London Olympics… wayfinding. helping you find your way using colour

Karen Haller 01
Karen Haller

London Olympics - Wayfinding using colour.

If you’ve been to London recently, you’ll have noticed pink signage strategically placed and none more so than on the London Underground. With millions of additional passengers expected during the Olympic Games, the last thing the organisers want is for them not to be able to find their way around. That is where colour wayfinding really comes into its own.

Wayfinding is used to convey relevant information in order to help people orientate and navigate with ease within public areas or buildings. The best way to do this is through colour.

This is because we take in colour before shapes or words. We see the colour first, and then we read the sign.  

London Olympics have chosen their brand pink as their primary wayfinding colour. If you have seen this pink, I think you’ll agree it would be hard to miss. It is an intense, cold, blue pink. The intensity and the tone make it highly visible.

colour contrast
This intense pink creates excellent colour contrast making it very easy to spot as you can see from the images below.

colour association
Given we take in colour before shapes or words, very quickly we can adapt to looking out for this colour, knowing it will give us directions to our Olympic event destination.

London Underground use the pink brand colour to assist their passengers in navigating their way to their destination by looking for the pink signage, which stands out from the normal tube network coloured wayfinding signage.

London Olympics Wayfinding - London Underground signage.

The use of detailed maps combined with a colour orientation key assist passengers navigating their way to their destination. These detailed maps can usually be found at strategic information points.

London Olympics Wayfinding - London Underground tube map.

Love it or loathe this tone of pink, it certainly stands out, making it perfect for wayfinding.

Next time you are out and trying to find your way around, look out for colour to guide you.

What do you think of using colour as a visual reference point? Maybe you weren’t even conscious of it?

Images: Karen Haller

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