Wayfinding signs, also known as directory signs, tenant signs, suite signs and numbers, office name signs, conference room signs, as well as parking lot signs, campus signs and more. The all make it easy for your customers to get where you want them to go. A great wayfinding system nudges people in the right direction.
GPS only gets you so far
Your navigation system will get you on the right street and the right block, but what happens next is wayfinding. The street number signs need to be large enough to be seen easily from the street. Parking is always a challenge and drivers always appreciate a sign directing them to the best place to park. Once your visitor is inside the building the wayfinding signs really start earning their keep. Unless you have a receptionist, directory signs and lobby signs are where most people turn next. They also include directories listing all the offices, doctors, tenants in a building or a wing. Floor number signs and suite signs get your visitor inside the office. Even in the office, companies use signs to identify employee offices, conference rooms, restrooms and more.
Why Wayfinding Signs?
Signage, the kind we see in buildings, airports, hallways, streets and in offices is the thing which most people pay attention to but rarely ever notice. When it works well, wayfinding signage tells us where we are and it helps us to get where we want to go. When it fails, people are late for appointments, get lost, and spend a lot of time getting frustrated. It’s the lack of proper wayfinding signage that people notice. You can probably remember times when you couldn’t find where you needed to go, but no one thinks wow, this company has great signs. In some cases, especially where cars and other modes of transport are involved, the consequences of bad signage can lead to injuries, or worse. Bad signs can send perfectly ordinary people into states of total frustration. ‘
Types of wayfinding signage
Directional – These signs that guide the way to the location. They can be wall mounted, hanging, blade signs, stand-alone signs, even floor graphics.
Identification – Typically the first interaction with the customer. Monument and building signs tell your visitor they have arrived. Office signs, door signs, window signs all tell the customer they are in the right place.
Regulatory – The signs that tell visitors the rules and requirements. Americans with Disabilities Act signs, also know as ADA signs are the most common type of regulatory signs. Others include traffic signs, speed limit signs, restricted parking signs and any sign designating a danger.
Informational – These are the most common type of wayfinding sign. A good informational sign gives quick and clear directions to help people get to the desired location. Mall directories are a great example but they can be a simple as an A-board outside your business
Wayfinding Sign History
It was the late 1800’s when the world started to become a much bigger place. The need for directional signs was there but the developers of places like office buildings were reluctant to conform. Developers tended to assume that architects would take care of sign design, and many architects would simply leave it up to the tenants. That was back when a sign company used paint and a steady hand. It was the 1970’s when modern urban signage and the term wayfinding began. Designers began to think about how to guide and orient the public through spaces. Today, shopping malls, conference centers, hotels and other businesses understand that well-oriented people are happier, spend more money and are more likely to return.
The Future of Wayfinding Signs and Directional Signs
Some companies are incorporating technology into their directional signage. Interactive touch displays are simple to use and programmable. Artificial intelligence will anticipate and direct people to their destination. Turn by turn instructions on your phone may not be limited to driving. Who knows the future? Talking walls and floors are no longer a stretch of the imagination.
The Mighty Sign Makers at Specialty Graphic Solutions are here to help direct you to a custom wayfinding sign solution. Call us for a free evalution.