How to bring your site plan to life with good map design

By July 28th 2015

Any type of organisation can benefit from a map of their site; universities, hospitals, holiday parks or a large office complex with various locations.  Anywhere with multiple buildings on a single site and a requirement to show staff and visitors how to move around can benefit from such a site plan. Feedback over the years from our clients tells us that good map design can help enrich the experience on the day of the visit or important event.

For promotional material, a well-designed stylised site plan, complete with company branding and logos, will enhance any leaflet or website and help make your site an easy place to navigate.

A site map can be easily updated to take account of changes in building names and any new construction, so can be used to respond quickly to changing requirements. It is important to consider the layout and zoning of areas – similar buildings can be grouped in one colour, for example, to make them easy to distinguish.

As an example, Camphill Village Trust originally had a site plan to help visitors move around. This map, although functional, was hand drawn and lacked the impact and professional look that the client wanted to create.

Camphill site plan – before

The requirement was for a new, styled site map to show the correct geographical positions of the various buildings within the site. It was to look engaging but functional, to be straightforward to follow. Our illustrator visited the site, took photographs of the buildings and made notes on the locations and features, in order to enhance the original site plan.

The new site plan was drawn digitally, using the hand drawn original as a base and guide for location of the individual elements.

Camphill site plan – after

It was given texture by adding trees and shadows, to bring the plan to life. Key buildings have been drawn in 3D to show their actual appearance and help with recognition, also clearly labelled and referenced to a key. The use of realistic colours makes the site plan eye catching and attractive, as well as practical.

Shorefield Holiday Parks had a similar map requirement – they had a serviceable map of each of their holiday sites, showing individual pitches and the locations of buildings and facilities, but decided to have the plans updated to look more engaging.

Shorefield site plan – before

As a holiday park, the site plan needed to be attractive, yet practical. We used the old site plan, as well as aerial imagery supplied by the client, to create a new map, with additional trees and 3D building elements to ‘lift’ the image and make it more appealing.

Shorefield site plan – after

In summary, the use of a good map as a site plan can help to promote your site, engage with visitors and aid navigation.

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