Directional Signage Ideas

Mike Alexander

Directional signage is a fixture in almost every retail centre, outdoor attraction, business park, school or hospital you are likely to visit – but great wayfinding goes beyond simply ensuring visitors don’t get lost and adds to the perceptions of a professional, welcoming and well-managed site.

The key focus of directional signage, or wayfinding, is to help anybody within the premise find where they wish to go, be that a reception desk, a conference room, or a facility within a visitor centre.

Quality branded directional signage creates a feeling of confidence and calm without any potential for a visitor to feel confused or disoriented. Let’s look at some ideas and suggestions to make your directional signage work for you.

How Can Wayfinding Improve Visitor Experiences?

Regardless of the type of premise, site or attraction, wayfinding signs are often the first thing a visitor will see – and a resource they will rely on to navigate the space. Alongside the practicalities, directional signs can augment the experience of every visitor by:

  • Reinforcing your branding and tone using colours, designs, fonts and graphics.
  • Making it easy to get around without having to ask for help – meaning your front-of-house or reception staff have more time to focus on other tasks.
  • Providing additional information, such as marking accessible routes, pathways with ramps and step-free access, or directions for people who want to avoid challenging footpaths or steep inclines.
  • Highlighting areas of interest or places you’d like visitors to go – perhaps a gift shop, café or canteen, which they may have otherwise been unaware of.

The applications for directional signs are almost endless, and they are suited to any physical location, indoors or out, large and small, public or private. Our advice is always to customise your signage so it provides maximum added value and makes the experience of visiting your premise one that is positive and enjoyable.

Ideas for Directional Signage That Stands Out

While the typical directional sign might be erected as a vertical sign or with wayfinding fingerposts, there are myriad ways to use clever signage design and construction to add interest and draw the attention of visitors and passers-by.

Here are a few suggestions from the Fitzpatrick Woolmer team that may inspire your creative thinking!

Wall-Mounted Directional Signs

Freestanding directional signs are ideal for outdoor spaces or where you need your signage to be visible from every direction, accessible from full height and lower levels for wheelchair users, drivers and passengers entering the site in a vehicle.

Wallmounting Recycled Plastic Display

Using matching signs mounted on your walls can be an effective addition, using arrows, streamlined, legible fonts and consistent colours and logos. These signs can help with health and safety compliance, with directions to emergency refuges, fire call points, escape routes, first aid kits and defibrillators.

Directional Floor Signage Decals

As with the above idea, creating immersive signage can reinforce the messaging of conventional directional signage, using durable, hard-wearing floor graphics to point visitors in the right direction. You can use permanent or temporary floor signage during events and promotions, guiding foot traffic in the desired direction without any costly removal processes.

Sandblasted Floor Plaque Studio Way
Sandblasted Floor Plaque Studio Way

Window-Mounted Directional Signage

Another innovative idea is to position directional signage on or in front of windows, capturing the natural light and using a balance of colour and shade to capture attention. Window films work well in spaces with ample sunlight, where they won’t detract from the atmosphere in the area – and directional panels placed in front of light sources are easy to see and impossible to ignore.

Dulwich Window Manifestations
Dulwich Window Manifestations

Directional Banners

Banners are a great way to introduce signage and wayfinding for a short-term event. You can hang banners on fencing and walls or alongside the entrance to your premises. Another solution is to create mounted, permanent panels that are designed to be affixed to a wall or railing, often featuring colourful illustrations.

Creating Bespoke Directional Signage Assets

Onto the design process, and there are several ways to ensure your directional signage is fit for purpose and consistent with the expectations of visitors or site users. For example, the signage suited to a museum or hospital may be very different from that in a college and vary again from the signage most appropriate for a theme park or children’s play area.

Directional Signage
Directional Signage

Dynamic directional signage is often the most user-friendly option, using arrows or shaped fingerposts to provide clear, understandable directions, even for visitors who may not speak the language.

Looking at professional, accessible directional signage, we have collated some further ideas to ensure your signage correlates with your brand and meets the needs of every visitor.

Directional Signage With Coloured or Recessed Edging

Many facilities use colour coding to make maps and directions easier to understand. You might, for example, have a wing or conference suite with all directions labelled in red and have all facilities, such as bathrooms and lifts, marked in blue.

Whichever colours you choose, adding edging strips or recessed borders can make signs stand out, particularly when the base colour is similar to the wall, or add lighting behind your directional signs to make them legible even in dim conditions.

Accessible Directional Signage

Making your directional signs accessible is a requirement for many facilities, ensuring that every site user, employee or visitor can access the information they require.

There are multiple solutions, from using raised text or braille to support sight-impaired users, angled signage that is equally visible from a wheelchair as when standing, or high-contrast tones and primary colours that people with colour vision difficulties can see.

Other options might include using symbols and graphics to cater to multinational visitor groups. We can advise on internationally recognised logos and icons that are suitable to your audience and support the messaging contained within printed or engraved text.

Conveying Instructions Through Directional Signage

Finally, it is worth considering the information shared through your signage, above and beyond directions and labels. Examples might include details about how to call for assistance, activate an accessible door, or register visitor attendance for an appointment or booking.

Using the space wisely and considering immersive graphics or icons can make a huge difference, making signs both visually appealing and wholly functional while being adapted to the needs of your business, site or facility.

Mike Alexander

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Curabitur eu dignissim nibh, sed facilisis diam. Sed pulvinar vitae turpis vel vehicula. Donec et ornare nisl, id ultrices arcu. Ut rutrum pellentesque suscipit. Donec vestibulum eu odio eu sollicitudin. Fusce sapien erat, placerat nec luctus vitae, accumsan non est. Curabitur vehicula blandit ipsum ut cursus. Donec mollis euismod diam sed sollicitudin. Phasellus facilisis ipsum neque, consequat mollis justo hendrerit vitae. Integer ut malesuada arcu.

Get a Quote

Get a Quote