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Wayfinding: a functional extension of branding

wayfinding signage design branding

Wayfinding refers to information systems that guide people through an environment. Successful wayfinding systems have signage design that represents the brand. This is because brand experience and signage are connected.

wayfinding signage design branding

Wayfinding, signage design, and branding

Branding a wayfinding system can sometimes go too far. Therefore, it is important to consider the signage design as a modest extension of branding. Oversized logos can be distracting. In addition, directional icons may not look good next to a brand logo. Color scheme and font are often enough to tie in the brand. Most importantly, signage design should not lose focus on the sign’s purpose.

What the consumer needs from wayfinding

Signage in an unfamiliar space provides visitors with understanding. Well-placed directional signs reduce stress. Also, easy navigation boosts the consumer experience. This is especially true in complex environments. Universities, large medical centers, and airports would be confusing without signage. Good wayfinding systems provide information consistently throughout all the key points in the space.

  • Keep the signage design simple
  • Remove any unnecessary information
  • Retain brand identity with consistent look and feel
  • Mark key landmarks as needed to reinforce recognition

Research, testing, and proper execution of brand standards can lead to signs that stand the test of time. Therefore, signage, like all other branding elements, should not be an afterthought in the building and design process. Signs directly affect a consumer’s in-person experience. When consumers walk into your business, what experience do they have? Is every aspect of your business tailored to the customer’s needs?