Wayfinding and Orientation 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. In ad­di­tion, the fam­ily busi­ness cel­e­brated its 350-year an­niver­sary at the cen­tral, re­designed Emanuel-Merck-Platz in May 2018!

In close co­op­er­a­tion (what we call co-cre­at­ing!) with Merck and the ar­chi­tec­ture of­fice HENN, who de­vel­oped a mas­ter plan for the plant and planned the In­no­va­tion Cen­ter, Moni­teurs de­signed an over­ar­ch­ing ori­en­ta­tion con­cept: out­door and in­door sig­nage as strong brand el­e­ments serve as ori­en­ta­tion on the Merck plant.

Merck KGaA

Wayfind­ing and Ori­en­ta­tion Sys­tem
In­door and Out­door

Darm­stadt since 2017


125 ha


10,000 em­ploy­ees

Ste­fan Schilling

Iconic Awards 2018, Win­ner
The sig­nage el­e­ments adopt the for­mal lan­guage of the Merck brand­ing. In­di­vid­ual “types” emerged, each of which took on spe­cific tasks: in­form­ing, point­ing the way and mark­ing places.

Merck introduced a new brand appearance in 2015 – colourful, 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 colours and structures of the new appearance, but also create them. Some outdoor elements have been further functionalised from the already installed steles.

The result is not 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 the uses of the In­no­va­tion Cen­ter.
A coloured 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.
The ba­sis of the ori­en­ta­tion mas­ter con­cept for the en­tire Darm­stadt site was the user group analy­sis, the de­ter­mi­na­tion of the re­quire­ments for the new sig­nage con­cept as well as the co­or­di­na­tion of all the stake­hold­ers.
A num­ber of new pic­togram mo­tifs rep­re­sent the in­no­v­a­tive ”new work en­vi­ron­ments”:
co-cre­ation, recre­ation, lab, tele­phone booth.
Seam­less tran­si­tion of brand­ing and sig­nage in the foyer of the re­search lab­o­ra­tory.
A strin­gent colour con­cept makes the new sig­nage ap­pear colour­ful in its en­tirety, but ful­fils func­tional re­quire­ments for ori­en­ta­tion sys­tems such as recog­nis­abil­ity, read­abil­ity and main­te­nance.
Around the In­no­va­tion Cen­ter and the Emanuel-Merck-Platz there is sign­post­ing for vis­i­tors and em­ploy­ees. In 2018, the en­tire Merck area was equipped with the new sig­nage.