Expertly Researched & Planned Wayfinding Signage That Informs & Puts Visitors at Ease
Wayfinding signage provides valuable information at optimal decision points, helping users find their way through the built and natural environment.
Solution to signage challenges
At Visual Communications our business is to define your signage challenges, recognize potential problems, generate ideas and implement the appropriate solutions. It is our goal to design wayfinding signage systems that will result in a minimal number of signs while providing for effective identification and wayfinding to ensure that your visitors are able to clearly navigate through your facility.
Form follows function
Successful wayfinding signage design is based on “form follows function.” At the onset of the project, the locations, messages, and required graphic elements must be determined prior to the actual design of your signage system. These elements are created through the study of the architectural plans and discussions with your staff and department representatives to determine key decision points which dictate sign location and information requirements. From this, a preliminary message schedule is created with messages for each of the wayfinding signage elements. Alternately, a preliminary site plan is completed for cross-reference and overview of the system. Existing signage locations and structures are reviewed for potential rehab.
Complex made simple
Effective wayfinding signage and building identification provide vital information at a series of locations in concentric circles from the outer most geographic point, to the most significant destination. For instance, the user would first receive location information on surrounding highway trailblazer signs, then parking information, followed by main entrance information, general information, and finally destination identification. This system of information & wayfinding signage was successfully completed at The Minnesota Science Museum and at Hennepin County Medical Center as Visual Communications provided the complete analysis and wayfinding for this project prior to sign design. The message schedule and location plans acted as a blueprint for design in these highly complex environments. This same philosophy has been adapted on other campuses, from medical to educational.
After the analysis, message schedule and location plans are complete, sign design begins. By utilizing the wayfinding signage message schedule, sign types and sizes can be determined to create a hierarchy of sign types. This hierarchy provides guidelines for maximum information requirements for each sign, which is essential in providing the continuity and relatedness in sign design. By creating similar, interrelated sign images, placed at decision points throughout the facility, the user can quickly understand, locate, and feel comfortable in the environment.
Wayfinding signage design complements the architecture but does not overwhelm or detract. Wayfinding signage elements should blend with the architecture in size, materials, and design intensity. Signage becomes the signature of the architecture.