What is wayfinding?

Wayfinding is the reason you're not lost all the time. Wayfinding is the act of using information to guide yourself through an unfamiliar environment. Think of a trip to the airport: From locating the right terminal to waiting for a taxi on the return trip home, you're wayfinding.

What's that? You want a technical answer? Fine. You can find that here.


What is a sign system?

A sign system is a collection of elements that enables wayfinding, or as Wikipedia states, "signs, maps, arrows, color codings systems, pictograms and different typographic elements." The London Underground (aka the Tube) is a great example.

Do you make signs?

No, but we know people who do. We're the bigger-picture people. We leave the making of signs to the sign-making pros.

What makes you different from other firms?

Personality. And partnership. We see a project through to contract administration. Most firms offer services only through contract documentation. From that point on, clients are left to work with contractors directly to oversee the implementation of the signage. We're different. We're with our clients every step of the way.

What did you go to school for?

Our parents forced us.

Oh, do you mean "What did we study?" What you'd expect: architecture, industrial design, interior design, graphic design, web and user interface, whatever allowed us to sleep in the latest before we had to drag ourselves to class.

But here's the impressive answer: Forcade Associates represents an integration of specialized knowledge from diverse design disciplines as well as from the sciences, professions and humanities. Each member contributes a significant measure of skill and expertise in his/her own area of specialization. Our concept development, methodologies and systems viewpoint are based upon thorough analysis, augmented by computer development and evaluation, as well as by other modern tools of research.

What is a master plan?

A master plan is the roadmap that establishes a project's scope. (Yes, we just used the word "scope." Mark the appropriate space on your Corporate Lingo bingo card.) It's a comprehensive document that details the long-range views and intended guide principles that define how a signage and wayfinding system will be developed and implemented over a period of time.

What is your process?

Typically, we follow the same process as architects and designers: research and analysis, schematic design, design documentation, contract documentation and contract administration. Within that framework, we test and refine and test and refine... and test and refine. On rare occasion, we do a design build job.

How long does it take?

Every timeline is different. We have designed and implemented projects that have ranged from two months to 10 years. What's your schedule?

What's the fastest you've completed a project?

Faster than you'd expect, thanks to our caffeine addiction. And our expertise. And our talent.

How much does it cost?

Every project is different. Contact us.

Who do you work with (e.g., facility managers, architects, designers, CEOs)?

All of the above. You never know who'll have a great idea.

Do you work in other countries?

Yes. Forcade works worldwide. We're partial to locations with vineyards.

Do you create digital signage?

Yes, we develop engaging interfaces for all types of digital solutions - big and small.

How about mobile phone apps?

Yep, we do those, too!

So you're addicted to coffee?

Yes. We grind whole beans daily. And then we brew them. With water. To make coffee. And then we grind more.

Where are your offices located?

All of the Forcade offices are within minutes of thriving cities, but we prefer suburbia for its tree-lined streets, ease of parking, and shorter lines at Starbucks. (What? Sometimes we need a scone.)

Where do I send RFPs?

All RFPs should be addressed to Mark Levine, 1626 Payne Street, Evanston, IL 60201 or via email to mlevine@forcade.net

What is Red Wine Friday?

It's our way of celebrating another week of amazing design. Note: It is not called White Wine Friday. You can keep your oaky Chardonnay.

What do you people do for fun?

Ride our bikes, cheer on our alma maters' teams, take pictures, travel and cook - oh, how we love to create new dishes (that pair well with red wine).

I hear you send out fabulous gifts around the holidays. How do I get on that list?

You heard right! Hire us and you'll be on the list!

Did everyone there go to the University of Kansas?

No, but Jayhawks do make up a significant percentage of our team. Weird, huh? But you know what's weirder? That the mascot is a bird wearing shoes.