Wayfinding signage has become an essential product for most organizations today with multiple offices or buildings. Schools, universities, hospitals and church campuses are just a few customer segments that often require extensive logistical, and design planning to make their wayfinding system a success.
If you’ve created wayfinding signage for a customer, you know that there are many areas to address before you even begin design work. Issues like determining key decision points, anticipating pathways and identifying destinations are critical elements to consider before a single sign is installed.
One key factor that is often overlooked in the process is the ability to change and replace signage.
Things will change
There are two important reasons why you will need to change various signs within your plan. The first is co
nstruction or the reassignment of locations. Destinations will be relocated, offices and buildings may be added and pathways may change. Having flexibility bui
lt into your original design can save your client time and money down the road. Shelly Widhalm makes this point in her article Effective Outdoor Wayfinding:
“Offering a signage system that can be easily updated is a strong selling point for these types of clients,” Freeman says, recommending avoiding flush face signs with routed copy that does not lend well to alterations.
This makes perfect sense considering how quickly things can change in organizations and growing businesses.
Neglect and Confusion
Once you have developed, designed and produced your clients’ signage system, the process does not stop there. Outdoor signage is especially vulnerable to weather conditions and will, over time, degrade. This can cause confusion and undo stress on visitors when trying to find a destination.
www.travelwayfinding.com lists “Unmaintained Signage” as one of the 8 Common Mistakes Made when Designing a Wayfinding System:
“It is a very common situation to see, as a wayfinding auditor, signs and wayfinding aids that are neglected and left unrepaired or unreplaced.”
It is of the utmost importance to have a plan in place to maintain and replace outdated or degraded signage to uphold the quality of your system, and of course to guard your brand.’s image. The ongoing requirements of keeping a wayfinding system up to date and effective, can be costly in both time and money.
Another important point to consider while planning your wayfinding signage materials is future cost and ease of replacement. Your wayfinding system will consist of a variety of signage materials. The materials you choose will depend on several factors like whether the signage will be indoor or outdoor, how the signage will be displayed, and, Will you need to build structures? or, Will existing structures be used?
A surefire way to stay within your client’s budget, both now and in the future, is to utilize signage solutions that take future costs into account.
One of the most cost effective wayfinding solutions available is frame and banner signage. Frame and Banner signage consists of an extruded aluminum frame that stretches digitally printed vinyl banner to a wrinkle-free finish. Frames can generally be fabricated to most any size and color easily. Having the ability to attach frames directly to existing structures and change the vinyl quickly, will save both time and money for your client. Digitally printing in-house allows for fast response times on replacements that wont break the budget.
“Signs with removable panels and vinyl copy are more economically sound design options.” – Effective Outdoor Wayfinding
Incorporating frame and banner solutions into your wayfinding product offer will provide the flexibility needed to give your clients the best options to meet their needs and budget.