Good to Know Guide: Wayfinding Systems
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)
- 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.