Directional Signs: Wayfinding in Buildings and Outdoors

Helen Davies
Helen Davies
- 15 min read

Directional signs are an essential part of any public or private space. People need visual communications tools for wayfinding and general information. Well-designed directional signs create a comfortable atmosphere and reinforce your brand’s professionalism. Wayfinding signage designs take on functional as well as decorative purposes. Let’s check out the most common displays based on their industry and placement.

Wayfinding Signs Based on Industry 

There are tons of options for wayfinding signage designs. Wayfinding signs can also be divided into different categories based on industry. 

Educational wayfinding signs

College wayfinding sign in black pointing at different departments

There are many buildings for different departments on educational campuses. Each of them needs a distinct classification. Visitors can use college wayfinding signs to navigate big college campuses.

Campus wayfinding signage systems are a key component, especially for newcomers. Students won’t have problems with finding the library or other learning facilities. This will encourage their integration process, making them feel welcomed and at ease.

Airport direction signs

Hanging airport direction sign made of PVC

Directional signs at airports are the lifeline of its operations. Adequate airport direction signs and proper roadway designs make airports safe and efficient. 

Professional signs in key places affect how passengers rate their airport experience. Customers who are late because they can’t find their way can create serious setbacks. This will cost both them and airlines extra time, money and resources. Proper navigational systems and displays can resolve such issues. 

Directional signage for hospitals

Hanging directional signage for hospital pointing at different departments

Visiting a hospital can be hectic and overwhelming. Finding directions should be hassle-free in this environment. It can save lives. Directional signage for hospitals guides busy staff, patients and visitors quickly and efficiently.

Well-planned wayfinding graphics are critical during COVID-19. It’s crucial that COVID-19 patients seek care without infecting others in their vicinity. Clear COVID-19 wayfinding signs can take one burden off a challenging situation. 

Event and trade show directional signage 

Large event directional signage in an arrow shape and in black color

Event signage keeps visitors at ease, creates harmony and reduces traffic congestions. These wayfinding signs help people navigate the space to find your booth. 

Trade show displays and stands that integrate wayfinding solutions create efficient flow. High-quality directional signs will showcase branded imagery with creative designs, signs and symbols. You can draw attention to your area with cool custom directional signs. 

Interested in custom directional signs? Contact us!

Church directional signs

Large church directional sign with a custom shape logo

Church custom directional signs identify entrances, display service hours and provide directions. Wayfinding in buildings should make large crowds feel safe, comfortable and welcomed.

Community directional signs for churches set the atmosphere and serve a functional purpose. They’re especially important during special events which draw sizable crowds.

Circus and carnival directional signs

Custom circus directional sign with illumination

These custom directional signs are designed especially for circus or carnival grounds. They can also double as event decorations. They may be customized with carnival-friendly fonts, thematic stripes and bright polka dots.

Circus directional signs direct visitors to the main attractions, concession stands and places to explore. They welcome guests and guide them with colorful graphics to optimize their experience.

Office directional signs 

Leasing Center office directional sign fixed to the wall

Installing office directional signs at your business venue is good practice. Office signs will help your clients and guests find their place of business.  They mark departments, offices, meeting rooms, corridors, elevators, restrooms, cafes and so on.

Office directional signs also add an aesthetic appeal to any space. All in all, office directional signs are an important part of a brand’s identity.

Get inspired by corporate office design ideas.

Mall directional signage

Hanging shopping mall directional signage

Mall directional signs map out stores and attractions with directories, symbols and logos. Shopping plazas use custom directional signs to develop client-oriented strategies and optimize engagement. 

In modern shopping environments, building signs set a distinct tone to attract consumers. They simplify the search for different brands, entertainment centers, dining establishments and beyond.

Hotel directional signage

Hotel directional signage pointing at the lobby registration

Hotel directional signage plays a unique role within the industry. These custom directional signs direct people from all corners of the world. Information should be clearly marked to eliminate confusion.

Hotel directories show locations of different rooms and amenities. They make sure guests feel as comfortable as possible. Hotel directional signage creates a positive experience and ensures customer satisfaction.

Sporting directional signs 

Country Gold Club directional sign in a free-standing style

 

Stadium and arena signs help players, staff and crowds of spectators navigate the grounds with ease. Custom directional signs are an unparalleled tool for various sporting fields and activities.

