Signage For Real People, To Maximise Your Event

If you’re holding an event in West Sussex, are you overlooking the basics? Wayfinding signs can help your guests move smoothly from place to place, which is why you need to put yourself in their place. People can get lost or become overwhelmed by the sheer scale of an event. Or they might just want to know how to get to the bathroom. By using well thought through signage that stays consistent with the branding of your event, you can help to manage what is often an undervalued aspect of your event.

Branded wayfinding signs create a less stressful event. That in turn helps to optimise the event experience and creates positive feedback. By taking a visual approach to the challenges of event organisation and flow control, you contribute to a more organised environment for your guests.

Walk in your guests’ footsteps

Successful navigation depends on siting signs where your attendees are likely to see them when they need them. Directional signs for amenities like the restaurant or bathroom should be situated throughout the event, not confined to within a 10 feet radius of those locations. Walk through the layout in your guests’ shoes, asking the questions they’re likely to ask. That will help you to fine tune the positioning of your signs.

Use your branding wisely

Your signs need to be bold, bright and easy to read at a glance, otherwise the experience can quickly become frustrating rather than enjoyable. If your brand colours are suitable for creating easily readable signs, then use them. However, if they make your signs illegible, stick to approved high contrast accessibility colours and limit your branding to your logo. When you’re designing wayfinding signs, best practice in readability and inclusivity should always be your guide.

Keep signage simple

While it’s tempting to want to create a brand personality with your signs, you need to remember their primary purpose, which is to inform and guide your attendees. By all means, add your logo and use your branding fonts, but never let them obscure the message. Keep wording to a minimum and use universally recognised pictograms wherever possible. Only use personalisation where it’s appropriate and where it won’t obscure the primary function of your signs.

Think through arrows

Arrows are a part of the visual language of wayfinding, but think carefully about the way you use them. Never rely on them as the sole means of navigation and make sure that when you do use them, there’s no ambiguity in what they’re indicating. In fact, you may be better to use multiple signs rather than rely on arrows that could be interpreted in several different ways.

Professional wayfinding signs for your West Sussex event

When you need to create the right impression and ensure that you event is managed properly, you need to work with a professional sign company. At The Sussex Sign Company, we’ll discuss your wayfinding signage needs and put together floor and wall signs, A-frames and banners that help to create the optimum attendee experience. You’ll work with our professional designers to create the perfect signs for your event and to solve the challenges of event organisation with a visual communication solution that really works. Contact us for more information and advice.

Signage – Wayfinding and The Brand Experience

If you want to create an unparalleled brand experience for your customers, you need to look beyond design, signage and wayfinding is very important However beautiful your West Sussex premises are, your audience won’t enjoy a premium brand experience unless they can navigate the space in a way that makes sense and enables them to move around with ease. For that, you need high quality interior and exterior signage.

Tracking the brand experience from street to cash register is a valuable way to determine the role of your signs in the overall brand identity. Their design should reflect the personality of your business, feeding into your narrative and becoming a seamless part of the overall experience.

Signage and wayfinding is the word on the street

Let’s start with your exterior signs. It’s important that these establish your brand identity at a glance, because they’re your customers introduction to the brand and will attract them into your space. These signs need to clearly communicate your offer and should be written as if your shopper is a moving target.

Keep contrast high and word counts low. Place the focal point of the message at the top left hand corner of the sign to encourage familiarity and engagement.

Ease of navigation

Once you move customers inside your store, then signs and wayfaring take on a different purpose. Now you need to be on brand with everything from decals to POS signs, all of which should reflect your brand colours, logo and other corporate branding elements.

Your signs should be instantly recognisable – think of them as an extension of your e-commerce site, helping customers to navigate quickly and easily between the products they’re interested in, just as they would do online. Empowering your customer to navigate their own way can make the difference between a smooth and easy experience and the kind of frustration that can drive customers from your store.

