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Wayfinding Signs Are So Much More than Just Signage

Wayfinding Signs are critical to helping people navigate new spaces.   They help people to locate points of interest as well important facilities such as restrooms, parking areas, driving routes and more.

Wayfinding and Wayfinding Signs are critical to assisting people move around their surroundings while providing aesthetics that are in harmony with the surrounding environment.  It is generally taken for granted that people are aware of their surroundings and can navigate easily from one place to another.  Newcomers and visitors can easily be lost with insufficient or ineffective signage.  This is true for public places such as parks as well as institutions such as universities and hospitals.

  • Today’s wayfinding designer, therefore, needs to combine many disciplines – those of the artist, social scientist, environmentalist, architect, engineer, economist, computer scientist, project planner and marketing expert.
  • Effective Wayfinding Sign design requires a combination of skills to ensure that the final result is a a seamless and effective signage program that makes life safer, easier and more efficient for those utilizing spaces.
  • The success of a wayfinding systems is measured by how users experience an environment and how the communicative elements facilitate getting from point A to point B. 
  • Large wayfinding projects require input from owner’s, users and designers to create a program that successfully creates signage that informs and directs in an understandable way. 
  • Wayfinding Signs should reassure users, create a welcoming and enjoyable environment and, ideally, provide answers to potential queries before users have to ask for assistance.
  • Wayfinding systems can also indicate where users should not go.

A successful Wayfinding system should provide information for users to:

– Establish the start point and conclusion of a route.
– Identify the user’s destination upon arrival
– Identify and orient the user’s current location within a building or an external space
– Reinforce that the user is travelling in the correct direction
– Help the user understand the location and identify any potential hazards within the space

These tasks are crucial.  In addition to providing the required information, wayfinding signage should work with the environment it is in and be created to best suit the each particular situation.

 

The launch of a new wayfinding system is not the end of the challenge, but the beginning of an ongoing effort to constantly monitor the wayfinding system for accuracy and effectiveness. The continual management of wayfinding components needs to include signage but may also include printed maps and information kiosks when appropriate.

When planning a wayfinding signage system the design team needs to allow for:

  • Identification
  • Reinforcement
  • Orientation
  • Destination

Often the design process includes architectural clues, graphic communication and tactile communication.

Lastly, remember that wayfinding is NOT JUST signage.

Signage is fundamental to wayfinding, but it will only ever deliver if it is part of an integrated wayfinding policy.

Don’t get lost.
Do you need a new Wayfinding System?
Contact us and we will help you choose the right solution.

 

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