Anyone who has ever wandered the halls of an unfamiliar building understands perfectly the need for interior wayfinding signage. Many companies may not realize the necessity of creating appropriate signage simply because they travel those halls every day and perhaps the route from one place to another seems to be obvious. Not so. Nothing is more frustrating than being late for an appointment only to try to decipher confusing maps or discover unmarked passageways. Appropriate signage can make it easy for clients and visitors to find their way with ease. Creating attractive signage can also improve a company’s brand through use of color and design.
There are several types of interior wayfinding signs including orientation signs, destination signs, event-related signs, and regulatory signs. Sign makers constantly evolve using new techniques, processes and products to create attractive and useful interior wayfinding signage. Experts weigh in on creating new and improved wayfinding signage.
Adam Larson, SignPro Sales Consultant, discusses his company’s role in the market. “SignPro Systems, a division of Orbus Exhibit & Display Group, designs, manufactures and markets a user-friendly, versatile and cost-competitive line of way-finding signage solutions, through a network of professional dealers, on a trade-only basis.”
Jayme Nelson, Manager Public Relations / Communications at Fastsigns International, gives insight into Fastsigns: “FASTSIGNS has been involved in the wayfinding signage market for more than 20 years. As visual communications experts, we consult with our clients to understand what challenges they face when it comes to directing people and traffic at their places of business to increase how quickly, comfortably and safely people get to their destinations.”
Finding the Perfect Balance
It is not uncommon for PSPs to find the need to use different techniques for various clients depending on their specific needs. Some clients may ask for straightforward signing while others may have special requirements for their businesses. Additionally, ADA signage is becoming more prevalent in the marketplace. The experts discuss their experiences in this area.
When it comes to choosing techniques for creating and reproducing wayfinding signage, Larson says, “We’ve observed a growing need for quick changeability of signage content and our front-loading curved system lends itself very well to quick updates, by simply removing one insert and replacing it with the next. SignPro frames are designed to accommodate a variety of substrates, from simple digital prints combined with a clear lens, to ADA faces, engraved plastics, metal and more.”
Marina Batzke, General Manager at American PERMALIGHT, Inc., adds a different point of view to wayfinding signage. “Instead of helping people find their way into a building, e.g., access to a hospital, then the way to the emergency room, PERMALIGHT wayfinding signage helps building occupants find their way out of a building, both with lights on as well as in full darkness.”
In order for PERMALIGHT to create successful wayfinding signage that is especially effective in dark or under lit areas, the company uses special techniques.
Batzke says, “PERMALIGHT signage is photoluminescent, a NON-electrical, NON-radioactive technology that functions even during a power failure, natural disaster or simply at night. Photoluminescent products absorb ambient lighting (e.g., fluorescent ceiling lights) and emit their bright yellowish luminance, when all lights are out.”
Nelson discusses how technique is based on the needs of the client. “The techniques chosen always depend on the client and their specific needs. For example, a grocer may struggle with making sure that customers are finding the products they are looking for. In that example, we might suggest floor graphics, hanging aisles signs or even ceiling tile graphics to better capture the customer’s attention. From there, we recommend specific parking lot signage, lobby signs and directories to doctors and health service offices, signs communicating how to go to foodservice locations, the chapel, gift shops, restrooms, tornado shelters and other important places in and around the hospital.”