Self service

Increasingly, the customer is autonomous and does not rely on finding a member of staff for help. Shoppers are used to using online skills to research the products they want to purchase offline. If your wayfinding signs don’t facilitate discovery, then customers lose interest or go elsewhere.

Wayfinding signage is more important than ever The offline retail experience is changing radically to pull back customers lost to the online shopping experience. Store design is no longer as fixed in stone as it once was, with promotions and products, even entire store layouts, changing far more frequently than they once did.

Incorporating signage and wayfinding design into the overall design experience allows you to identify any pitfalls in a new layout. In turn, that means that you’ll be in a better position to streamline the branding experience. The modern consumer wants the same friction-free retail experience, whether they’re navigating your website or walking your shop floor. Get your offline signage wrong and it can have consequences for your online brand.

We can help your West Sussex business

At The Sussex Sign Company, we have the design expertise to help you create coordinated signs that enhance the brand experience. Our end to end service delivers the best possible return on your investment to support your offline brand positioning and boost recognition and sales, so get in touch today.

Commercial Wayfinding 5 tips to make your signage a success

Good commercial wayfinding signage is all about putting your customer at ease in an unfamiliar space. Wayfinding should be intuitive and consistent – there’s nothing worse than allowing your signs to develop into a mash-up of styles, fonts and colours. If you’re renovating or remodelling, then now is the ideal time to reconsider your wayfinding strategy using these 5 top tips to success.

Keep it simple

You don’t have to spend a fortune to create a suite of informative and user friendly wayfinding signs. In fact, this is one area where digital isn’t better. It’s virtually impossible to set digital signage to please all customers – some will be frustrated if information scrolls too quickly, others if it’s too slow.

Make it easy for your customers to process information and get to where they’re going. Put yourself in their shoes and walk the building – how many times would you have to ask for information because a sign is unclear? Are signs displayed at the right height? And are they accessible for all your customers? By keeping your signs as simple as possible, you’ll satisfy more of your customers.

Pictures not words

It’s still true that a picture get the message across much more quickly and easily than words, and we retain that information for far longer. Pictograms are also the smart choice if you have a multilingual customer base, which is why they’re in common use for toilets, waste bins, cafes and restricted behaviour – why bother writing ‘No Smoking’ when the pictogram does the job?

The customer experience

In commercial spaces, things are often in flux and that can negatively impact on the customer experience. Designing for interchangeability is a smart way to save time and money and ease customer frustrations. Creating clear and concise signs is an easy way to enhance the customer experience and drive repeat business, while giving your customers the information they need.

Tried and tested commercial wayfinding

It’s tempting when revising your wayfinding sign strategy to go digital or try and get overly creative. Don’t – save the creativity for shop floor displays and stick with tried and tested sign solutions like colour coding. However old school it might seem, it works in a way that digital can’t match – there is a pre-established visual vocabulary that lets the customer see at a glance what the sign is for.

Don’t forget branding

Although commercial wayfinding signs are always designed with a purpose, that doesn’t mean you have to neglect your branding. Keeping consistency throughout your entire suite of signs from shop front to toilets helps to establish a pleasing aesthetic based on your brand colours, fonts, logos and other key design elements.

Commercial premises often overlook it, but this is an opportunity for branding that you shouldn’t miss. Reinforcing your brand package looks smart and attractive and gives your long term customers added confidence.

Ask the experts

At The Sussex Sign Company, we have plenty of expertise is creating suites of signs that deliver the kind of customer experience that will keep them coming back for more.

We can advise your West Sussex business on every aspect of signage, helping you to create a memorable visual aesthetic and maximise the return on your investment. Contact us today to talk about your project.

Internal Wall Signage Makes Good Business Sense

If you think that a coat of paint can equal a premium brand experience, then stop reading now. Internal wall signage are a savvy and cost-effective way to create a positive impact and they make excellent business sense when you’re creating a B2B or B2C purchasing experience.

Purchasing decisions are emotional

Imagine immersing your clients in an environment that’s creative and packed with brand-enhancing graphics. Immediately, you’ve put them in the right mood to consider your product and to associate it with the atmosphere you’ve created.

