Wayfinding system

The sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy com­pany Merck is ex­pand­ing its Darm­stadt site into a global head­quar­ters. The his­toric in­dus­trial site is turn­ing into a “Merck City”: state-of-the-art in­fra­struc­ture, a new In­no­va­tion Cen­ter and new, mod­ern pro­duc­tion and of­fice build­ings cre­ate an in­no­v­a­tive work­ing en­vi­ron­ment for over 10,000 em­ploy­ees. And, the fam­ily busi­ness cel­e­brated at the cen­tral re­designed Emanuel Merck Square in May 2018 350-year an­niver­sary!

Moni­teurs de­signed in close co­op­er­a­tion (Co-Cre­at­ing!) with Merck and the ar­chi­tec­ture of­fice HENN, who de­vel­oped a mas­ter plan for the plant and planned the In­no­va­tion Cen­ter, an over­ar­ch­ing ori­en­ta­tion con­cept: Out­door and in­door sig­nage as strong brand el­e­ments serve as ori­en­ta­tion on the Merck plant.

Wayfind­ing sys­tem
In­door and out­door

Darm­stadt since 2017


Merck KGaA


125 ha




10.000 em­ploy­ees


Ste­fan Schilling


Iconic Awards 2018, Win­ner

The sig­nage el­e­ments take up the for­mal lan­guage of Merck brand­ing. In­di­vid­ual "types" emerged, each of whom took on spe­cific tasks: in­form­ing, point­ing the way and mark­ing places.

Merck introduced a new brand appearance in 2015 – colorful, with fascinating microbial and cellular structures and a friendly visual language. The company communicates its strengths: openness, innovation, inventiveness, diversity. Moniteurs designed as a basis a stringent content concept, with consistent wording and designed “Vibrant Highlight Elements” that not only depict the colors and structures of the new appearance, but create them. Some outdoor elements have been further functionalized from the already installed steles.

The result is not a modular, but an additive system with individual concise “types”. Together they create a diversified family!

A plan of planes, ap­plied di­rectly to one of the con­crete cores, gives the vis­i­tors an im­pres­sive over­all view of all the room of­fers and uses of the In­no­va­tion Cen­ter.

Col­ored In­te­rior cre­ates vivid re­flec­tions on the sig­nage el­e­ments, cell shapes and "strings" that make up the brand iden­tity of Merck.

Moni­teurs de­signed the user in­ter­face for the light, sun pro­tec­tion and me­dia con­trol, which takes place in the en­tire build­ing via touch panel.

Grund­lage des Mas­terkonzepts Ori­en­tierung für den Gesamt­stan­dort Darm­stadt war die Be­nutzer­grup­pen­analyse, die Er­mit­tlung der An­forderun­gen an das neue Sig­nagekonzept sowie die Ab­stim­mung mit allen Stake­hold­ern.

A num­ber of new pic­togram mo­tifs rep­re­sent the in­no­v­a­tive work en­vi­ron­ment:
co-cre­ation, recre­ation, lab, tele­phone booth – new work en­vi­ron­ments.

Seam­less tran­si­tion of brand­ing and sig­nage in the foyer of the re­search lab­o­ra­tory.

A strin­gent color con­cept makes the new sig­nage ap­pear in its en­tirety col­or­ful, but ful­fills func­tional re­quire­ments for guid­ance and ori­en­ta­tion sys­tems such as rec­og­niz­abil­ity, read­abil­ity, and main­te­nance.

Around the In­no­va­tion Cen­ter and the Emanuel-Merck-Platz there is a sign­post­ing for vis­i­tors and em­ploy­ees. In 2018, the en­tire Merck area will be equipped with the new sig­nage.