Wayfinding is about providing direction. Many buildings and complexes have massive and multi-floor layouts that can make it difficult to find your way around, especially if you are a newcomer. Even in single stores like supermarkets, you will find signage that helps you navigate to designated sections and find the products you want.
Wayfinding signs work as visual cues that help provide directions to where you want to go or the item you want to find. They can be customised in a variety of ways to help make navigation easier and faster.
They typically combine wording that identifies the location you are seeking and arrows pointed in the direction to take. You will often see such signage in hospitals, schools, and large department stores. Different kinds of signs can be used including post and panel signs, hanging signs and wall signs. They can be used in both indoor and outdoor environments.
They also include more detailed signage such as directories and “you are here” maps that are typically found at entry points and near elevators and stairs. These signs are kept elevated to be clearly visible to onlookers.
The purpose of wayfinding signage is to aid navigation. Unlike other signage that may also be used for branding, this option is more about imparting information so that whoever visits the location can comfortably find their way around. People appreciate these visual cues over having to ask people for help.
The key purpose of wayfinding signs is to help with providing direction. It guides people from entry points to the place they want to go without needing to ask others for assistance. They are a commonplace sight where there is heavy foot traffic and often incorporate the use of arrows to point out the right way. Common signage used to provide directions may include directory signs and hanging signs. Such signage can also be painted or applied on the ground to show what path to follow. ‘
Wayfinding signs can also be used to impart information. It could be anything from hours of operation to where the bathrooms are located. This is essential information that all buildings should have and ideally be displayed prominently where most traffic passes to see it.
These signs can also be used for identification purposes. In this way, as a person navigates their way through a complex, building or floor, they can tell by the signage that they have arrived at their desired destination. Door plaques, acrylic letters, Dibond signs trays, and other signage can be used for this purpose.
Wayfinding signs may also be used for regulatory purposes such as indicating where fire exits are, social distancing, or marking out prohibited areas. It is about ensuring the safety of visitors and staff to the area. It can also be used to protect against liability issues. There is a need to ensure that this signage is always clearly visible, simple, and concise. All wayfinding signage should be coordinated in such a manner as to provide clear information without causing confusion.