There’s no limit to where you can use internal wall signage either. Create a lobby area that engages your client from the outset with informative and stimulating graphics. Plaster the walls with images of your mouth-watering treats, your innovative graphic design ideas or your happy and productive staff and you’re already opening the conversation with your client in a way that delivers an experience they’ll enjoy and that will make them keep coming back for more.

Attract talent

If internal wall signage can engage and entertain your clients, imagine how they’ll impress potential employees? Creating a dynamic office or retail space is something that the likes of Google excel at, using digital wallpaper and internal graphics to showcase their creativity. It’s something that is filtering down, so that even young companies are harnessing the power of graphics to create the wow that their employees crave.

In a 2015 workplace review, 85% of respondents said that workplace design was important to their decision to stay with a company. Workplace design can be an influencer on job satisfaction, motivation and productivity, making it a must for talent retention.

A hassle free signage option

Yes, a coat of paint is relatively simple and straightforward. But even if you use a striking colour scheme and all the colour psychology theory you like, it still can’t match the power of the visual image. As humans, we retain information far more easily in graphic form, which makes internal graphics a smart way to transform your office or retail premises.

Vinyl wall graphics are a hassle-free option that transforms your space with the minimum of disruption. Painting leaves behind fumes and dust sheets can be a potential trip hazard, and a revamp of the physical workspace can be hugely disruptive and time consuming. However, adding beautifully-designed graphic signage can deliver stunning effects quickly and cost-effectively.

Achieve your objectives

If you want to build and enhance your brand, make employees happier and more productive, impact positively on the way that clients and customers approach your marketing and create the perfect decor for commercial or retail spaces, then wall graphics and signage can do it all.

At The Sussex Sign Company, we can wrap, print and otherwise transform your interiors with stunning wall graphics that make your shop or office a joy to visit and that create a user experience that positively motivates the purchasing decision. If you’re interested in enjoying the benefits of internal wall graphics and digital wallpaper for your business in West Sussex, contact us today and we’ll be happy to help.

 

10 Tips For Effective Wayfinding Signage Design And Display

Do you know how to find your way? Whether you need signs to direct customers around your store, or wayfinding signs for an exhibition or display in West Sussex, there are certain fundamental rules you’ll need to follow to create the most effective signs.

Creating effective wayfinding signage is an art, and there are a wide array of signs at your disposal. From directional to information signs, each piece of the wayfinding jigsaw needs to fit into a cohesive whole. Here are 10 design and display tips to help you and your customer’s make the most of your wayfinding signs.

1. Never make assumptions

Always treat your customers as if this is their very first visit.

2. Know your space

Always take the time to survey and walk through the space. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and consider all the landmarks on your way, including places that are easy to navigate and those that present a potential problem.

3. Look for the decision points

Where are the places that a decision needs to be made about the direction of travel? Staircases, lifts, entrances, exits and crossroads are all obvious places to locate wayfinding signs to help visitors make informed decisions.

4. Add travel distance

Adding a distance or an estimated time of travel is useful when visitors may have deadlines to meet. It clues your customers into navigation between points A and B by creating concrete details around your landmarks and helps visitors to plan their visit.

5. Keep it concise

When you’re designing wayfinding signs, there’s no space for visual clutter. Keep the message and the way of conveying it clean, clear and precise. Use as few words as possible or, even better, use a symbol or pictogram. Your signs are there to inform, not to impress with your use of vocabulary, so don’t use fancy terms for the sake of it.

6. Don’t reinvent the wheel

If other signage in your building uses a consistent set of symbols, fonts, language and colour scheme, then stick with them. If your reception area is known as reception, don’t suddenly redesignate it as the foyer or lobby.

7. Keep signage up to date

Make a habit of revisiting your wayfinding on a regular basis. If any routes have changed, then outdated signs will cause confusion and disorientation where you should be seeking to introduce order and clarity.

