Stereotype Production Method for Public Sign Design: Inspiration for Future Design Practice in Public Graphical Images

By Annie W. Y. Ng, Kin Wai Michael Siu and Chetwyn, C. H. Chan.

Published by The International Journal of the Image

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Public signs are graphical images for the provision of warnings, directions, regulations and guidance in all locations and all sectors where the public has access. One of the major deficiencies of the current practice of public design is that it is policymaker- and designer-oriented. To create more user-friendly graphical signs, the stereotype production method has been introduced to involve users as much as possible in phases of the conceptual design process. With the use of the stereotype production method, prospective users recommend pictorials for sign referents while designers recognise and integrate the common images users have for the signs in design. Therefore, the weights of the designs have been shifted from professional- to user-oriented, and both designers and users could play an active role in the sign design process. Comprehensive research on the effectiveness of the new practice for sign development, the stereotype production method, had never been reported. Taking public sign development in Hong Kong as a case study, this paper aims to identify and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the stereotype production method for sign development from the perspective of design participants, i.e., users and designers during the design process. The findings of this paper provide insights on developing useful guidelines for future implementation of the stereotype production method in future sign design practice.

Keywords: Stereotype Production Method, Public Sign, Design Practice, User-Oriented

The International Journal of the Image, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp.21-34. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 932.405KB).

Dr. Annie W. Y. Ng

School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hunghom, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Dr. Annie W. Y. Ng is now with the School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Her research focus is in the domain of ergonomics and human factors, visual communication, and human-interface interaction.

Prof. Kin Wai Michael Siu

Professor & Public Design Lab Leader, School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hunghom, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Prof. K. W. Michael Siu is Professor of Design. He is Leader of the Public Design Lab, School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He was ASIA Fellow and Fulbright Scholar. His research interests are in public design, human behaviour and user-reception.

Prof. Chetwyn, C. H. Chan

Chair Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hunghom, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Prof. Chetwyn C. H. Chan is Chair Professor of Rehabilitation Sciences. He is the founder of the Ergonomics and Human Performance Laboratory at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He is elected Fellow of the American Psychological Association and Fellow of the Hong Kong Psychological Society. His research interests are in mental imagery, visualisation and learning, and cross-modal learning.