RISD Summer Programs
Two College Street
Providence, RI 02903-2787
phone: 401 454-6200
toll free: 800 364-7473, ext. 2
fax: 401 454-6218
hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm


Click here to join our mailing list.
Wayfinding Signs Design

Wayfinding + Pictogram Design: From Apps to Maps

“Wayfinding” references orientation systems that, in conjunction with pictograms, maps and other visuals, assist and guide people through a physical environment and improve their comprehension and experience of the space.

In airports, hospitals, corporations and campuses wayfinding is essential. New technology is spawning complex visual data – charts, diagrams, maps, plans, signage and guidance systems, pictograms, mobile apps, social gaming, computer interfaces – at an alarming rate.

Today’s rapid visual language must meet the challenge of immediate recognition and use. Pictograms or pictographs, the earliest form of writing, have been used throughout history – from prehistoric art, to hieroglyphs, to internationally recognized symbols for hazards, to today’s digital icons. Predominantly wordless, they permit the mind to access visual connections, derive meaning from almost anything and translate meaning into form.

You’ll interpret your existing knowledge of form, on both a rational and intuitive level, to develop new ways to communicate direction, instruction and a sense of place. You’ll come away with the skills necessary to create meaningful and intelligent information that is accessible at any scale or platform. Course content is tailored for three levels of experience – introductory, intermediate and advanced.

Course #1284
Franz Werner

Schedule 3
July 24-August 4
Monday – Friday

Tuition $2,750
Tuition for RISD Alumni and Students $2,475
Lab Fee $20

3 Credits



Franz Werner

Franz Werner: Swiss Federal Diploma, Typography, and Postgraduate Degree, Graphic Design, University of Art and Design, Basel, Switzerland. Werner was a designer at Birkhauser AG, Schwabe & Co., and worked for the New Zealand Government Printer/Publisher. He started teaching at RISD in 1981 while maintaining a freelance practice in design, with such clients as International Paper and Intel. He has lectured and taught at the Osaka University of the Arts; Sozosha College of Design; University of Canterbury, New Zealand; University of Art and Design Basel/Switzerland, Fraunhofer Institute, University of Darmstadt, Germany; and he is the recipient of the PDN/Nikon award and the Faculty Development Grant, research in iconography.