I took on the task of creating clear signage for the new kosher kitchen opening in Wayland House dorm for student use.
In order to follow kosher dietary laws, meat and dairy must be kept strictly separate. In addition to not mixing meat and milk ingredients, utensils that are used for meat may not be used to prepare dairy foods, and vice versa, necessitating separate sets of dishes. Though in practice there’s ways to use a single stove/oven for both meat and milk, for the sake of reducing mistakes in a shared space, the Wayland Kosher Kitchen has separate sinks, stoves, ovens, fridges, and countertop space for both meat and dairy.
In designing signage, several user experience factors came into play. In kosher kitchens, words from multiple languages are often used to describe the type of food or utensil. For example, one might say that a fork is milchig, using the Yiddish word for dairy. Since the English, Hebrew and Yiddish words for meat/dairy are all frequently used, I wanted to include all three on main signage, to make things more clear for anyone who might not know one of the words.
I also wanted to make sure that the content of the signs was not the only thing distinguishing the meat and dairy side, while still giving the space a cohesive aesthetic. To accomplish this, I decided to adopt the standard color scheme for Kosher kitchens, where blue is associated with dairy and red is associated with meat. Additionally, I chose a sans-serif font for the Dairy signage, and a serif font for the meat signage, adding yet another visual cue reinforcing the difference between each side.
In the interest of durability, I chose to create the signs out of acrylic, first laser-engraving the words into a larger white piece, and laser-cutting out the letters from sheets of blue and red acrylic. I then used solvent to attach the colored letters to the white base sheet.