When it comes to special requirements, Larson says, “We’ve recognized the growing requirement of ADA compliant signage and offer a system that is all around ADA-compatible, ready to accommodate ADA faces that can be produced with multiple techniques.”
Nelson offers several bullet points to consider when gauging special needs:
- Knowledge of good design practices for readability and legibility, and for creating common, logical elements that can be used across the sign designs.
- An understanding of where to place the signs to get the most user value (height, where on path of visit, etc.)
- An understanding of ADA requirements
Nelson gives advice on attracting new clients. “By thinking outside of the box. Improvements in printing technology has widened the options available and opened up the possibilities when it comes to wayfinding. Almost any surface that is caught by a visitor’s eye can have a sign or graphic applied to it, directing them to their destination. Digital signage is also technology that can be utilized. Digital signage is ideal for wayfinding because of the flexibility it provides.”
Batzke also addresses the importance of knowing codes and where and when they apply: “The 2009 and new 2012 IBC – International Building Code and IFC – International Fire Code require Luminous Egress Path Markings in multi-story building stair cases to help building occupants evacuate from darkened assembly, business, educational, institutional, hotel/ motel, mercantile high-rise buildings. UL1994-listed signs and markings fulfill the Code requirements.”
As businesses change and grow, needs for wayfinding continue to evolve as well. Larson points out some untapped markets: “We always point out how easy it is to get customers started with way-finding signage. Although industries such as healthcare, hospitality, education, sporting events, and property management remain heavy users of way-finding solutions any customer can make good use of a desktop welcome sign on their reception counter, and accessorize it with room identification signs, projecting or suspended, and directional frames, either wall mounted or free-standing.
Nelson states: “In every market, there are businesses and organizations that lack the understanding of the benefits of a good wayfinding program. Small to medium size businesses seem to be a little underserved when it comes to well-designed, well-planned wayfinding programs.”
“Additionally, there are replacement opportunities for locations that already have wayfinding sign systems in place.”
PSPs are always on the lookout for trends that may help grow their businesses. Lrson offers a few tips: “ADA signage and the need for interchangeability are big trends in the signage industry. As more companies and organizations work to update their facilities SignPro’s modular frame technology is a great option for a long lasting interior sign system.
Batzke says it is important for PSPs to keep up with code requirements and how they affect the industry. When PSPs are aware of these things they can venture into new markets. “States and local jurisdictions have started to adopt these code requirements and as new high-rise buildings are constructed, their emergency staircases need to get equipped with the photoluminescent signs and markings,” Batzke says. “Certain states also adopt the requirements for existing high-rise staircases.”
Nelson says, “There is more integration with the business or campus environment branding than in prior years, as wayfinding signage has become not only functional, but more aesthetically pleasing and tied to the organization’s brand look and feel. Wayfinding signs don’t have to be boring or clinical in look. They can be elegant, modern, classic—any style that best reflects the personality of the brand and organization—and they can be designed in a way that is an extension of the current interior and exterior decor.”
“Another trend is the types of signs and graphics that can be part of a wayfinding program. In the past, wayfinding often meant site signs and wall signs. Now, with the help of technology and some imagination, wayfinding has expanded to include floor graphics, wall graphics, suspended signage and digital signs (kiosks, digital posters and touch-screens) all applications that are more creative and flexible than before.”