One of the biggest achievements when you’re an adult is to finish your errands as fast as possible. To do that, you must be able to navigate from one point to another easily, and without getting lost. This is especially true when you’re shopping in a big mall in a new city.
Wayfinding signage is made to be used as a guiding tool for individuals to reach their target destinations without confusion or mishaps. Therefore, it is essential for every business and company to invest in clear and effective wayfinding signage. In this article, we will lay out seven best practices and tips for designing wayfinding signs for businesses:
Tips to Design Wayfinding Signs for Business
1. Clarity is Key
Wayfinding signs for business must be easy to understand. They should be simple and clear, without unnecessary complexity. When you create these signs, make sure to present the most important information in a straightforward and concise way. If the design becomes too complicated, it can make the sign hard to read and defeat its purpose.
The best way to convey important information to visitors is through a clean and straightforward design. People should be able to glance at the sign and quickly grasp all the necessary details. Avoid using small text, fancy fonts, or complicated wording, as these can confuse and even irritate visitors. It’s important to make the information on the sign as easy to understand as possible.
2. Introduce a Clear Naming System
Having a naming system in place can greatly assist visitors in navigating your premises, particularly in the case of expansive complexes and properties. Lengthy strings of numbers or vague labels can easily bewilder visitors, leading to a less-than-pleasant experience and potentially causing significant frustration.
In the instance of exceptionally small buildings, you might manage without a naming system, but the situation varies significantly for larger structures or complexes. If you’re implementing signage on a larger scale, a carefully devised naming system is an absolute necessity.
3. Prepare Your Signage for the Future
Think about whether your wayfinding signage can adapt to changes in your property. For instance, can you easily update your signs if you construct new buildings within your complex or renovate your existing office space?
When you’re in the process of creating your signage system, contemplate how you would incorporate new buildings, notable landmarks, or additional destinations. Ideally, any new signs should seamlessly match your existing ones. However, if this isn’t feasible, you may need to consider replacing all the signs across your property with a new, unified system, even though this can be a costly endeavor.
A well-thought-out naming system can help you evade this substantial expense and serve as a vital component in safeguarding the longevity of your signage.
4. Maintain Uniformity
It’s crucial to maintain a consistent look for your wayfinding signage across your property. Whether a visitor is in one corner of your complex or another, the design, fonts, size, and symbols on the signs should remain uniform. This consistency is instrumental in minimizing confusion. Keep in mind that the most effective wayfinding signage is instantly recognizable, even with just a quick glance.
5. Strategic Placement is Essential
The effectiveness of wayfinding signage greatly hinges on where it’s positioned. Optimal placement involves putting these signs in key locations, primarily where they are most likely to be utilized. For instance, wayfinding signage finds its best purpose in high-traffic areas.
Visitors are keen on reaching their destinations with minimal effort. They prefer not to squander time (or patience) searching around. Similarly, they shouldn’t find themselves on a scavenger hunt for wayfinding signage; it should be conveniently accessible in the areas where they need it the most.
6. Integrate Your Brand Identity
Your wayfinding signage should prioritize simplicity and readability. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t infuse your business’s branding into these signs. It’s entirely feasible to seamlessly weave your brand’s colors, fonts, designs, and logos into your signage. This unified approach not only maintains consistency with your company’s branding but also guides customers effectively.
7. Tailor to Visitor Needs
Lastly, your wayfinding signage must cater to the specific needs of your visitors or customers. It’s essential to contemplate what information holds the most value for your clientele and how best to convey it.
For instance, in shopping malls, featuring major retailers on wayfinding signs can be immensely helpful for shoppers. Additionally, you should include signage for facilities like washrooms, ATMs, and public transit.
When shaping the aesthetics of your wayfinding signage, take your customers and visitors into consideration. If your client base skews toward seniors, for instance, it might be wise to employ larger fonts on the signs.
Effective wayfinding signage is a crucial component in ensuring seamless navigation for visitors and customers within your property. By adhering to principles such as simplicity, consistency, strategic placement, and thoughtful consideration of visitor needs, you can create signage that not only guides but also enhances the overall experience. Moreover, integrating your brand identity into these signs can reinforce your company’s image while aiding in directing individuals to their destinations. Ultimately, well-designed wayfinding signage not only serves as a practical tool but also reflects positively on your business or organization, leaving a lasting impression of efficiency and customer-centricity.