Week 3: Typography & Expression

This week I used the typography techniques and design concepts we learned in class to redesign an airplane ticket.  We were given a real boarding pass to reformat (Figure 1).

  Figure 1

Figure 1

This boarding pass is clearly lacking any consistency in its typographic elements and its element placement.  The information is hard to decipher from a user perspective and the elements that are important to the user are mixed with the elements that are unimportant for the user to understand.  All of these aspects make the design of the boarding pass unsuccessful.  The goal of a boarding pass should be to convey to the user all of the elements they need to get through the correct checkpoints within an airport.  In a way, the boarding pass should act as a primary way finding tool for the user to guide them through their travels.  All of the unnecessary information may be important for the airlines but should not interfere with the instructions that the user requires.  To begin my redesign process I made a list of the most important elements that the boarding pass conveys to the ticket holder.  I then tried to put these elements in the order that the ticket holder might need from the beginning of their travels to the end.  Once I had this list I began to think about a grid system that would make sense for this ticket format.  Figure 2 shows this process.

  Figure 2

Figure 2

 Since the right side of the ticket would eventually be ripped off, the information in that area should be dedicated to the personal information like your seat number and zone.  On the left side, I wanted to divide the space into two main sections and clearly indicate what is important information for the ticket holder and what is not.  Keeping these two grids in mind, I came up with a general solution shown in Figure 3

  Figure 3

Figure 3

This design keeps all of the personal information on the right side of the ticket, all of the general flight information that you might need through the airport on the left side in a clear box and all of the less important information below the box.  The final design is shown in Figure 4.

  Figure 4

Figure 4

Here shaded boxes stand out with the information that the ticket holder needs throughout the travel processes.  The right side contains the personal information with the zone and seat numbers in bold.  If the user has TSA PreCheck, it is clearly indicated in red.  The order of this information is generally in the order you may need it.  On the left side the same is true.  When you first get your boarding pass, most people check the board to make sure that their flight is on time or their gate hasn't changed.  So the flight information is clearly indicated in the box on the left so the user can easily find it as they need it.  The information that is not as important to the user in on the bottom of the ticket in smaller font.  The top row has information about the origin, destination and the date.  Presumably the user will know this information, however it is at the top of this section in case they require it.  The two rows below contain all of the information for the airlines.  Since the QR scanner should pick up this information, it is not usually necessary so it is okay for the font to be small since it is rarely used.  Overall, I think this design is much cleaner, creates clear boxes to guide the users focus and uses a successful grid to organize the information. 

In addition to redesigning this boarding pass, I also experimented using Illustrator to create some expressive words.  The following figures show some examples of this exploration.