Directional Signs

If you are wondering how effective a directional sign can be, the only way you can probably answer that question yourself is to look at one that you can find near you. Does it easily tell you where certain facilities and rooms are? Are there arrows that help show you the way? Are these mounted in easy to see areas?

There are many factors that make a directional sign effective. If you answered yes to the questions, then such a directional sign is effective. These are not the only factors that help make these signs useful and well worth looking at for help. There are a lot of things to consider before you can actually judge a wayfinding or directional sign to be what it should be – a sign that points you in the right direction.

-      Arrows - You will notice that a sign can only be called a directional sign when it has arrows on it. Whether the arrow is pointing, up, down, left or right, these serve a very important purpose and that purpose is to show you in which direction a room or facility is to be found. Sometimes, these arrows can be curved to show you that you need to make a turn up ahead to get to where you want to go.

-      Easy to read text – a directional sign won’t be very helpful if it were crafted using fancy fonts. The simpler and easier to read a font is, the more effective the sign will be. Fonts that are considered ideal for these signs are those that are sans serif to make these compliant with ADA standards.

-      Universally recognizable pictograms – pictograms that are recognized worldwide are often used on these directional signs. Using images that are different from the norm may set you apart from the others but this will make your sign difficult to decipher, specifically by people who cannot understand the language the sign is in or those who cannot read.

-      Sign size – the size of a directional sign should be ideal for its intended viewing distance. The further away the distance for it to be viewed, the bigger the letters of the sign and the size of the sign in general. Interior signs usually come in smaller sizes than directional signs that are used above highways since people who are walking do not necessarily need to see the sign from a very far distance due to their slow gait.

-      Sign Color and finish – signs that are to be read by people for direction and wayfinding purposes should come in contrasting colors that make it easy to read the text and distinguish what the pictogram is indicating. The finish of these signs should be non glare in order for users to easily make out what is on the sign without having to squint against light reflecting on the sign.