DESIGN THROUGH WAYFINDING STRATEGY
Via Collective is a design firm that creates wayfinding systems for a seamless journey through the built environment. Working with us is a collaborative experience through every phase of your project; developing solutions that focus on the needs of the users, enhancing the brand, and connecting with the architecture.
Our methods are based on proven effective wayfinding principles of user experience, architectural scale and functionality. By auditing existing systems, interviewing users and stakeholders, and testing designs before final implementation, we create systems that are useful, integrated and supportive to the environment and the people that use it.
Our processes are tried and true, but the results and recommendations are as varied and diverse as the project and users.
We begin by gathering all the data around your project. We understand the goals and approach, audit the current systems, listen to the stakeholders, and conduct user-centered research. All of this allows us to gain a deep understanding of the current situation and desired outcomes.
In order for the strategy to meet the project goals and the needs of the end user, we take into account the architecture, branding and usability and integrate these components with the findings of the discovery stage. We then consider industry best practices, technology innovation and our own insights to create a unique strategy for the design solution.
Our designs seamlessly integrate into the architectural environments and always stay on-brand. Before final roll-out, we produce full size physical mock ups or interactive prototypes to test and confirm the approach. To bring them to life, we call on our network of expert graphic designers, industrial designers, UX designers, fabricators, and printers to create the highest quality of work.
We don’t stop working after the project is installed. We make sure you can maintain your program and keep your materials current. A follow up user survey provides data around the success of the new system, verifying and confirming the final design. We also assist in developing in-house processes, writing job descriptions and facilitate staff training.
Some projects require the full range of services; others are more limited in their needs. Each project is unique, and our capabilities cover all the needs to create a successful wayfinding system, regardless of size.
Wayfinding Strategy & Design
We consider all the ways users interact with the built environment. Through signage, printed materials, websites, mobile apps, and more, we create a successful and seamless user experience.
Great projects are built on great communication. As trained facilitators, we guide discussions at every level and at every phase, strengthening relationships and ensuring a successful outcome.
Through qualitative and quantitative research, we learn what your users need—and want—and we align those goals with the mission and vision of your organization.
Branding & Communication
Now that the printed page and digital screen are interchangeable, it’s vital to design for maximum engagement. Our information systems engage and inform the user regardless of the medium.
Our clients are the end users, therefore a wide variety of people hire us including Developers, Architecture, Planning and Engineering firms. We also work directly with Private Organizations, Universities, Government Agencies, and Hospitals. Everyone needs wayfinding, so we don’t discriminate.
At Via Collective, our name is our mission. Designing information that helps people navigate the built environment is a group effort. We approach projects with big picture thinking and work with users and stakeholders from day one. Via Collective is a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and Women Owned Business Enterprise (WBE), certified by New York City, the State of New York, and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.
Principal & Wayfinding Strategist
As Via Collective’s chief designer, strategist, and client whisperer, Katie eats serifs for breakfast and conducts user research in the afternoon. Evenings are strictly shuffleboard tournaments and planning beach getaways. Over a 20 year career, her service to the design community has included teaching at the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul, serving on the board of AIGA Minnesota, and membership in AIGA, APA and SEGD. Recently, Katie was named Communications Director of the AIA New York Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Just don’t blame her if your flight out of JFK is delayed.
Rion Byrd Gumus
After 17 years at esteemed design firms like Pentagram and Ralph Applebaum, Rion thought she had seen it all. But each Via Collective project presents something novel—materials, architecture styles or use cases. She’s a collaborator, a listener, and mother of three. When not using graphics to connect people with their surroundings, you’ll find the designer of Shake Shack’s original signage unloading vegetable trucks for her CSA. If you know how to get three young boys to eat four pounds of this week’s kohlrabi, speak up.
Senior Environmental Graphic Designer
While Ainslie sometimes misses her days playing bass in a Brooklyn electro band, she thinks the parenthood gig is pretty rock-and-roll. A life-long creative, she progressed from studio-trained graphic artist to Pratt-certified product designer before finding her true calling in wayfinding. A conceptual problem solver with her feet on the ground, she loves the challenge of tailoring imaginative solutions to the natural limitations of space. That and a great cup of coffee.
Environmental Graphic Designer
For Matt, designing environments fulfills his love of exploring physical space. After a youth navigating the outdoors on the shores of Lake Erie, Matt earned a design BFA at Ohio University, then set his sights on NYC. In Gotham he cut his teeth at Two Twelve and GHD before joining Via Collective as a designer and resident beard expert. A pop culture and film buff, his Lebowski trivia runs deep and he never loses Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.
Jocelyn became a designer because she loves rolling up her sleeves and figuring out how things are made. A DIY rockstar, she knits scarves, builds furniture, and whips up French macarons. After earning a BFA in graphic design at Suffolk University, Jocelyn first got her hands dirty with the creative team at ever-stylish retailer DwellStudio. At Via Collective she’s taking her CAD game to the next level while keeping the whole team’s picas and points in order.
Stacy employs a firm hand, an easy smile and an advanced system of colored Post-It Notes to keep your important project on track. Originally an indie rock girl from North London, she joined the British Army as a Siggie and served with NATO forces in Bosnia before doing TV promotions at Warner Bros Records. An inveterate traveler, Stacy has trekked six continents and currently alternates weekends between music festivals and expeditions to the Hudson Valley.
CLIENTS & COLLABORATORS
Entro Communications, Inc.
Green Ivy Schools
Hudson Companies, Inc.
Hudson Yards Infrastructure Corporation
Metropolitan Transportation Authority
LaGuardia Community College
Larisa Ortiz Associates, LLC
New York University
New York University Langone Medical Center
New York Restoration Project
Park Slope Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District
Port Authority of Allegheny County
Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
Randall’s Island Park Alliance
Stony Brook University
University of Miami
Weill Cornell Medical Center
START THE DISCUSSION
594 Dean Street
Brooklyn, NY 11238