We’ve all had the experience of walking into a building and almost immediately getting lost. Whether it’s a big box store, a warehouse, or a huge sprawling mall, the way to solve the problem is with internal signage.
What is Internal Signage?
Internal signage refers to a system of signs placed throughout the interior of a building, business, or around a campus. These basically help to direct people around a campus, whether it be a small business or a giant enterprise covering acres of land.
One of the primary functions of internal signage is wayfinding. As people, we look for signs and features to let us know we’re going in the right direction. Without indicators like signs, paths, or signals, its easy for people to get lost on a site or campus.
Just like we like to know where we’re going when we’re traveling to a different city, we need to know where we’re going inside a business or building.
The Effect Of Signage In Practice
Think about a time you visited a brand new city. There’s a certain anxiety that comes with trying to navigate around the new city because you don’t have a familiarity with it to make your trips second nature. With signs and maps, you can find what you’re looking for. Without it, you could get seriously lost. The same principle is true of wayfinding signs inside buildings.
Another function of internal signage is to relay information to visitors of your facility. The internal signage will tell them which areas are restricted, which room they are by, and where the bathrooms are. In a big way, internal signage is how a person will reorient themselves inside your building. Without it, they’ll get frustrated, confused, and leave angry.
Tips for Internal Signage
Just like there are certain principles that should be followed in other areas of design, there are some tricks to making your internal signage effective and stylish. Try out these tips next time you’re planning your internal wayfinding signs with a sign maker.
Keep It Simple
Have you ever visited a restaurant that had some kind of theme they carried into their signage for the bathrooms? Suddenly you’re standing there, pretty sure you know which door to go into, but there’s still a seed of doubt in your mind. Clarity is the way to prevent that anxiety.
Outdoor signs aren’t the only signs most businesses need. Many benefit from safety signs and directions to help visitors and workers alike work faster rather than spending time searching.
When you’re planning your wayfinding signage, you want to keep it simple, direct, and easy to read. Your visitor shouldn’t have to think too hard or guess at what the signage is telling them. Having a clear, comprehensive, fool-proof message on your signs will save many people headaches.
Maintain Your Brand
Because you’ve worked hard to establish your brand, you should try and extend that branding through your internal signage. So long as you can keep the message clear and easy to understand, you should also incorporate aspects of your branding.
This does a couple of things: it’s another way to further establish your brand and make it recognizable. But it’s also a way to jazz up an otherwise boring sign. Having a plaque that says the room number could be boring, but using your company colors, fonts, and minimal graphics can suddenly create visual interest, helping you look like a more polished organization.
Location, Location, Location
Even the most well-thought out way finding signs are useless if people don’t see them. You should always consider where the signs will be most useful and have the biggest impact.
High-traffic areas are a great place to start. Since the majority of people pass through it, you can place a comprehensive internal sign system in that location and have a huge impact without requiring you to litter your campus with signs.
You should also consider mixing up your format, especially in a larger campus. Adding in a map, pictographs, and symbols can help you reach a wider audience and help make your internal sign system a little more exciting.
While internal signage may seem like it has to be boring and stale, it doesn’t have to be! So long as your wayfinding signage is clear, you can get creative with how you present the information. Just because something is effective, doesn’t make it boring.
Show off your company’s style and your brand’s personality with the style of your wayfinding designs. Adding more colors, interesting lines, and minimal graphics will elevate your signage from simply a sign to being a message.
Your wayfinding signs are a necessity. They help people find their way around your business or campus. But they don’t have to be boring! Keeping them functional above all else is great. Pair that functionality with creativity to help them show off the personality of your brand and you have a way to accent your space, not just direct people through it.
Get started on converting more customers with smart design today by filling out our contact form. We will call you back within 48 hours to discuss your environmental graphic design needs. United Visual Branding services both the Tampa/St. Petersburg area and the entire United States.