Wayfinding Sign Stairs
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4 Steps to Successful Wayfinding Signs

If you’ve ever seen patrons in your space looking a bit lost, then your business or institution might benefit from wayfinding planning.  Wayfinding is the process of navigating from point A to point B and a system of tools that helps with that process. One of the most simple and effective ways to help patrons navigate their physical environment and orient themselves in their location is with Wayfinding signs.

Wayfinding graphics and signs are particularly important in complex environments like sports arenas, healthcare facilities, educational campuses and transportation hubs.  They guide people to their destination and enhance their understanding and experience of the space, which in turn helps develop a sense of safety and security.  Here are some steps you can take to ensure that your wayfinding system is effective.

Purpose: Determine Your Strategy

There are many ways you can guide a patron toward their destination:

  • Signage
  • Colors
  • Maps
  • Symbols

Think about the services you offer and the typical paths your patrons travel to create a system that’s helpful and efficient.  For example, healthcare settings might opt for simple, text-based directions, while airports might utilize carefully sequenced information and maps.

Location: Navigation, Orientation, and Landmarks

Decide how you will communicate the three main basics of wayfinding:

  • Navigation
  • Orientation
  • Landmarks

How will you communicate which direction a patron should travel to move from point A to B?  How will you help them orient to where they are within their environment? Finally, how will you help them identify and recognize important landmarks they encounter?

Functionality: Familiarize Yourself with Common Tools

There are four basic types of tools in Wayfinding planning signs:


Informational signs provide supplemental information about the space, like where you can find Wi-Fi or delineating what space is for personnel vs. public.


Direction signs do what you might suspect; they tell you what direction to travel in. 


Identification signs provide information about locations and landmarks and include door plaques and entry & exits signs.


Warning signs like “no smoking” or parking information keep people safe and keep things running smoothly.

Design: Keep Your Branding Cohesive

Wayfinding builds trust with your patron so it’s important that the visual elements like font, color, and symbols are consistent with your brand.  This keeps surprises at a minimum and creates comfort and confidence for your patrons.

Creating a system that works doesn’t have to be overwhelming.  At Signature Graphics we’ll pair you with an expert who can ensure that your wayfinding planning is both useful and beautiful.  Contact us today to request your quote. 

We proudly use 3MTM graphic films and overlaminates.