Oct 8, 201301:00 PMPoint of View
Signgeist 2: A 30-Year Itch
(page 3 of 4)
As we established ourselves, our design philosophy began to gel, too—to make life a little easier, less complex, and more beautiful through thoughtful planning and design. I remember we had a retail client that paid us in cash at the time—a brown paper bag full of 20 and 50 dollar bills! In the cosmic scheme of things, it wasn’t a lot of money, but it was HUGE to us then. Fairly quickly, we started landing larger clients—Corning Glass Center, ABC Broadcasting, the Rockefeller Group, New York University, and Thomson Electronics. Suddenly, not only were we able to pay the rent, we were able to move into larger offices on West 25th Street.
Thomson Electronics embraced postmodern architecture—trendy in the late ’80s—and C&VE was signage and graphics consultant for their checkerboard building.
Courtesy Calori & Vanden-Eynden Design Consultants
Next, we signed our first significant five-figure contract. We bought Mac computers, a small laser printer, and an external hard drive—a whopping 20 megs. We were on the cutting edge of technology! Though we had better clients, bigger projects, larger budgets, and real life employees, we decided to remain small—the energy and collaborative nature of a small studio suited our style and our outlook.
By the early ’90s, EGD had grown and was beginning to be a part of most major architectural and urban planning projects. International travel and commerce were expanding rapidly, and the need for signage and wayfinding that addressed the needs of a growing multi-national audience became critical. Established experts in the field by this point, we started work on our first international project—in Asia.
In 1998, we teamed with Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates for a project in Hong Kong. Since then, we’ve completed nearly a dozen Asian projects. At the same time, our transportation work here grew to include clients like Amtrak, New Jersey Transit, Long Island Rail Road, the New York Subway, and New York Waterways.
“Connect 12” was the name given to a project that unified the 12-building portfolio of Hongkong Land Holdings Limited. The ’90s brought increased competition from adjacent developments, and signage was a way to add value to their properties.
Courtesy Graham Uden