January 12, 2015 // Steffen Halme

Dixi, the brand new train station of Tikkurila (that’s between Helsinki and the airport in Vantaa)  just opened it’s doors. This was a good offering for a family micro expedition last Sunday. All shops are still under construction but the infrastructure is in place. With it’s glass tube-bridge the station offers an appealing environment, especially if you have spent freezing waiting times on the windy platforms earlier.

As with all railway stations, guiding the commuters is THE crucial task. At first sight they seem to succeed. Signs are where you expect to be informed. Sometimes the over-sized track numbers appear at surprising location but their numerous repetitions on several signs ensured that you hardly miss your track. Observing the iconography closer I realized a unnecessary variety of icon styles. To illustrate this, I made a little collage.


Here you can find the elevator for couples and further in the back the elevators for men (only?). Trains, buses and taxis are indicated in different styles. Not forgetting the toilets that seem to offer a time travel by using icons from the 60ies. Why did they not plan this holistically? Now it seems that every party involved like VR, HSL, or the architects used their own guidelines.

Does it mislead you when the stairs and escalator icons are shown with and without figures on them? No, but when icons of public transportation vehicles start differing it gets problematic.

Is this my professional deformed view point or can someone agree with me that this is beyond aesthetics only?