8. Take note of hazards

If you’re installing signs outdoors, what are the immediate risks to the longevity of your sign? Will it fade in strong sunlight or be exposed to high winds? Is it likely to get pranged by cars or be covered in mud, obscuring the message? Assessing the risks will help you find the ideal installation spot.

9. Use the right materials for the job

If you want your signs to stand up to the rigours of the job, choose long-lasting materials that are appropriate to the installation site.

10. Understand the options

Design, fonts, colours and materials – at the Sussex Sign Company, we can help you assess all your options to create wayfinding signage that is informative and useful for your customers. Want to know more? Contact us for details.

Why Your Sign Company Can Be Central To Delivering A Brand Experience

Whether your retail premises have recently undergone a refit, or you’re designing a walking route around a stately home, the challenges that face you are fundamentally the same: how can I use beautifully designed signage to enhance the brand experience for customers and visitors?

The problem that faces you is whether you can use bold and innovative signs to head off frustration, and whether you can develop a wayfinding strategy that hits all the touchpoints of your customer’s experience to positively improve brand recognition and experience.

Apply online navigation to offline spaces

Your customer should never be confused about the space they’re in. Signs need to be consistent with your branding and attractive and clear enough to bring in first time customers who can quickly interact with the brand thanks to the cues from your signage. Just as customers browsing your website will click away if the navigation isn’t simple, precise and consistent across the site, so your offline customers will go elsewhere if you don’t apply the same navigation principles.

The decision making process

Wayfinding is about keying into the critical decisions that consumers make and giving useful information at every decision point. The fact is a well-designed entrance will attract people when the overhead sign may be ignored, but the success of your overall strategy is directly dependent on how well all the elements of the wayfinding environment come together in the designs you create with your sign maker.

Wayfinding and the branding experience

If wayfinding is part of a wider visual environment, then it must be part of the broader conversation around branding. After all, it’s the purpose of good quality signage to control the movement of consumers within the retail environment. From the first touchpoint with your brand, you need to establish clarity and tone of voice, whether that’s a map on a flyer or spoken instructions on a phone message.

Interact with the space

Retail spaces are no longer designed to be static. Instead, ranges, layouts and promotions often change, which makes effective signage absolutely vital in helping customers navigate the store successfully, and creating a positive impression of their interaction with your brand. Treating the signage as integral to the success of the overall design will help avoid pitfalls that lead to frustration and disconnection with your brand.

Using a sign company to make signs work

You’ll need both directional signs (those with a visual clue like an arrow) and location signs (those that tell you where you are). Ask your sign maker to produce a group of signs that use corporate colours to enhance your signage, and pay attention to contrast, fonts and font size and accessibility. Remember that your customers will assume a frictionless brand experience that is the same offline and online, and if you don’t deliver, you’ll create a poor brand experience and impression that can be hard to recover from. Search out a decent sign maker who can help you deliver.

If you’re looking for an experienced and professional sign company in London, or the south-east, then here at the The Sussex Sign Company, we strive to earn the best ROI for our customers. Contact us via phone or email for more details.

How To Choose The Best Sign Company In Bognor Regis For Wayfinding Signs

Every business needs wayfinding signs, and a strong wayfinding strategy is a critical part of a cohesive communications strategy. It’s all about providing an intuitive and user friendly experience for your customers which, in turn, can generate a huge amount of trust and goodwill for your brand.

However, your wayfinding strategy must be combined with high quality signage so that your users get the optimum benefit from the environment you’ve created. Get you signage right and you’ve added another weapon to your branding arsenal.

But how can you find the best sign company in Bognor Regis, or East Sussex as a whole, to create a range of wayfinding signs that are perfectly adapted to your needs? Knowing what to look for in a signage company ensures that they’ll produce the right signs for your company that take into account your space, needs and brand identity.

What are your wayfinding signage needs?

Your wayfinding signage needs to enhance your brand, creating a user friendly environment. Therefore you need to find a sign maker who has experience working with similar companies or on similar projects.

