The Importance of Wayfinding Signage For Your Business

Just like road signs help you find your way by telling you what route you're on or what is coming up at the the next highway exit, wayfinding signage can help people navigate inside buildings they have never visited before.

Wayfinding signage (or lack thereof) affects the customer experience. After all, your customer's most valuable asset is their time, and there's nothing more frustrating than becoming lost in an unfamiliar building.

When was the last time you evaluated finding your way through your building from a outsider's point of view? Is your signage up-to-date and correct? Is is easy to read and simple? Here is what you should be looking for:

Outdoor Wayfinding Signage

Wayfinding signage can and should start in your parking lot. Where are visitors allowed to park? If you have multiple doors, how do you indicate which door is your main entrance?

If you have multiple buildings, they should each be clearly labeled. Sometimes you can use wayfinding signage to create identities for different locations using different colors or styles. Dane County Humane Society used colors and icons to differentiate their Adoption Center and their Wildlife Center. It provides an easy visual clue that visitors are in the right place (or not).


Elevator Wayfinding Signage

If you have multiple floors in your building, an elevator directory can help visitors figure out which floor they should be getting off on. A color coding for the floor that visitors are currently on can also be helpful, especially if your main entrance is not the first floor, which can be disorientating.


Hallway Wayfinding Signage

Some buildings are very maze-like. At each junction where there is not a clear traffic flow, wayfinding signage can help visitors choose which way to go. A plaque indicating what can be found when turning left or right solves the problem.

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Also, if there are multiple doors down a long hallway, signage that sticks out perpendicular to the wall can help identify rooms from a distance, when flat signage against the wall cannot.


Custom-Branded Wayfinding Signage

Wayfinding signage doesn't have to be ugly. You could purchase generic wayfinding signage "off the shelf" or you can have it custom created in your brand colors. You can also have custom and unique iconography created to meet the needs of your brand. Sometimes a picture can tell a thousand words. This kind of signage can compliment your interior design aesthetic.

ADA Compliant Wayfinding Signage

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) outlines specific requirements for signage that dictate sign color contrast, mounting heights and locations, as well as raised text, pictures and Braille translations to be compliant! If you are building a new space, your architect or contractor can provide direction on what kinds of signs you need for each space.

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If you are ready to improve the visitor experience in your business by updating or adding wayfinding signage, reach out to us for help in design and production.

About the author

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Amy Olson

Amy Olson

Amy has been a graphic designer at Suttle-Straus since mid-2014. Creating beautiful designs is truly a passion of hers. Amy loves great typography, interesting layouts, hand-lettering, and illustration. She also enjoys antique maps, old books, and creating her own studio art. Amy's a Minnesota native who loves to travel and get out of her comfort zone.
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Topics: Wide Format, Environmental Graphics