One of the biggest issues that repeats itself in the world of signs and sign systems is: not having customer focused signage.
Imagine this scenario: You are in a geographical location that is unknown to you, so you stop and ask a local person for help. How often do their directions turn out to be incomplete? Or, imagine you’re driving in a town you’ve never visited before, and while the road sign at the first roundabout gives you the directions you need, at the second, your destination appears to have disappeared of the face of the Earth.
A simple problem
The difficulty in both situations has the same cause: the information has been provided by someone who knows exactly where they are going when they take that journey. It has not accounted for all the other potential users of the physical space, who may be new to the building and feel in a state of disorientation. This means that the verbal directions given, or the roadside signage, is incomplete, and thus is of minimum use to those not familiar with the area.
These scenarios help to highlight a common signage problem, whether for outside direction-giving or interior corporate, office, hospital or other destination signage. Often, the individual responsible for the creation and placement of such advice is well used to the location or area, knows how to find their way around, and can be prone to inadvertently creating signage from that ‘insider’ viewpoint.
A step-back solution
One way of avoiding this is simply to be well aware of the possibility. Then, like an artist who steps back from the close-up work of their painting to judge how it will be viewed at a more normal distance, the sign creator can mentally step back and take time to assess how what they intend to do will be viewed by other’s eyes.
A second possibility is actually to ask a stranger. For example, for an interior location, someone who has never visited that building or complex could look at the proposed signage and highlight any problems that they find. The same idea can be transported outdoors, although it is likely that this might not be possible in every situation.
A very effective solution is to employ professional, wayfinding consulting to be undertaken for a building, before sign systems are placed within it. Wayfinding helps break down how a stranger would interact with your signage and how best to design it.
Once you are confident that the signage you have decided upon is ready to be produced, get in touch with our experienced Select Sign Systems team to discuss your modular sign systems, architectural signage or any other physical signage needs.
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