Good to Know Guide: Wayfinding Systems

Wayfinding Signage - Wall Vinyls

Wayfinding Signage is an information system that guides us and enhances our experience of a public space.

In today’s built up environment, people need visual cues such as maps, signs, special lighting and symbols to help them find their way to a destination.

iQ Branding Solutions has a lot of experience in this area and will work closely with you to research, plan and build an effective system.

An effective Wayfinding Signage System needs to be:

  • Clear – Ensure there is no danger of misinterpretation.
  • Concise – Including only essential information.
  • Consistent – In design and presentation.

The Wayfinding Process:

When people set out to find and follow their path to their destination, they ask themselves a sequential set of questions.

  • Orientation – Where am I?
  • Route Decision – Which way will I go to get to my destination?
  • Route Monitoring – Am I going in the right direction?
  • Destination Recognition – Am I there yet?

They use maps, landmarks (e.g. a piece of art) and signage to help us orientate ourselves and navigate our way to our destination.

The Design Process:

  • Understand users needs and objectives.
  • Analyse and document how each type of visitor moves through your space.
  • Create a traffic flow from every angle (e.g. parking facilities, street entrances, lifts, reception).
  • Decide what information to present and when. Only include the essentials.

Your research will determine where you locate your signs, what they say and how they say it.

A wayfinding system should use recognizable symbols, related patterns, images, typography and graphics to create a visual understanding of the layout of the place.

Types of Wayfinding Signage

  • Informational Signs – identifying landmarks for orientation and navigation.
  • Directional Signs – Information to guide people to landmark destinations.
  • Identification Signs – Information about a unique location (e.g. meeting point, w.c.)
  • Warning Signs – Alerts for safety or adherence to regulation (fire exit, no smoking)

Expert Tips:

  • Create an identity at each location, different from all others.
  • Use landmarks to provide orientation cues and memorable locations.
  • Create well structured paths.
  • Create regions of differing visual character.
  • Don’t give the user too many choices.
  • Use survey views (give navigators a map).
  • Provide signs at decision points to help wayfinding decisions.
  • Use sight lines to show what’s ahead.

Check out our Wayfinding & Directional Pinterest Board for more examples and great ideas. And, if you would like get some advice about a system that you are planning, contact Paul who is an expert in this area.

Posted in News on 26th September 2016