Why Wayfinding Is So Important For Your Institution

Gets You Where You’re Going

In a new environment? More often than not, you’re already looking for wayfinding cues to figure out where to go. Everything from asking for directions to following the flow of foot traffic and visual signage makes up the world of wayfinding, but we navigate physical (and digital) spaces using the same basic process made up of four phases.

  • With the first phase, orientation, we attempt to orient ourselves with major landmarks, as well as other subspaces and determine the location of our destination in comparison to these landmarks. Signage and iconography helps us to quickly understand where we are relative to our destination.
  • The second phase, route decision, involves the actual choosing and initiation of a route to our destination. Without a doubt, we tend to choose the shortest route even if it’s more complex. Clearly marking these routes can ease confusion.
  • In the third phase, route monitoring, we reconfirm our own location and that it is leading to the destination properly. Additionally, signage indicating progress along a route or markings with distance to the destination can aid route monitoring.
  • With the fourth and final phase, destination recognition, we are able to recognize and arrive at our destination. Creating a strong sense of identity with branding and signage is a surefire way to make the destination memorable and easier to locate.

Wayfinding Signage by Pensacola Sign

Clears Up Confusion

No one likes to feel lost, but navigating can sometimes be a little tricky. Meetings, appointments, flights, buses and more all depend on timeliness and in return we depend on wayfinding to get us there on time. Wayfinding failures create stress, not to mention the loss of time and money.

Signage is just scratching the surface of wayfinding options, with environmental graphics like wallpapers and custom floorings often serving important functions in helping us find our way. In addition, color coding can help divide up larger spaces and more clearly identify the smaller subspaces within an area. In complex environments, being able to follow colors or lines helps minimize the time we spend on our route. Maps can also act as important tools in route decision and monitoring.

Wayfinding Signage by Pensacola Sign

Makes Information Tangible

With universally accessible wayfinding, information can be easily seen or felt. Many public spaces or government buildings are required to have easily available access and clear signage. The Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as The Standards for Accessible Design help set standards for everything from typography size, line spacing and more for the physically disabled or blind. With raster beads, raised braille text can easily be deciphered by users. Legibility and sign location are key with accessibility and ensuring comfort and ease using your wayfinding system.

ADA Wayfinding Signage by Pensacola Sign


Interested in learning more? Contact a member of the Pensacola Sign team to discuss your project today.

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