Can they provide you with examples of their work? Do they have experience of your sector? If you already have ideas about how your brand should represent itself through your wayfinding signage, is the company capable of making that vision a reality?

Does the company have design experience?

You may have the vision, but very few of us have the professional design expertise to know how that concept can be turned into a reality. A professional designer will have a clear idea of how your signage can be impacted by logistical concerns or regulations governing accessibility and wayfinding signs, for example.

A professional designer will also be able to conceptualise your ideas in such a way that, even when working within budgetary constraints, they can make compromise look like intention. They’ll also keep abreast of the latest trends in sign design and technology, to help you produce the most cost effective, high impact sign, on time and within budget.

Can your chosen sign company help with permits and regulations?

Accessibility is critical when it comes to producing wayfinding signs that work for all users, and a good quality sign maker will be able to advise you on the ways that your signs need to meet your legal responsibilities. In addition, they should be able to help you understand any regulations pertaining to the display of signs. This is critical knowledge that any good sign maker will have at their fingertips.

If your sign company doesn’t know the relevant guidelines to keep your wayfinding signs fully compliant with accessibility legislation, then go elsewhere.

Innovative solutions

If your aim is to create a unique wayfinding environment for your customers, then you need a bespoke design solution, not off the peg signage. Your sign maker should be capable of creating innovative solutions that incorporate modern production techniques and technologies with unique materials for the optimum result.

Don’t compromise your vision for the sake of cheap materials and printing processes that don’t accurately reproduce your critical corporate colours.

Streamlining

What differentiates you from your competition is a cohesive approach to your branding, and your wayfinding and other interior signs are part and parcel of that approach. Therefore, it pays to streamline the approach to design, manufacture and installation, so that your signs have the same look and feel across every panel and display.

Does your Bognor Regis sign company offer in-house manufacturing capability, to ensure consistency in the printing of your signage? Outsourced signs are unlikely to have the same quality and consistency as those manufactured in-house, where you can have a hands on approach to the entire process.

Poor quality signs not only give an unfavourable impression of your organisation, but they won’t last as long, meaning you’ll end up paying more for maintenance and repair in the long run.

Your sign company should also be able to professionally install and maintain your signs, and have experience in securing a wide range of different signage and display panels. Ideally, you will also be able to rely on them for maintenance and repairs, so that should anything go wrong, your signs will be functioning again as quickly as possible.

Do they offer a wide range of appropriate materials?

If you want to go beyond standard signage to create a visually appealing and cohesive brand experience for your customers, you’ll need to consider the materials you use. Does your chosen sign maker offer quality materials that reflect your brand and your company image. For example, if you work with glass or metal, can your sign makers create wayfinding signage that incorporates those materials?

Can you expect support at every step of the process?

The best sign company for your project is the one that offers support and solutions at every step of the process, from design to execution. Not only will a good sign maker lead you through every step of the process, they’ll also deliver quality at every key stage.

Do they have a dedicated customer services team or have they assigned an individual as your point of contact throughout the process? Is this a company who builds customer relationships and stands behind the quality of their work? Do they pay attention to the little things – careful shipment and using the right fixings for installation?

If your sign company is willing and able to answer all your questions and show you examples of their work, then they’re the right choice of sign making company to create your wayfinding sign environment. At the Sussex Sign Company, we pride ourselves on ensuring the best possible return on investment and adding value every step of the way for our customers, so call or email us to find out how we can help you make your vision a reality.

Feeling lost? How wayfinding signs could help

Wayfinding signage is really important.

We won’t name names, but there are certain shops you walk around that seem to be a confusing labyrinth of displays and shelves or a route march through endless stacks of products you have no interest in. We have all wandered around these poorly laid-out places feeling completely lost and with no sense of direction, unable to locate the checkouts or the changing rooms.

The same is true of other public spaces. Finding a ward in a hospital can be tricky without directions, as can finding a specific room of a gallery or museum, or the toilets or shop in a historic landmark property. When you are feeling disorientated, wayfinding signs are the thing you often look to for guidance and a sense of direction. What makes for a good wayfinding signage system and how can installing wayfinding signs help your business?