Wayfinding signs have a highlighted importance for golf courses and tournaments. Golf course directional signs help players navigate wide open spaces without any hassle. They show the way from hole to hole, to the playing field, clubhouse and beyond.

Directional Signs Based on Placement

Custom directional signs can be adjusted to suit any type of environment. Your choice of materials and positioning for wayfinding signs will vary. Interior or exterior installation will result in the biggest distinctions.  

Interior Wayfinding Signage

Interior wayfinding signage creates a welcoming atmosphere and makes your brand more reliable. These have a great deal of functional value and can also be pleasing to the eye. Innovative interior directional signage designs don’t just give directions. They also designate rooms, provide information and accent the look of a property. 

Interior wayfinding signage includes solutions for different parts of a premise. Keep on reading to get acquainted with the main types. 

Hallway and lobby directional signs 

Hallway directional signs made of opaque vinyl

Modern hallway directional signs have a straightforward and minimalist appearance. Place these business signs in your corridors to streamline navigation for guests.

Hallway directional signs aren’t only for corporations. You can use interior wayfinding signage solutions in many other facilities. These include hospitals, hotels, malls, gyms and stadiums. Hallway directional signs bolster trust right as a patron steps onto your premise.

Lobby directional signs get people from point A to point B in unfamiliar buildings. Lobby signs are a must for large properties with multiple floors and offices. 

There’s a vast range of interior wayfinding signage options for the lobby area. They serve as purposeful visual markers to help people find their way. 

Door wayfinding signs 

Restroom doors custom funny wayfinding signs

Interior wayfinding signage can come in the form of decals stuck to the office doors. Often, such interior wayfinding signage also showcases your company’s logo and name. Wayfinding design can create effective marketing using your brand’s visual identity.  

These custom decals may show names and directions with creative aesthetics. Interior wayfinding signage guides visitors to restrooms, offices and meeting rooms with ease.

Floor directional signs

Electric green floor wayfinding graphics made of opaque vinyl

Floor decals are a welcome addition to people’s second most favorite field of vision. Interior wayfinding signage can last a long time on the ground of a facility. They can usher people around even while they look down at their phones. 

These wayfinding signage design solutions are good for both temporary and permanent use. During special events, they can show the way to various zones and attractions. Their presence will assist visitors to the correct entrances and destinations.

Wall wayfinding signs 

Wall wayfinding sign pointing at the parking made of opaque vinyl

Another attractive option for interior wayfinding signage is creative wall decals. These wayfinding signage design options include wide format stickers. You can print them with large arrows and other recognizable symbols. 

Interior wayfinding signage decorates blank walls and provides information at the same time. These wayfinding signage designs guide people through a physical environment. Thus, they eliminate the need to ask around. 

Outdoor Directional Signs 

Outdoor directional signs play the same role as interior wayfinding signage. Oftentimes, outdoor directional signs are larger to capture the attention of passersby. 

Wayfinding signage designs for the exterior must be appealing to entice visitors. Among various outdoor directional signs, we’ve highlighted the most common ones. 

Kershaw's Challenge Park large outdoor directional sign made of aluminum

Directional displays in front of the building

Exterior directional signage is a prime factor for good street visibility. Monument signs with directories create a distinguished identity. Their prominent look familiarizes patrons with your establishment. You can see these city directional signs placed on street sides and courtyards. 

Another favored solution for outdoor directional signs are high rise signs. They elevate your business to impressive heights and capture attention from afar. This type of exterior directional signage marks your facility and delivers a bold message. 

Wayfinding signage design solutions near a premise

Outdoor wayfinding sign in a pylon style made of Lexan and opaque vinyl

Pylon signs are also a popular choice among grand plazas and multi-tenant facilities. The distinguishing feature of these outdoor directional signs is their height and free standing form.  

These environmental wayfinding signs show directions with bold letters and sturdy poles. They’re ideal for designating the names of multiple companies operating inside a venue. Exterior directional signage may also provide information about services, products and operating hours. 

Large wayfinding signs for storefronts

Spotless Burgers storefront wayfinding sign made of acrylic

Wayfinding is crucial for the exterior to help your visitors find your store with ease. Outdoor directional signs will point to desired locations and mark ways to get there.  

Exterior directional signage is often the face of your business and can be seen from a long way off. It’s important to invest in solid storefront signs with informative messages. 

Window directional signs 

Napa branded window directional sign pointing at the entrance made of perforated vinyl

Window decals offer a vivid and informative display from the out as well as inside of your space. They’re designed to make a good impression on visitors and enhance brand appeal.

