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Wayfinding Signage Selection of materials
When stores are located in closed shopping malls, where climatic conditions cease to matter, planning difficulties are circumnavigated and the opportunities for vandalism are substantially lessened, signs can be more imaginative, but a shopping mall’s success often depends on the clarity of its wayfinding signage.
Although wayfinding is a greatly underrated specialism, it actually takes a great deal of skill to produce an attractive and effective wayfinding scheme, which guides shoppers or visitors smoothly around a complex of buildings or floors and then safely back to their cars. Wayfinding signage is vital if any large visitor location with multiple entrances and facilities. Retail parks, shopping centres, schools, universities, hospitals, theme parks etc. Even a large, multi-storey car park needs wayfinding signage.
A representative from a leading supermarket chain stated that he felt the efficacy of his company’s wayfinding signage was a crucial part of its overall success. He explained that people are always hesitant when they drive into car parks and like to know precisely where to go and what to do “They want to get in and out as quickly as possible,” he said, adding, “When the signs are good, the tills are busier!”
There are many sign companies and consultancies that specialise in the design and implementation of wayfinding schemes. If you are considering a large or complex scheme it may be worth including such a specialist in the project team.
A key consideration when designing a wayfinding scheme is the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). Again this is something where a specialist signmaker or design consultant can help. Information on the requirements of the DDA in relation to signage can be found in the Sign Design Guide ( Peter Barker and June Fraser). This is published jointly by the JMU Access Partnership and the Sign Design Society. Copies can be ordered from the Sign Design Society on 020 7091 4273 or from the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) Customer Services by calling 0845 702 3153.
The RNIB also run regular courses and seminars dealing with the requirements of the DDA. For more information on course dates and content go to their web site www.rnib.org.uk