• Wayfinding Signs Basics: The Four Types of Signage
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    Posted on: October 20, 2017

    For public and private spaces alike, wayfinding signage can help visitors find where they are going. Whether they are finding their way through an apartment complex, a business building with multiple tenants or a retail store with many departments, it’s important to make it easy if you want repeat visitors. There are four main types of such signage: identification, directional, orientation and regulatory. Each has its own unique purpose that can be utilized for a full navigation system.

    Identification Signs

    These signs are exactly what they sound like: they identify spaces. Often, they are the backbone of a full system as they help the visitor find things that are in their view and also indicate that they have properly navigated to the area they intended. This can be anything from a large sign above a specific building in a downtown area or as small as a sign above an aisle that lets customers know what is in each department of a store. They should be easily noticed by using brighter colors and also utilize contrasting colors to make them easy to read from afar.

    Directional Signs

    As either part of a directory or individual signs to point to locations, these signs show where to go in order to find something. Unlike identification signs, these don’t appear above the location. Instead, they help guide visitors to a specific location that is often marked with an identification sign. These signs need to stand out to help visitors along without clashing with the overall environment. Because of this, they are often crafted with the colors of the brand.

    Orientation Signs

    These signs let visitors know where they are in comparison to other locations. An easy example is when you go to a shopping mall. When you look at a directory, there will be a clear marking of where you are reading the sign. Often, orientation signs will provide a clear directory of where other locations are, typically by using a map.

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    Regulatory Signs

    These signs tell visitors how they can or cannot use a space. For instance, many buildings have a no smoking sign to show cigarettes cannot be smoked indoors. In other cases, it may say employees only to indicate a room is only for those who work there. Regulatory signs don’t necessarily coincide with the other signs in wayfinding, but they are also important for navigation of a facility.

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