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Experiential Designer

Experiential Graphic Designers (XGD)orchestrate typography, colour, imagery, form, technology, and content to create environments that communicate. 

For example, their work can include way-finding systems, architectural graphics, signage and sign programs, exhibit design, retail design, and themed or branded spaces. 

XGD, as experiential graphic design is known, increasingly uses digital technologies and systems that present dynamic content through motion graphics and make possible rich interactions between the user in a place and the information is provided. Where will you find the work of an XGD? Retail stores, entertainment and hospitality destinations such as theme parks, hotels, casinos, sports venues and shopping malls. Exhibitions and other branded environments will also use the tools and story-telling approaches of an XGD to create a more engaging and meaningful interaction with it's customers.

Surrounding elements create an experience for us as individuals. Those elements can include everything from graphics to three-dimensional design elements constructed and fabricated in such a way that, together, they tell a memorable story.

Five Categories of Experiential Design

There are five major categories of experiential design, with crossover.

These categories provide context for the experience being designed and the environment in which it lives.

  • Exhibition Design:

    A hybrid of storytelling and environment. Often found in museums and art galleries.

  • Environmental Graphics:

    Messages, information or imagery that’s attuned to the environment it’s displayed in.

  • Entertainment:

    Concerts and events rule this category. These experiences scale from small to very big.

  • Marketing:

    Sensory experiences like Times Square in NYC. Guerilla marketing, and product experiences and launches.

  • Placemaking:

    Public installations and landmarks which define the space around us

An experiential design team draws from many different disciplines, including graphic design, industrial design, 3D, and engineering.

Some of the most obvious examples of experiential design in use are in museum exhibits and galleries. These spaces are designed to create a specific experience for the visitor. Providing information in an interactive way or evoking a particular feeling in a room, business, space, area.

A more everyday places to see experiential design is in branded environments like grocery stores, restaurants, stadiums, and universities. Experiential marketing is an entire marketing strategy based on creating memorable places and events that capture the public interest, create personal connections, and encourage social media sharing. It is closely linked to brand strategy and a designer make work with a whole host of designers from UI to UX, graphic designers and more for a particular outcome. The entertainment industry utilizes experiential design to create amazing concerts, festivals, and fun experiences.

An experiential approach to design can be used to create all kinds of memorable touchpoints for customers. It is an emerging role that will be highly sought in the future as the way consumer experience the world and interact with products, brands and companies is changing. The most common places you will notice experiential design is pop-up shops, trade shows, and other short term retail are great places to create intriguing experiences that draw people in.