Way-finding signs also significantly improve the efficiency and general flow of the facility especially for those who regularly experience high volumes of people. In addition, facilities that experience frequent and or repetitive movement of people and equipment between different areas of the facility can also considerably benefit from way-finding signs. Way-Finding signs are of considerable importance to facilities such as healthcare campuses, transportation facilities, educational campuses, and urban centers. This type of signage allows people to form a mental visual of which direction they need to proceed in to reach their destination.
High-stress facilities such as airports, train stations, and healthcare facilities greatly benefit from way-finding signs and systems. The reason behind this is that often times the individuals who are navigating through these facilities are not in a relaxed state of mind due to the nature and purpose of the facility. A difficult navigation experience due to insufficient guidance can quickly compound any frustrations that may already be present.
The most effective way-finding signs combine elements such as text, symbols, colors, and maps on their signage to give people both a visual and textual representation of direction. This ensures that everyone can understand the directional cues and not just those who interpret symbols easier than text, or vice versa. Way-finding signs include information and identification signs that simply state where the person is in the environment and what can be found there. Establishing current location is usually the first step a person will take in a new environment, so the presence of such signs is imperative.
Directional way-finding signs will give a person a better view of the facility as a whole, and they help establish the different areas of the facility. These types of signs provide a visual to show the direction of which other areas of the facility are in with comparison to where the individual who is reading the signage is located. Way-finding signs also include warning signs which intend to inform the person of hazards around the facility. Examples of these include stairwell signs, fire safety signs, exit signs, or any other sign necessary to indicate a safety feature. Depending on the region the facility is located in, there may be specific requirements and or regulations in terms of safety and warning signage.