Rethinking waste signage to improve sustainability on campus.

Brand Identity

The Brief

This project was initiated as a unit assessment but for an entirely real purpose of redesigning the signage of the bins within and around the Murdoch University campus in Perth, Western Australia.

We were entrusted by the Murdoch Student Guild with developing and rethinking the current bin signage designs to better inform and educate the vast population of people that use the bins every day, ultimately helping to reduce contaminated recycling and bettering the university’s efforts towards sustainability. Keeping in mind the upcoming changes in government regulation, the designs were required to be finalised and implemented prior to the new rules coming into place on 2nd of June 2020, but since the Covid 19 pandemic, this date was postponed.

In order to achieve this change of behaviour without making the same mistake the previous designs had, it was necessary to understand that overloading information was not the way to go. The design had to be minimalistic, efficient and have good readability. People are not going to stick around a bin for any longer than they have to and for those that want to do the right thing, I needed to leverage the design to help them, not deter them.

My aim was to create a design which acknowledged this as a primary factor, where fewer points of focus would get the user to actually pay attention to what is being instructed and thus put their waste in the right bin.

The Design

A core element to the brand identity is the use of isometric iconography to depict objects which represent types of waste and recyclable products. With the intent of this brand identity to ensure simplicity and minimalism, the biggest contributor to this specific style is in the graphics.

The choice of colours coincided with the stereotypical colours of waste and recycling. This was a key component that was required to remain the same to ensure consistency with external designs such as other waste bins. People have premade associations of what colours mean and I did not want to change this because of the universal meaning of the red and yellow within this context. The white was used as a background and for some text as it is clean, easily contrasted and is suitable for the flat design ensuring it was modern and easily readable.

The choice of typeface (Bebase Kai) was used because of its bold legibility that can be seen from far distances. It has a contemporary appearance as well which ties in well with the iconography design. It draws attention to where the attention is most needed instead of lots of smaller type like the previous designs. The secondary typeface used was Calibri light for less important information on the designs. This sans-serif font reads well and works nicely alongside the primary type for other designs other than signage.

No items found.

The Process

A real challenge with this project was the limitations that I had considering the requirements of the client. One of these was the fact that we could not change theinfrastructure of the bins due to budgets needing to be met. This meant that the whole design had to fit with what was already given - the structure of the bins.

The current ones were outdated, bulky and didn’t have much space for signage other than the large metal signboard above a limited number of them (the client was hoping to put these on all covered bins in future). Some of the bins also had vents throughout, meaning designs could not be placed over the top of them. The bins were also already painted, which further limited the ability for any design to work.

Nonetheless, it was a good challenge to take on and in doing so I learnt a lot. Another challenge that I found was that the client didn’t want to commercialise the bins in any way, meaning logos were not an option.

This made it tricky to create a brand identity around a brand that they didn’t want prevalent on the designs, so I created a brand around the management of the waste in hopes of developing a concept by which future designs could follow.

No items found.

Based in Perth, Western Australia.

Let's Chat.
Privacy PolicyTerms and Conditions