Glancing at any of the other signs, it becomes obvious fast — the first character defines the block (Workshop), the 1 in this case is the first floor and them the room number follows.
Maybe only two groups would have been better. It feels broken, though it is absolutely not.
I am by no stretch of the imagination an expert type designer, however, without losing my mind too much I made an attempt to kern this to my ideals.
Think anyone would have dared set the university logo creatively kerned like this? Oh, because the logo matters, and wayfinding doesn’t. Functional type that people need to engage with their environment doesn’t matter as much as the pretty facade painted atop everything today.
Enough of that tangent. Facing it on the reflecting wall is this dimly lit sign. This flips the themes of the room signage. There is no genius in the adaptability a scalability of the sign system, but it’s simple, and still works. Where one feels at home in a workshop, the other in a primary school. Keeping things simple is one of the hardest things I have found a during a creative process. Saying no to an idea I become emotionally invested into, to prove my worth, and feed my ego, to the detriment of my output.
Let me be clear, this is not bad kerning, just a bad implementation to improve readability. It creates distraction. People are smart they don’t need all these tricks to understand room numbers.
The colour coded and versatile impermanent nature of this system is certainly admirable, however, the perceived inconstancy from this consistency creates sense of unbalance through unnecessary typographic aid.
The grid system that forms the base for the signs creates a balanced asymmetry, whereas, due to the natural unbalanced nature of letterforms that type designers need to account for, the spacing develops inconsistency. This is a proportional typeface being shoe-horned into a design that pleads for a fixed-width one.
In closing thoughts — now I’ve had a chance to sleep on this — the system works, it communicates what needs to be, and whether I love it in a year, it will always snag in my peripheral vision, a trait I believe should not be evident in functional typography.