Five Essential Tips for Creating Standout Wayfinding Signage

In a world bustling with activity and increasingly complex architecture, the role of wayfinding signage cannot be overstated. These silent guides help us navigate through unfamiliar territories, whether it’s a sprawling hospital, a busy airport, or a massive shopping mall. But while they may feel simple and easy to design, creating effective wayfinding signage is no easy task. It requires a deep understanding of design principles, human psychology, and spatial awareness. That’s why we’ve provided five essential tools for creating the perfect wayfinding signage. Whether you’re directing individuals through a small business or a large corporation, these insights will equip you with the tools needed to guide your visitors effortlessly and stylishly to their destinations.

Tip #1: Prioritizing Clarity in Your Wayfinding Signage

Clarity is the cornerstone of effective wayfinding signage. The primary purpose of your signage is to guide people, so it must be immediately understood by everyone, regardless of their age, language proficiency, or familiarity with the environment. Avoid using complex words or industry jargon on your signs. Instead, opt for simple, universally recognized symbols and clear typography.

The size of the text also plays a crucial role — the larger the letters, the easier they are to read from a distance. Also, ensure that the sign’s message is concise and to the point. Overloading your signs with too much information can confuse visitors instead of guiding them. Remember, the best wayfinding signs are the ones that don’t take minutes to digest.

Tip #2: Incorporating Branding into Your Signage Design

While the primary function of wayfinding signage is to guide visitors, it also presents a unique opportunity to reinforce your brand identity — albeit subtly. Incorporating your brand’s color scheme, typography, and logo into the signage design can create a consistent visual experience for your visitors and deepen their connection with your brand. However, it’s crucial to strike a balance. The branding elements should not overshadow the signage’s navigational function. Brand colors that are too bright or distracting might make the sign difficult to read. Moreover, always prioritize legibility and contrast when selecting fonts and background colors, even if they differ from your official brand typography or palette.

Tip #3: Strategic Placement for Maximum Visibility

A well-designed sign will be of no use if it’s not visible or placed where visitors naturally look for directions. For maximum visibility, signs should be positioned at eye level and in well-lit areas. Key decision points, such as entrances, exits, intersections, and stairways, are ideal locations for wayfinding signs.

It’s also important to consider the visitor’s perspective while placing the signs. Are they walking, driving, or perhaps looking from a distance? The viewing distance and angle can significantly impact the sign’s readability. Signage should be placed in a location that doesn’t clash with other visual elements in the environment, like advertisements or decorative items.

Tip #4: The Role of Color and Contrast in Wayfinding Signage

Colors make signs more visually appealing and can be used to categorize information, making it easier for visitors to navigate. For instance, different colors can be used to differentiate areas or levels in a building. On the other hand, contrast is crucial for readability. The text and symbols on your sign should stand out against the background, ensuring they are legible even from a distance or in low lighting. Generally, a high contrast between the text (or symbol) color and the background color works best. However, avoid overly bright or clashing colors, as these can strain the eyes and make people not want to read your signs.

Tip #5: Considering Accessibility and Inclusivity in Signage Design

In today’s diverse society, accessibility and inclusivity should be at the forefront of any signage design. This means creating easily understood and used signs by everyone, including people with disabilities. For example, incorporating Braille or tactile elements can assist those with visual impairments, while simple, straightforward language can help those with cognitive disabilities. Additionally, consider using pictograms or symbols for universal comprehension regardless of language proficiency. The size and placement of your signs should also cater to people of different heights and those in wheelchairs.

Get Your Wayfinding Signage From Spike’s Trophies!

Effective wayfinding signage is a navigational aid and also presents an opportunity to enhance visitor experience, reinforce your brand identity, and ensure accessibility for all. From strategic placement and clever use of color and contrast to prioritizing legibility and inclusivity, these five essential tips are your keys to creating standout wayfinding signage.

However, designing and implementing effective wayfinding signs can be complex. If you need professional help, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts at Spike’s Trophies. We create several different types of signage, including interior wayfinding signs for directories and exterior wayfinding signage for posts and panels. Contact us today to start enhancing your visitor’s journey.