system is designed to easily navigate you to these meeting rooms and their adjacent neighborhoods. We also learned through this process of the strong role that color plays at Adobe at the heart of its culture, product, and identity as a creative company. This led to a design that embraces color wholeheartedly dividing the building into six-color zones. These colors have been integrated into everything within the built environment — from custom designed signage and wall graphics to the paint, furnishings and various interior finishes. To further assist with wayfinding, an alpha designation was assigned to the different zones throughout the building.
A person's first encounter with the new system is with two map-based signs — a full building directory and detailed level directory. These two signs are located at major circulation points, primarily the elevator lobby and stairwells. The building directory includes a simplified map of the entire building which gives an overview of the alpha and color zones and then also includes a full meeting room list. The level directory map features a detailed illustrated map for the level you are on with a gradient color mesh overlaid to identify the color zone breakdown. These maps are then detailed out with custom icons to represent major amenities like restrooms, dining areas, stairs and also includes labels for all primary meeting rooms. The maps are oriented based on the user, so they can easily tell if they need to go left or right.
With this new system, users are able to easily navigate to meetings rooms and neighborhoods based on the color and alpha zone system. Projecting directional signs and mini-maps are located at key intersections to help direct you along your way. Each meeting room, named after the alpha and color zone it's located within, features a projecting color coded sign above the doorway so viewers can see from a distance that they are headed in the right direction. At the room a surface mounted color coded sign at eye level, reinforces that you've reached your destination. Layered behind the sign, a custom designed window film, provides privacy while also supporting the wayfinding system with embedded hand-drawn and type-set letterforms for the alpha zone you are within. The wall graphics within the meeting rooms are inspired by the room name and color zone designation.
This system doesn't stop at the signs and meeting room graphics. Custom designed wall graphics throughout the office reflect Adobe's brand, culture and products while also supporting the wayfinding system by incorporating and complementing the color zone its located within. In addition, dynamic color-coded wall and door graphics within the stairwells, provide wayfinding while also making the stairs more inviting. As an extra, wellness tips and facts are integrated at each level, encouraging a more healthy workplace.
Knowing that color was going to be a big part of the design system, a neutral bright white color was chosen for the sign faces with a dark gray sans-serif text overlaid for easy visibility. The thin white sign face, in a matte finish, is then layered on top of a thicker semi-glossy acrylic substrate back printed with the color graphics. This substrate provides an interesting contrast to the sign face while allowing the color of the graphics behind to be fully saturated.