The Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall is home to the internationally recognized Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO). The iconic building, built in 1982, uses a series of curves to avoid flat surfaces and ninety-degree angles for acoustical purposes within the hall, with the dramatic curves also continuing into the corridors and public spaces.
Add on years of ineffective, mix-matched wayfinding signs, all makes for a complex and non-traditional interior space to navigate. This resulted in concert goers, and staff alike to feel frustrated and confused when trying to find their ticketed seats, the nearest lounge bar or even a restroom. Ashton worked to develop and design a new, thoughtfully integrated wayfinding plan that was architecturally-inspired and respects the legacy of the space.
Multiple named spaces and lounges inside the symphony hall utilize deep channel letters. The white-on-white application seamlessly integrates the letterforms into the architecture while smaller red lettering connects to the maroon finishes found throughout the space.
Architectural integration was the foremost goal of the wayfinding system. Primary wayfinding signs are rendered floor to ceiling while secondary signs and supporting directionals match the dimensions of the hall’s bricks.
Entry Type: Single Entry
Primary Role of the Designer: Designer as brand steward
Client Relationship: Unknown (NA) / Other (if other, please explain) Fixed Fee
Intention of the Project: Re-launch, redesign, or update of an existing product, service or program
Development Budget: Decline to state
Production/Execution Budget: Decline to state
Source of Funding: Client
Typefaces: Nobel Bold, Regular, Book, Light
Creative Director: Alexey Ikonomou
Designers: Brian Ahola
Photographer: Vivian Marie Doering
Printer: Design Communications Ltd. (DCL)
Other Credits: Design Communications Ltd. (DCL) - Signage Fabricator
Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall Wayfinding Signage
Environmental / Experiential Design
Winner - 365: AIGA Year in Design (2022)
Title: Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall Wayfinding Signage
Design Firm/Agency: Ashton Design
Client Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
“Simple + classic, lots of visual breath, reinforces the open gestures and rhythms of the space. It’s got an easy elegance, really elevates such a clear and functional system. Beautiful.”