Would you like to know the 3 types of Signage you cannot afford to ignore in your project?
Hi! I am Naresh Jhajharia, Director of Admire Sign & Display, India’s oldest signage company.
In the last 3 decades, we have executed over 200 projects successfully.
You will agree that without signages, we would be lost.
Signage helps gain information, provide direction & enable communication. Still, they are not given the importance they deserve.
From shopping malls to large infrastructure projects like airports and metros, here are 3 types of Signages which are a must have :-
1. WAYFINDING SIGNAGE also known as direction or information signs.
As the name suggests, these are the signs that speak to the audience in and around the premises and enhance their experience of navigating the place effortlessly.
Wayfinding is particularly important in large infrastructure projects such as airports, metros, shopping malls, IT parks, healthcare and educational campuses.
As architectural environments are becoming larger and more complex, people need visual cues such as maps, directions, and symbols to help guide them to their destination.
Information signs also help in educating the visitor to various services and facilities available around them. Effective wayfinding systems are time and effort saving. They contribute to a sense of safety, security and comfort.
Wayfinding signs can be broken down into 3 categories- identification, direction & information.
Individually they can work as standalone units providing required information but together they form the wayfinding system. Let’s dive a little deeper into each type:
i. Identification signs
Identification is the most common type of wayfinding signage. They serve as a kind of “you are here” designation or let users know when they’ve arrived at a destination. They also serve as general wayfinding landmarks.
Some examples are:-
Station name of metros
Room number inside hotels and hospitals
Brand name at a car dealership
ii. Directional signs
Directional signs are what most people imagine when they think of wayfinding. These signs guide people to their final destination.
Continuity is crucial for directional signage. If a person becomes lost anywhere between two points using directional signage, it’s immediately invalidated.
Some examples are:-
Junction signage indicating different directions
Floor markers and coloured lines as walk-along directions
Totems at entrances
iii. Information signs
Information signs are less about guiding the people and more about providing information about the overall facilities. Information signage is best placed in an area with broad exposure.
Some examples are:-
Free Wifi signs
Reserved Parking space
Wayfinding signage is required in all parts of the premises beginning from the road leading to the facility and spread across the project guiding you all the way to your destination, including spaces with restricted access.
Use of wayfinding and information signs are highly recommended. These make the experience of visitors easy and guide them to their destinations effortlessly.
2. EMERGENCY OR STATUTORY SIGNS
Emergency or statutory signage are those signs that inform about the presence of utilities to be used in case of an accident or event like fire, earthquake etc. These are mostly mandatory signs. These signs primarily focuses on safety and liability concerns and sets boundaries of Do’s and Dont’s in the event of an emergency.
These include emergency EXIT, stairs, fire hose, assembly area, evacuation route etc.
During situations of panic, these signs communicate clearly the facilities to be used, activities to be performed or routes to be followed. These signs are also mandatory to get approval from authorities like fire & health department to begin operations.
i. Glow in the dark (photo-luminescent) : In case of fire, for safety reasons when the electricity connections are disconnected, these signs glows for few hours to allow people to navigate safely in darker environments.
These include- exit, way to stairs, assembly area, evacuation map etc.
ii. Illuminated : Similar to glow in the dark, these signs are illuminated, often with battery back-up to continue illuminating even after electric power disconnection. A good example of this is Emergency Exit signs. .
iii. Non-illuminated : These are utility signs guiding fire-fighters and emergency personnel to follow in case of an emergency. A few examples of these are fire hose, assembly area, no smoking etc.
iv. Retro Reflective : These signs are most commonly used in pitch dark conditions where there is no illumination available such as on highways and streets. When a vehicle’s light falls on these signs, they glow brightly and help vehicles navigate safely.
These include- turn, diversion, speed limit, no overtaking, one way etc.
Highways, streets and Roads are major locations where retro reflective signs are used.
3. ADVERTISING SIGNAGE
Advertising signs are signs used by businesses to communicate with their audience or build a new audience. If it wasn’t for advertisements, we wouldn’t be aware of the majority of changes happening around us. Be it the launch of a new product, a company going public or the next big sale, it is all conveyed through advertisements.
The most common use of advertising signs by businesses is to convey a message, promote their brand or make aware of new activities, products, services.
For the media and space owner, the purpose is to utilise the otherwise dead space to build advertising media and generate revenues.
There are several types and categories of advertising signage. The most visible among conventional signs is hoardings or billboards. The most common size seen in India is 40ft wide and 20ft high. These are front lit, with the help of halogen lights.
Another common type is point of sale signs, that is signs placed inside stores to attract customers towards a particular brand or product. These are normally static and nonlit.
The upcoming, modern advertising media are airports, metro rail and shopping malls. These vary largely in terms of size, illumination and graphics.
Size can vary from a small sign of 2 sqft near a ticket counter to a very large sign of over 200 sqft mounted on the walls or suspended from the ceilings.
Illumination in most of these signs is internal using LED strips. But in rural areas or to save on costs, some places still use tube lights. Smaller signs at eye level can even be non-illuminated.
Till date, graphics are most commonly made of plastic flex in India, which is an environmental hazard. Many foreign countries have adapted fabric media which is more eco friendly.
Facia signs and signs which only contain text, even go for opaque and translucent cut out vinyls backed with an acrylic or polycarbonate surface. The advantage of these is that it has better reproduction and life but has limitations of size.
Unlike the previous signage types, there is no dedicated or statutory location for advertising signages. These are strategically placed only in locations with either high visitor footfall or long waiting zones where it can catch the maximum attention of their target audience.
The target is not everyone entering the premises but only the people who could eventually become customers.
Hence, they are placed on metro pillars and exterior walls of shopping malls for moving traffic, near the staircases and lifts or inside parking lots for pedestrians, in resting areas like the waiting lounges of airports or inside trains.
Hope I have been able to add value to your signage knowledge and provided some special insights.
If you have any questions and want to know more about signages please fill the Enquiry form in the Contact Us page or write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to help.
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Let’s build a better future, together. Namaste.