Types of Wayfinding Signs

May 11, 2021 | Directional Signs, Wayfinding Signs

The best thing a business can do is to make sure their customers and potential customers can easily find you. Not the google “find”, but actually find your location without the comfort of a smartphone. As a sign company, we know all signs are useful and serve a purpose. One of the most important types of signs for all types of businesses and organizations is wayfinding signs. As someone navigating an unfamiliar environment, you might find yourself looking for direction in parking lots, airports, campuses, shopping centers, and many other places! Some wayfinding signs are simple, and others are complicated and use maps, symbols, colors, and other things in signage.

modular wayfinding sign

Interior and exterior wayfinding signs can come in a variety of sign styles:

  • Modular Signs – Work well for office directories or tenant listings. Comes with a removable clear protector over changeable inserts – most practical for interior use. Modular signs come in many different styles so send us a request for a free catalog if you’re interested in shopping around!
  • Monument Signs – Permanent structures near building entrances or main roads to identify tenants. Features removable panels with a printed company name or full-color logo. Can be illuminated for businesses with operations during the nighttime hours.
  • Post & Panel – Sign panels installed on a single or double post with the potential for multi-directional views (like this directional bike trail sign featured below).
  • Cabinet – Cabinet signs are three-dimensional cabinets (just like a cube) with an open face for a polycarbonate panel that can have logos applied to it or fully printed on with a flatbed printer.
  • Vinyl Banners – Vinyl banners are a great temporary sign solution for outdoor wayfinding. They can be installed on existing fencing or tied to posts dug into the ground.

directional trail sign

How to Plan for Directional Signs

If your business is a large outdoors area, multiple floors, or buildings, how do you start planning the project?

  • Use consistent and recognizable branding
  • Legible – good font, good color contrast, correct size of text for the area
  • Keep it simple and to the point – use symbols (ex. symbol of a women for the word restroom)
  • Use a color key for reference (ex. green for a certain department)
  • Make sure the signs can be seen (overhead signs are prominent, hanging signs are eye-level, outdoor signs can be read from a distance)
  • Wayfinding signs should be connected – each sign should lead to the next one.

You will probably have to walk or drive around your business area to know exactly what and how to do the signs to address all these points. Possibly an aerial view of the property will be useful.

professional park wayfinding sign

Categories of Wayfinding Signage

The signage industry uses four categories for wayfinding signs:

  • Identification – the most common, it tells you where you are. Keep it short and simple.
  • Directional – directs people to a specific place, use symbols like arrows.
  • Informational – tells people information that is useful and needed. Caution signs, hours of operation, and policies that need to be communicated especially important with a pandemic like COVID.
  • Regulatory – tells people the rules and regulations – no smoking, running, no alcohol beyond this point, or other potentially dangerous things.

Keep your customers happy and help them to find you easily, without any question of where they are, where to go, the information they need to know, and important rules to follow. These signs come in all shapes and sizes for indoor and outdoor applications. Whether you are ready to proceed or have no idea of where to start, call us. We can help with all stages of your project!

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