This type of interior wayfinding signage on your windows provides essential wayfinding information. Create a vibrant atmosphere while directing people to their point of interest. 

Directional entrance signs 

Directional entrance sign in yellow made of aluminum and acrylic

Show your guests a bold, “You’re here!” message to usher them in. Custom directional signs will welcome people to your facility in a fashionable manner. Interior signs can serve as entry points for specific rooms and sections in a venue. 

Wayfinding signage designs also incorporate free standing and interchangeable displays. Interior wayfinding signage is not only for effective navigation but also design planning. Designating displays refine the building. They present it in a polished manner when matched with other elements.

Park wayfinding signs

National Park wayfinding sign in green

Environmental wayfinding signs give directions throughout the environment. They cover the entire grounds, including trails and areas for parking and picnics. Park wayfinding signs can be made of eco-friendly materials such as wood to suit their surroundings. Use them to map out different zones and amenities so visitors don’t get lost.

These outdoor directional signs can also match their natural surroundings with organic shapes. We can help you decide on the right wayfinding signage design that satisfies your goals. Contact us today!

Beach directional signs

Beach directional sign made of wood pointing at the beach, pool, and the bar

Beach signage serves a critical role in wayfinding, especially for tourists.  You can create imaginative designs with different languages on your environmental wayfinding tools

Outdoor directional signs use bold displays to ensure the public’s safety. They can also highlight your business and increase foot traffic to your location.

Read the following article for more outdoor business sign ideas.

Custom Directional Signs

Custom directional signs complete interior design in a visually appealing and functional way. They help visitors get to their needed destinations without having to stop to ask for directions. This alone enhances overall customer satisfaction.

Innovative Wayfinding Signs to Inspire

Custom directional signs for commercial buildings

Make your space unforgettable with unique designs and style combinations. Go beyond standard shapes and get custom environmental wayfinding signs. You can get stylish with wraparound wayfinding signs. These hug the corners of two connecting walls. Make sure to use symbols like arrows and bright colors for your guide posts. 

Decorative directional signs

Custom outdoor decorative directional sign in the shape of a cup made of aluminum

Besides being functional, property wayfinding signs also provide decorative charm. You should never underestimate the power of creative solutions like illuminated directional signs. Purposeful wayfinding signs such as an office directional sign set a pleasant atmosphere. These designs work to enhance customer experience. 

Dimensional wayfinding signs

Hanging directional sign in black and red

3D signs add a dimensional form for extra visibility. They draw attention in ways that flat, two-dimensional images simply cannot. The human eye can see them from a greater distance. Thus, wayfinding in buildings becomes easier for guests. These environmental signs should suit their surroundings and your overall branding vision.

If you need custom directional solutions, get in touch with our specialists now.

Illuminated directional signs

Illuminated directional exit sign in green made of acrylic

Illuminated directional signs enliven the space and show the way during evening hours. Even after the sun goes down, people can find you with illuminated directional signs. Light up signs are great for any type of organization. They create an iconic symbol for your establishment and light up the path for prospects. 

Materials Used for Directional Signs

Choosing the right materials for wayfinding signs may seem like a limiting task but it’s not. Among a great variety of options, the most common ones are the following:

PVC directional signs

Huge PVC directional sign in black pointing at the parking

PVC signs use lightweight plastic for its weatherproof and durable properties. PVC wayfinding signs are ideal for wayfinding and many other purposes. They guide customers with elegant and versatile designs. They’re perfect for both exterior and interior use.

Foam core wayfinding signs

New York City Photography outdoor foam core wayfinding sign in black

Foam core signs can display all sorts of information including directions. They’re very lightweight yet durable and available in a range of styles. Foam core directional signs can be printed with vibrant colors and functional symbols. 

Acrylic directional signs

Coca Cola acrylic directional sign in red in a custom style

Acrylic signs are an ultimate solution for any business venue. They’re an elegant medium for displaying directions. They offer a wide range of design options to enhance the environment. Acrylic directional signs are durable, UV stable and always trendy.  

Wooden directional signs

Outdoor wooden directional sign in white pointing at multiple directions

Wooden signs have a variety of applications including branding, decor and wayfinding. Wooden directional signs have a rustic charm and natural appeal. With these attractive and sustainable options, you’ll invest in an eco-friendly future.

