What is wayfinding signage?

Wayfinding signage helps you find your way around a business, a park, a school/college, a hotel or any other locations. Wayfinding signage is made to help people get from one point to another with signs keeping you in the right direction. You can find wayfinding signage:

  • Restaurants and Bars
  • Recreations Centers
  • Tourist attractions ( water parks, mountain trails, and ski resorts)
  • Educational facilities
  • Financial Institutions
  • Malls, retail stores
  • Car dealerships
  • Hotels 

What is the difference between ADA Signage and Wayfinding Signage?

Wayfinding signage is not the same as ADA signage but it is very similar. Wayfinding design combines signage and map design, symbols, color, and typography to effectively navigate people through a space. Wayfinding signage is not a form of advertising or promoting. 

 ADA compliant indoor location marking signs for locations such as the restrooms, room numbers and directional signs. The ADA regulations include provisions for Braille signs, placement and height of directional signs and other identifying signs in large, easy to read colors and fonts for those who may be visually impaired. The ADA regulations only apply to indoor areas and not to an exterior sign.

Wayfinding systems help businesses comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Local regulations that require accessibility compliance must be considered as well. An ADA-compliant wayfinding solution is designed to provide a tactile response.

Types of Wayfinding Signage:

Directional Signage

Directional signage are signs are wayfinding signs that point toward a direction, usually using an arrow. Directional Signage means a sign for the public safety or which provides direction information for the control of vehicular traffic such as a Common Entrance or exit Sign or a loading area, and bearing no commercial advertising.

A Directional Sign may take the form of a interior wayfinding Ground Sign or Wall Sign.

Examples of Directional Signage:

  • Colored lines on the floor telling you what way to go
  • Directory signage
  • Steet Signs

Identification Signage

Identification signage is a style of signage that clearly marks a particular area and indicates that you have arrived at a location. Typically these signs specify the name or number of a room or the entrance to a department or office. They are generally placed adjacent to doorway entrances and most often ADA compliant.

Examples of Identification Signage:

  • Door plaques (Assistant to the Regional Manager)
  • Departmental markers (Accounting and Finance; Sales)
  • Landmark signage (donor plaque; historical marker)

Informational Signage

Informational signage pertains to the overall facilities. These signs give people broad information they need while navigating. Informational signage is best placed in an area with broad exposure. Lobbies, waiting rooms, building entrances, and atriums are popular examples. Signage should answer questions before they’re asked. Where are your bathrooms? How late are you open? Do you have an elevator?

Examples of Informational Signage:

  • Safety Signs (Hard hat, Use ear protection, High Visibility Jackets, Safety Footwear)
  • Amenities and accommodations (free Wi-Fi; elevators)
  • Facilities signage (bathrooms; exits; cafeteria)
  • Business information (hours of operation; address numbers)
Wayfinding Signage - Informational Signage

Regulatory Signage

Regulatory signage focuses on safety and liability concerns and sets boundaries—what is and isn’t acceptable in your facilities. It’s used to establish and reinforce rules, safety standards, and privacy expectations. Regulatory signage is generally big and bold. No frills—only a clear, concise, prominent message. Someone probably won’t open a closet if there’s a “Caution! High Voltage!” sign on the door. Similarly, displaying a “No Pets Allowed.”  Informational signs should be universally understandable at a glance—signs and symbols anyone can understand. A handicap sign sets a clear precedent, just like an “Employees Only” sign on a locked door. Regulatory signs should keep people out of restricted areas as they follow directional signage to their destination.

Examples of Regulatory Signage:

  • Rules and regulations (no smoking; no firearms)
  • Compliance standards (ADA accessibility; high voltage sign)
  • Access control (no entry beyond this point; employees only)
Wayfinding Signage - Regulatory Signage

Interested in learning more about wayfinding signage, or need to work with an expert to place an order for your building? Contact us today!