Information and identity in a functional design

Messe Basel signage

Design and function for versatile areas of application

Product and graphic design by «unit-design»

Messe Basel recently redesigned its location as part of the reconstruction of Hall 1 by Herzog & De Meuron. This led to the need for new signage and the opportunity was seized to develop a new information and guidance system for the trade fair’s location. Following an international invitation to tender, BURRI was awarded the contract to renew the signage for the five exhibition halls and the entrance and outdoor areas in 2012. The Frankfurt design studio unit-design was responsible for the design and graphic implementation of the signage and dany waldner ag handled project and construction management. Working closely with unit-design, BURRI has developed, produced and installed a comprehensive, modular system to deadline. The result is a meaningful guidance system that covers the entire 141,000 square meters that make up the exhibition site.

Products used

Making of

Competencies deployed in development: 
Small volume development and production
Development and construction
Installation and maintenance
Design and prototyping

A combination of aesthetics, safety and flexibility

Maximum usability for users and operator

Messe Basel’s new information and signage system has to aesthetically accommodate a variety of contexts from Baselworld to MUBA. Colour, materials, surface and graphics were uniformly designed. The demands made on the different systems in daily use are high: these must be particularly robust as well as flexible since they are subject to being constantly modified for the ever-changing events. Easy handling and movability of individual elements as well as simple assembly and disassembly were decisive prerequisites for the cost effectiveness of the system. In addition, it was essential to meet the increasingly stringent fire protection standards in indoor areas as well as the safety regulations for exhibition visitors.

Efficient cooperation in development

The new signage was created by the Frankfurt design office «unit-design». The precise specifications laid down by «unit-design», close cooperation with the people in charge at Messe Basel and with project management allowed the technical prototypes to be developed efficiently. Despite their enormous complexity, it proved possible to meet the exacting deadlines thanks to BURRI’s years of experience in the fields of development and production not to mention its extensive assembly skills. As a result, a total of more than 1,800 signage elements went into operation in time for the opening of Baselworld 2013.

Maximum usability in continuous use

Easy, flexible handling for the exhibition operators and technical services

BURRI and «unit-design» have developed a sustainable information and guidance system for Messe Basel. The modular structure of the individual systems is crucial for efficient handling, flexible deployment options and cost-effectiveness in long-term use. For example, an innovative rolling and locking mechanism was developed for the mobile steles. The integrated castors can be simultaneously locked for swivel and rotation by a single pedal.
The solid steles are thus exceptionally stable, but are still easy to manoeuvre in all directions as required. Sophisticated suspension or folding mechanisms mean that signage elements are easy to replace and extend without the need for any tools. The system thus has no problem meeting the context of ever-changing exhibitions. Certain parts can also be disassembled to save space for easy transport and storage.

Low life-cycle costs thanks to sophisticated systems with added value

International exhibitors and their high profile clients reject compromises and expect maximum flexibility from their host venue, Messe Basel. Top-quality materials and workmanship as well as clever design details added during development influence cost effectiveness in use. Easy handling and the mobility of individual elements as well as simple disassembly/assembly are decisive prerequisites for the system’s cost effectiveness. The clientele benefits from BURRI’s years of experience and comprehensive range: safety, serviceability and cost effectiveness thus guarantee low life-cycle costs in the long term.