importance of wayfinding signage

The Importance of Wayfinding Signage

When you think about wayfinding signage, what is the first thing that comes to mind? The red exit sign above the door at a gas station? The arrow pointing to the bathrooms in a grocery store? While these are two examples, there is far more to wayfinding signage than simply identifying rooms and spaces or telling people where to go. It is about helping people fulfill a larger purpose.

The 4 Types of Wayfinding Signage

There are four different types of wayfinding that all contribute to your brand’s identity.

  • Directional — guides visitors, employees, and customers from one point to another
  • Informational — provides descriptive information of an area, object, etc.
  • Identification — identifies a space, person, department, or other areas
  • Regulatory — signage required by law or some other regulation, such as ADA

Each one of these types of wayfinding signage plays a crucial role every time someone visits your business. Let’s use the healthcare industry as an example.

Imagine you are going to visit a family member in the hospital after a recent procedure they had. When you arrive at the hospital, you look at the directory (directional signage) to see they are on the 8th floor. After this, you see the signs for the elevator (informational signage) and make your way up. Once you are up to the 8th floor, you’re able to find your loved one’s room using the departmental markers and door plaques (identification signage). Lastly, you learn you need to leave by a specific time because of the marked visiting hours (regulatory signage).

As you can see in the above example, all four types of wayfinding impacted the visitor’s experience. This speaks to the importance of wayfinding signage. To ensure your visitor’s experience is a success, there are a few specific goals to consider.

3 Important Goals of Wayfinding Signage

1. Recovery

People need to be able to understand their location and orientation at any given time. When someone visits your business, they should be able to easily answer the question “where am I?”. Wayfinding signage should help answer this question no matter where someone is in your facility.

At Stratus, our signage division has implemented countless successful wayfinding signage programs. The combination of our design team and in-house manufacturing enables the creation of fantastic wayfinding solutions.

2. Navigability

Also referred to as “spatial problem-solving.” When inside your business, visitors should quickly know where to go and feel confident navigating around your facility. Wayfinding signage needs to help people make correct decisions about where to go and where they are; it should confirm that they’re on the right path, help them choose a route to take at an intersection, or tell them to stop to identify where they are before continuing.

At Stratus, our program management team has completed multiple successful wayfinding programs. Whether you’re looking for a new build or revamping your current wayfinding signage, our program managers will work with your architectural and design firms upfront to build the most effective wayfinding signage program possible.

3. Imageability

A successful wayfinding program does not rely solely on wayfinding signage. The space surrounding your signage plays just as big of a role in people remembering and learning routes. The combination of your facility’s branding and wayfinding signage creates a map inside your customers’ minds.

As brand implementation experts, we know how to deliver a holistic branding experience to your customers. In addition to our signage division, we will partner with you on your interiors, exteriors, and lighting, creating compelling and effective spaces that align with your wayfinding signage to create truly memorable experiences.

How Stratus is Uniquely Positioned to Support Your Wayfinding and Brand Implementation

  • Our in-house signage manufacturing capabilities ensure your critical brand elements consistently deliver engaging moments at all times.
  • Our experienced program and account managers are well equipped in technology, resources, and expertise to ensure nothing about your program falls through the cracks.
  • Our vast network of national field partners is ready to execute multiple sites at once, whether you have a few dozen or a few hundred.
  • Our repair & maintenance team will partner with you to provide ongoing maintenance solutions to keep your signage and spaces memorable.

Contact us today to learn more about our wayfinding signage solutions.