What are wayfinding signs?

A wayfinding sign does exactly what it says on the tin – helps you to find your way around. No matter what sort of business you run, the chances are you are going to need a wayfinding system of some description if you have business premises that are open to the public.

Usually positioned overhead or somewhere else prominently in the customer or visitor’s eyeline, they help people to navigate their way around your establishment and locate all the things they need. Whether they mark out the types of products to be found on an aisle of shelving; direct people towards the changing rooms, toilets or tills; or guide them towards the entrances and exits, wayfinding signage is critical to help people find their way about.

What makes a good wayfinding sign?

Wayfinding signs need to convey as much information as possible in the most compact and succinct way. The chances are that someone who has stopped to look at a wayfinding sign is new to the premises. They may be in a rush to get in and out, or may already be feeling frustrated at being lost. Nobody wants to spend valuable time wading through too much information when they simply want to get from A to B as directly and as quickly as possible, so wayfinding signs need to tell them exactly what they need to know in as short a space of time as possible.

Strong wayfinding signage therefore needs to be crisply and clearly printed so that it is easy to read. The text should be a reasonable size and in a font that is not overwhelmingly complex and intricate, so that it can be read from a distance without a visitor necessarily needing to slow down to decipher the words. Uncomplicated and fuss-free wayfaring signs are essential and should tell a visitor everything they need to know without them having to slow their pace or read too much information.

You also need to think about text and background colour, as this can have a major impact on the readability of wayfinding signs. A dark background and light text is often the easiest form of sign to read, or vice versa; alternatively, you may wish to put up wayfinding signage that uses your company’s colour scheme. If this is the case, consulting a wayfinding designer from a specialist signwriting company is often a good idea, as some colour combinations are easier on the eye than others. A professional designer will know what works best in these situations.

The benefits of wayfinding signage

Getting lost in any public place is frustrating and can be upsetting, with inadequate wayfinding signage potentially putting customers off visiting your premises again. When people are unfamiliar with the layout of your shop, anything that prevents them finding the goods and products they need is a major inconvenience.

Wayfinding signs are vital in a retail outlet. Cleverly installed, they not only guide your customers to the things they need but can also help with regulating footfall, keeping people moving and circulating, and even directing people towards products they might have overlooked. If you can naturally guide people around special displays and offers, they are more likely to impulse buy because they do not feel that they have been manipulated into making a purchase.

In public spaces in which large numbers of people often gather – such as hospitals, offices or shopping malls – wayfinding signs help to keep the crowds moving and prevent log-jams in tighter spaces such as foyers, lobbies and corridors. With various departments, wards or shops dotted around, people need to be quickly and easily directed to their destination so that you can keep up a steady, moving stream of footfall and minimise the risk of a crush.

Working with the professionals

Wayfinding systems are often very complicated and it is all too easy to get them wrong. Poor sign design or badly-placed signage can render the exercise completely useless – if people cannot see the signs well enough or have to spend too long deciphering them, the system is a failure and visitors will become frustrated.

To get the best wayfinding signage solution, you need to work with an experienced, professional sign company that has experience in installing such systems and understands how they work. At The Sussex Sign Company, we employ some of the most highly-qualified wayfinding designers in the country, with plenty of successful past projects under their belts.

Working with site managers, architects and our in-house design and installations teams, our wayfinding designers can help you to get the most from your wayfinding signage. For more information on how these systems work or to learn more about the services we provide, simply get in touch with our expert team today.

School’s Out! Why the Summer Holidays are the Ideal Time for New School Signs

We’re approaching that stressful time of year when exams loom and revision seems to dominate every waking moment – for kids, parents and teachers alike. As soon as ‘time’s up’ is announced for that final paper, however, thoughts will immediately turn to the long summer holidays and the lazy, sunny days of freedom. It’s not just the students who look forward to the well-earned summer break, teachers are no doubt desperate for the holidays to start too!

