Have you ever found it difficult to navigate your way around a shopping centre, sporting stadium hospital, or education campus? Chances are, it’s because not enough attention has been given to the wayfaring signage.
Differing from promotional or advertising signage, wayfaring signage is signage designed to help direct human traffic, pointing you from one place to another, or to confirm your progress along a route. Effective wayfinding systems contribute to a sense of wellbeing, safety, and security.
As architectural developments become complicated, or simply large, people use wayfaring signage - such as maps, directions and symbols - to help guide them to their destination. It is designed to provide visual cues to individuals quickly and simply, minimising crowd congestion and keeping people moving in the right direction.
Delivering effective wayfaring signage to your premises takes much more than simply a few arrows or well lit signs. It’s a complex system of understanding traffic flows, good design principles and clever manufacturing, while still working within the ever-important budget and time requirements for your building design.
Here’s a few considerations you should take into account.
(including disability and multilingual)
A UK survey found that 83% of people with disability had avoided a business, having been unable or unwilling to make a purchase. Australian Standards for disability access are updated regularly, and navigating these standards to ensure compliance will mitigate risk, and ensure that your wayfaring signage meets the most up to date standards available. This includes areas such as wheelchair and disability access, tactile signage for low vision and blind individuals, and a multitude of other considerations. Familiarity with the Australian Standards is important not simply at the start of the design process, but near-completion, and should be assessed on a regular basis to ensure compliance requirements continue to be met.
Additionally, it’s worth considering the multilingual requirements of your premises, not simply for the respect of the traditional owners of the land, but also to consider the sub-groups of people who are regularly attending your premises.
As with all visual communication, technology has played a large role in impacting the design of wayfaring systems in the last few years. Increasingly, wayfinding systems integrate mobile applications, digital displays, RFID, and other wireless technologies. Consider your technology plans for the future, alongside your audience’s technology capabilities, and of course your budget.
Your signage is an extension of your brand guidelines, providing visual information to communicate your brand’s purpose and values to your audiences. Everything from your logo usage, colour selection, font style, and even communication style should be consistent with your brand guidelines. If you update your brand, always consider the need to update your wayfaring signage accordingly.
Compliance and regulations
As with all building requirements, there are a number of compliance and regulatory standards which will need to be met for both indoor and outdoor signage. In addition to the above mentioned accessibility, also consider OH&S guidelines, structural requirements, council regulations and environmental planning when preparing your wayfaring plan.
For the most part, wayfaring signage is outdoors, and exposed to the elements. Choose fabrications that are designed to withstand the elements, and design features - such as colours and lettering selections - which will maintain their visibility and legibility over time.
Lighting and digital signage
LED lighting is increasingly becoming an economical choice for wayfaring signage, and digital solutions offer increased interest and flexibility. Your signage goals and budget can combine these technologies with the tried and tested static signage to deliver a lasting impression for your brand.
Style of communication
You could use symbols, arrows, words, or a mix of all three. Work with a skilled wayfaring signage designer to help decide this. Just make sure that your signage options remain consistent so you don’t confuse anyone.
DMC Group will help your customers find the way.
DMC Group has extensive experience in delivering outstanding signage solutions to meet your customised requirements. Through our consultative process, our design and production experience combined with implementation capabilities assure best practice quality results to improve the exposure, branding, and directional clarity across your premises.
Our approach simplifies the implementation process, delivering on time and within budget. Our team works closely with your personnel to ensure we deliver compliant and functional solutions with impressive results for your brand. A highly technical field, we ensure that we analyse all elements of the project, including OH&S guidelines, structural requirements, council regulations and environmental planning.
Sources and further reading:
Disability (Access to Premises - Building) Standards 2010 -
Design for Dignity Retail guidelines
National Construction Code 2019