What is wayfinding signage and why it’s important

You may never have asked yourself ‘what is wayfinding signage?’ – but to run a successful business you probably should. Many companies fail to understand that wayfinding signage can be a fantastic promotional tool as well as a way of simplifying movement around your business or organisation.


Who benefits from wayfinding signage?

  • Offices and colleges – especially those with multi-site operations
  • Hospitals and clinics
  • Tourist attractions – particularly historical locations
  • Malls and large retail operations like supermarkets
  • Restaurants, bars and hotels.


In all these cases visitors find what they are looking for quicker, customers are more relaxed and confident (which means they spend more) and staff are freed from constantly directing and rescuing lost or confused individuals.


So what is a wayfinding sign, exactly?

Wayfinding materials take one of four forms:

  1. Directional signage – arrows, floor graphics and overhead banners
  2. Identification material – labels, FSDU hanging or pop up banners
  3. Informational items – plaques and interactive signage, such as slier or touchscreen quizzes
  4. Regulatory information – allergen, safety and age-related information etc.


We all use directional signage every day when we look at street signs or follow arrows on a building’s wall. What is directional signage? It’s information that allows people to move through a space or building. Directional signage needs to be clear and placed where people can see it – not too low and not where it can cause a blockage as people stop to check their location. Innovative approaches to directional signage include wall graphics, illuminated maps and touch screen directories set into free-standing pillars. 


Identification signage is the most common form used. From a sign on an office door, saying who works there, to huge street signage that highlights national landmarks or parks, we rely on identification signage to boost confidence. It’s the signage that confirms we’re in the right place, so whether it’s putting your logo behind your reception desk or adding signs beside lift doors to let people know which department is on that floor, identification signage can do a lot to help people feel calm and relaxed around your organisation. Keep this signage simple and clear to ensure maximum identification potential. 


Informational signage is a more general set of signs that inform everybody who uses your building, not just your customers or staff. Perfect examples of this kind of signage are toilet, lift and stair signs, hours of opening, whether there is free wifi, whether or not dogs are allowed in certain areas etc. In other words, it answers questions before people need to ask them.

Regulatory signage is a different category because some if it is a legal requirement, and all of it helps you keep you, your staff and your visitors safe. Regulatory signage may be legally constrained in terms of size, colour and placement. Examples of regulatory signage that you might require are Fire Exit, No Entry, High Voltage etc.

Now you know how vital wayfinding signage is you will grasp that having coherent and clear signage is vital to keeping your operations running smoothly. This means finding a partner to design and create signs that are coordinated, convey information easily and help everybody to understand what they can and cannot do in each location. We have decades of experience creating effective wayfinding signage so why not contact us today to get your signage working better for you?


How Inspired Visual can help…

Our team of expert office graphic designers and installers can help you update your offices. We work with you every step of the way to ensure you are aware of all the options available to you and end up with a solution that is perfect for your needs. We have vast experience and understand the importance of wayfinding graphics, please view our case studies for examples of our past work. Simply contact us or use the below form and one of the team will be in touch with you.