Basics of WayFinding and Signage Design

Navigation is an elemental human-activity and also the essential part of day-to-day life and with the knowledge and experience of the people find their own way in this built environment.

Wayfinding basics

Wayfinding is termed as providing information to the people about the unfamiliar surroundings in the build environment. Guiding people into the right direction is essential at any point of time. Distance, location and time might be stored differently rather than they display in reality. Complicated structures are analyzed and stored in the human memory.

A successful way finding system is totally relied on human behavior and should include these following characteristics

Create a constant, clear and proper communication system with the compact message conveying. 

Should represent the related information and that must meet their requirements.

Remove unnecessary elements from the space that will create a clean environment.

Working of Way finding

By using a way finding system, it is helpful in interpreting the build environment. Memorizing the build environment is easy with the help of way finding. While creating a way finding certain schemes should be followed:


With the help of landmarks and marking elements area specification, will be more visible and more understandable. Landmarks are striking elements that can be street art, buildings, art-objects, and way finding signs are considered as landmarks.


Navigating in the complex build environment is a bit complicated. Recognizing the present location and future destination is more important and this makes it easier to know and navigate towards the destination. Maps will provide the overview of the build environment. Be sure with the destination directions in the map that makes easier to relate in the build environment.


The term “navigation” is a  reference point for a specified area or destination. These navigation signs will guide the people in the right direction towards their destination.

Signage Design Basics

There are different sign variations: Information signs, directional signs, identification signs and warning signs. Information signs, these are used for an overview of destination that helps to navigate in the build environment. Directional signs, these signs are used to find the destination that is located after several touch points. Information signs, these sign boards will reflect the information about buildings, locations, and public facilities. Warning signs, these signs will indicate the fire escape routes, no smoking areas, and other regulations.

A structured design grid is used to display the information on the signage boards and measure the signs in different sizes. Use multiple sign ways, represent less information on the signboards instead multiple sign boards will reflect the good way findings.

Signage Typeface

A sans-serif is most preferred signage with various heights and reflect readability and straight-forward design. Using effective fonts is not sufficient, typeface should also be recognized by the people with ease and that should reach the audience. Signage typeface is the primary factor to make the way finding system useful.

Characteristics of signage typeface:

Design should be direct and effortless.

Readable letter format.

Positive letter spacing will improve the visual presence.

Typeface will have large X-height for effortless readability.

 Signage design:

Maintain the consistency in typography, type, height, icons, grid, color, and material choice. Signs should not look complicated in design and should be consistent in way finding schemes and prefer the same order to display the information. Execute different signage in the build environment and be sure they come out with the best result.

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