But just because things will soon start winding down at schools and colleges, it doesn’t mean that this should be an unproductive time in the school calendar. If you’re a head teacher or the person responsible for maintenance around your school, the summer holidays are the perfect time to carry out all those jobs which need doing before the start of the new academic year – and that might involve replacing or sprucing up your school’s signage.

School signage: what can it teach us?

As a school, you might not think you need to ‘advertise’ yourself in the same way that a business might. However, simply because you’re there, you have a catchment area and children will always need educating, it doesn’t mean you can simply sit back and let things take their course. Class sizes might be getting bigger, but students and parents still have some say in where they send their children, and appearances really do matter when it comes to attracting new pupils.

Whether you’re a nursery, primary, junior or secondary school, public or private, co-ed or single-sex, the way you present your educational establishment can make a big difference. Schools play a vital role in the local community, and you want to be sure that the community sees your school in a positive light and is more willing to support you. If your school building looks run-down and a little bit shabby, you may well be letting your students down. The expectations of all are lowered if a school looks unappealing. It follows, perhaps, that educational standards are also lower, or that pupils will be less well-behaved and take less pride in their school.

School signs which are poorly designed and poorly maintained do not bode well, and when it comes to impressing prospective students, their parents and the wider community, ensuring your signage is in top condition is crucial. A school sign is often the first things people see when they arrive at the school gates, and first impressions can make a vast difference to how they approach what lies beyond.

Why new signage now?

The school holidays represent a perfect time for new school signs. Not only is it easier to carry out that all-important maintenance work with no students about the place, but getting things tidied up and looking good before the start of the next academic year means you won’t have to think about it come autumn or winter, when less favourable weather arrives.

Summer is the ideal time for new signage in any sector, but for schools which often have large premises to maintain and few occasions in which to carry out these vital tasks, the lull of the holidays is about the only time you have spare. With sunnier weather, having new signs installed can be a quick and easy task, which makes an immediate and very visible impact.

A new school term represents a fresh start for all, and with any luck, both students and teachers alike will be returning feeling renewed, enthused and looking forward to new beginnings. All children, from reception right through to sixth form, like to see change and improvements in their surroundings, and being welcomed back with a new, updated school sign is a great way to kick off the new term. Seeing the school’s name and logo set out on bold new signage can be a real morale and confidence boost, as everyone settles back into the routine of school life.

Time for a change

If your school signs are looking in need of a little TLC this summer, now might be the right time to consider what changes you might want to make. If it’s getting on in years, it could just be that you need your existing signage replaced like for like. It could be that you need to update the contact details on your school sign, or add the name of an incoming headteacher or deputy head. You might be considering something even more drastic – a complete change of colour scheme, for instance, or changing the school logo or motto altogether.

Whatever changes need to be made, it’s worth getting in touch with a professional signage company early on, before the school breaks up for the holidays. While schools are winding down, other businesses are gearing up for a summer rush, and that includes signwriting companies. Chances are that if new signage is on the cards for your nursery or school, other headteachers are having similar thoughts. To avoid being at the bottom of a waiting list, now’s the time to act.

Here at The Sussex Sign Company, we’ve spent many years supplying schools across London and the South East with bespoke signage. Our highly-qualified team of graphic designers and sign fitters can work with you to create bold and beautiful new school signs, perfectly capturing the ethos of your educational establishment. For more information on the services we provide, simply get in touch with our expert team today.

Why Does Effective Wayfinding Signage Need That Expert Touch?

Wayfinding signage presents us with a paradox – if it’s doing its job effectively, it shouldn’t even be noticed by those who use it. Effective signage, therefore, is conspicuous only by its absence, when people realise how much they depend upon wayfinding systems in order to orient and traverse urban spaces. Despite the fact that we rely on signage every day, we remain largely unconscious of the impact that it has on our daily lives.

It would be a mistake to fall into a false sense of security, however. Like many things in the modern world such as smartphones or the internet, it may appear effortless and seamless on the surface, but there’s a huge amount of research, expertise and creativity occurring behind the scenes that goes into producing effective wayfinding systems.

