Wayfinding Graphics & Signage: Why They Do More Than Show The Way
You may well take them for granted, or not think about them too much, but you use wayfinding graphics just about every day. And, without them, finding your way around a building becomes much harder, if not actually impossible.
Equally, you certainly will notice this kind of signage (and not in a good way) if it’s inaccurate or confusing.
What are Wayfinding Graphics & Signage?
Whether you need to navigate your way around a hospital department, library section, museum or office area, or find reception, the way out of a car park or the restroom, it’s these graphics which guide you.
So, in daily life, wayfinding is a key element of graphic design. And, obviously, these often overlooked signs serve a highly functional purpose and always need to be crystal-clear.
Why Wayfinding Graphics & Signage are Important
But, these days, experience is everything, and consumers expect to be engaged throughout every aspect of their contact with a brand, every step of the way. That means that modern wayfinding graphics are about more than just showing people the way. They combine design, technology and more to showcase a brand’s personality to visitors.
And that’s true of hotel and restaurant graphics and signage, graphic designs for an event, or anything else.
Additionally, if you are running or have a presence at a large event, with lots of people milling around, such as a sports meeting in a huge stadium, wayfinding signage becomes particularly important. This is equally true for large corporate buildings and offices as well as in a retail setting, where there are many creative ways to make use of wayfinding graphics as part of your retail graphic installation.
Meanwhile, at exhibitions, particularly if you have a large stand, you could get creative with different materials, including vinyl floor graphics, or think about how to use vinyl, acrylic or backlit neon in different and inventive ways.
Signs of Fashion: Getting Creative with Wayfinding Graphics
So, what key trends are we likely to see emerge in wayfinding signage design this year for 2019 – and beyond?
Wayfinding Retail Store Graphics
Wayfinding graphics are constantly evolving in the retail industry, and are especially prominent in large department stores across the UK and flagship stores in London, such as those on Oxford Street. Making use of vinyl floor graphics, customers can be directed to changing rooms, tills and other areas of the store that will encourage them to spend longer in the store and make more purchases. On a more furturistic note, artificial intelligence (AI) via signage integration gives customers a personalised shopping experience through screen-based images, videos and information, while also allowing stores to collect customer data anonymously.
Office Wayfinding Signage
Signage is just as important in a commercial setting as it in a retail one. Many large corporate companies employ a range of creative wayfinding signage techniques to ensure not only their staff and visitors can find their way around the building, but that the designs are visually pleasing too. Google, known for their creative work-spaces have a particularly unique and interesting way of presenting their signage, both on the interior and exterior of their sites. Wayfinding signage should never be overlooked in a corporate setting, whether inside or outside, it is an important part of your office branding.
Wayfinding Signage at Stadiums & Sporting Events
As mentioned, in a stadium or large sporting event setting, wayfinding signage is extremely important to both help the flow of people and enhance the experience of visitors and spectators. With badly implemented signage, you could end up significantly disrupting the flow, resulting in uneccesary queues and crowds. Not only can this be avoided with well thought-out signage, but it is another change to implement the events branding and identity into the design. As in office and retail settings, there are many creative uses for stadium signage to help visitors find their way.
Bold, Minimalist Colouring
Think about removing anything that’s not strictly needed from your signage. Designers are currently embracing strong, bold designs in vibrant shades, albeit from a limited colour palette.
There are so many of these. Large flatbed printers, for example, can handle materials up to two inches thick, meaning signs can be printed on many different surfaces, from grained wood to textured metal.
Other exciting developments include UV flatbed printing, 3D printing plus direct-to-substrate and layered printing. Building wraps, needing more complex preparation and installation time, are another, increasingly popular concept.
Or how about considering introducing some LED-based electronic signage? That way you can change the colour accent and even create different atmospheres at different times – the possibilities really are endless.
How We Can Implement Your Wayfinding Graphics
At Rocket Graphics, we’re well accustomed to reflecting our clients’ brands through wayfaring and other signage, in a wide range of settings.
At M&M’s World in London’s Leicester Square, for example, we installed more than 450 sq/m of printed vinyl signage in just three days. We’ve also created signage for countless exhibitions and top sporting events from the Ryder Cup to Formula 1 racing.
Our wayfinding graphics do so much more than make sure your visitors don’t get lost. Talk to us today – we’ll explain in more detail how we’ll be with you from initial concept to installation and beyond.