Aluminum wayfinding signs

Lunch Room aluminum wayfinding sign in a wall-blade style

Aluminum signs are recyclable and one of the most durable signage solutions in the industry. They’re ideal for directional displays and convey a sense of professionalism. These signs are ecologically responsible and offer tons of stylistic options. 

Main Purposes of Wayfinding Signs

Custom directional signs have four main purposes. Let’s go over them. 

Identification wayfinding signs

Ouachita Baptist University identification sign made of aluminum and acrylic

These are one of the most common types of outdoor directional signs. They use words or icons to designate places like libraries and government buildings. These environmental wayfinding signs identify the function of a space.

Directional signs

Hummingbird Nest welcoming directional signs at the entrance made of Dibond

The specific focus of these signs is their place of installation. Businesses use indoor or outdoor directional signs to get people to their destinations. It’s important to install them in strategic areas with good visibility. They’re especially important in areas where it’s difficult to ask others for directions.

Informational wayfinding signs

Outdoor informational wayfinding signs made of aluminum pointing at the restrooms

Informative wayfinding signs convey information about facilities, amenities, accommodations, addresses and so on. These include your everyday road signs along the route to different destinations. They generally make use of symbols everyone can understand. You can find them in places with good visibility. 

Regulatory wayfinding signs

Regulatory wayfinding signs in yellow displayed at the roadside

Regulatory signs are used to set boundaries to ensure the public’s safety. They display liability concerns, standards and expectations. These include signs for exits, fire extinguishers, privacy, smoking and so on. They’ve been used to define and reinforce guidelines and requirements during COVID-19. 

Installation Options for Directional Signs

Directional signs vary depending on the type of installation you need for them. The main options are presented below.

Wall mounted wayfinding signs

Custom wall mounted wayfinding sign in a box shape made of PVC and opaque vinyl

This is a common type of custom direction sign to ensure that no one misses your message. Among a variety of wall mounted options, light box signs are a favorite. These illuminated directional signs are great for interior use where space is limited.

Hanging directional signs

Custom hanging directional sign in dark blue made of PVC and opaque vinyl

Due to their suspended form, hanging directional signs are easy to notice even from afar. They enable guests to move around with ease and improve customer flow. Double-sided options boost brand exposure by providing directions for twice as many people.

Free standing directional signs

Outdoor free standing directional sign in red made of styrene

Free standing directional signs don’t require installation hardware and labor. They’re self supporting structures, often portable and lightweight. These custom directional signs are welcome options for installation both indoors and outdoors. They’re used during business events or meetings so that guests can find their way. 

Services Offered for Wayfinding Signs

We provide full-cycle services including design, fabrication, permitting and installation of navigational displays. If you’re thinking of purchasing a durable wayfinding sign, contact us!

Manufacturing and Installation

We offer high-quality manufacturing and installation for building wayfinding signs. We’re professional wayfinding signage manufacturers, producing and installing any custom solution. We’re prepared to design, fabricate and install them with the highest quality standards.

Cutting and Engraving

Create elaborate details and patterns for your plaques with our cutting and engraving services. It’s possible to make personalized wayfaring signs with distinctive embellishments. We achieve striking results thanks to our cutting-edge machinery and professional technicians. 

Wayfinding signage design

Yell Cut colorful wayfinding signage design for the parking area

By using 3D signage design, you’ll get your project’s final look before it’s manufactured. We create striking wayfinding signage designs to streamline people’s navigation with style. You can be confident that you’ll get exactly what you need.

Large format printing

We provide large format printing services for wayfinder signs. Regardless of time and occasion, wide format prints produce striking visuals for communication. If you’re interested in printed directional signs for businesses, contact our experts.

Sign painting

Sign painting for custom business directional signs is an inseparable part of the production process. We’ll match your wayfinding signs to your brand colors with an arsenal of over 80,000 different color shades. The paints we use are weather tolerant so you can place your painted signs anywhere you like.

Professional permitting 

We’ll provide professional permitting services for your wayfinding project regardless of scale, placement or complexity. By entrusting us with the process, you won’t have to spend time filling out tedious paperwork. We apply to get a permit for outdoor directional signs in full compliance of your local city codes.

Repair and replacement

For wayfinding signs, we offer expert repair and replacement services. If you need to fix or update your signs or just get new ones, our craftsmen will have you covered. They’ll get your custom directional signs looking prime in no time.

We hope we’ve covered everything you wanted to know about wayfinding signs! Contact us to get a quote on the best custom solutions for your facility.

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