Here we take an expert in-depth look at what wayfinding is, how it’s used and what constitutes an effective wayfinding system. Given the widespread applications of wayfinding in contexts as diverse as airports, hospitals, city centres, universities and shopping malls, the answers to these questions are of note to relevant officials across the public, private and third sectors.

What is Wayfinding?

Wayfinding involves the process of traversing through a given space to a final destination. This process involves a series of steps in order for the traveller to get from where they are to where they want to be. The first step is to work out where one is; this orientation is then used to guide oneself through the space to one’s destination. Wayfinding systems and signage are employed to enhance this experience by providing a series of cues, both subconscious and overt.

These cues act to create nodes throughout the journey to streamline the passage through the space. As a result, the traveller can navigate from node to node with ease until they reach their final destination. For example, a person enters a shopping mall. They want to get to a store on the third floor in the left-hand wing of the building. The first node could be a sign indicating the direction of the stairs or lifts. The second node will be placed outside the lift on the third floor, and additional nodes may be required depending on the length and complexity of the remaining journey.

How is Wayfinding Signage Used?

We’ve all encountered simple directional signage before, but modern wayfinding systems frequently include other elements that play a supporting role to these directional signs. It makes sense that, in response to the growing complexity of the urban environment and the array of functions that particular buildings play within that environment, wayfinding systems should adjust to respond to these additional demands.

These other components that constitute a modern wayfinding system most commonly include ‘you are here’-style maps to assist travellers with orientation and to help them plan their next steps. These cartographic maps tend to be highly simplified, presenting only the minimum amount of information required to avoid information overload. This is a central principle of wayfinding signage – too much information can be just as harmful as not enough info.

Other Applications

As well as helping people to get to their chosen destinations, wayfinding can be used to encourage travellers to take particular paths that they may not have taken otherwise. This has applications in museums and galleries, for example, where exhibitions are curated to be viewed in a particular order. Wayfinding can be employed in these contexts to ensure that no exhibits are missed – a vital function considering the often circuitous layout of these buildings.

The same principle can be applied to urban centres or historic towns to guide visitors to ‘hidden gems’ that may be out of the way. An increase in local business footfall can also be encouraged via strategic use of wayfinding systems.

How do Experts Create a Truly Effective Wayfinding System?

There are also other ancillary components designed for use in specific contexts alongside ‘you are here’ maps and common directional signs. These tend to be highly innovative, and include examples such as the use of coloured lines that run along the corridors of hospitals, where each colour refers to a particular ward. The same principle has even been applied in large corporate headquarters using brand-specific colours.

Indeed, including elements of branding across all aspects of the wayfinding system is a great and highly effective way to boost brand visibility. This has the corollary effect of ensuring that the positive customer experience that occurs as a result of using the wayfinding system is associated with your brand, leading to a boost in favourable customer perceptions of the given brand, as well as the space itself.

Providing this kind of innovation and creativity is vital to the effectiveness of a wayfinding system. Wayfinding signs, perhaps more than any other type of sign, are integrated conceptually with the environment in which they are placed due to their purpose of directing people through that environment. To be truly effective, then, they should also be integrated aesthetically. An expert can do away with simple arrow signs and create innovative directional cues, including use of lighting, colour and symbols to steer people to where they want to go.

In order for this to be successful the eyes of an expert are vital, particularly one with a background in manufacturing or implementation. These experts will possess intrinsic knowledge on the possibilities of fabrication and a clear understanding of what is viable and realistic.

Let’s Work Together

At The Sussex Sign Company we have decades of experience in the signage industry. In this time, our highly qualified team has accrued invaluable conceptual knowledge and had the opportunity to sharpen and finely hone our practical skills. We’d love to put our expertise to work to create an unparalleled wayfinding signage solution for your business, organisation or institution, so get in touch today to learn about the things we could achieve together. Call us on 01273 417057