An effective signage system helps visitors and employees navigate within a public place or business quickly and safely. Property owners and facility managers can improve visitors’ experiences with wayfinding markings for offices that are clear, consistent, and accessible. Whether you manage a corporate office building, school or hospital campus, retail location, or industrial workplace, wayfinding signage can make a significant difference in navigation and safety for employees, guests, and customers. Read on to see how to use directional and identification signs to guide visitors and which informational and regulatory markings can improve overall experience.

Map the Space With Directional Signage

When visitors see directional signs upon entering an office building or business, finding the department or location they need is a more efficient, positive experience. Directories within public buildings are essential for wayfinding. If wall space is limited, custom floor signs can display a list of departments or businesses with room and floor numbers at entrances or elevator banks, providing an “address” that can be supplemented with visual cues like directional arrows or dots.

Dashed lines and arrows can also be placed throughout the building to designate walkways and guide foot traffic on the most efficient path. When navigational cues incorporate symbols, text, and colors, couriers and customers can find the correct department more easily. Similarly, if bottlenecks frequently occur in hallways or reception desk employees often need to redirect guests to specific locations, updating visual cues can reduce some of this confusion and congestion.

We offer a variety of directional cues for carpet and polished floors, so every decision point can be labeled regardless of the flooring material. Adequately spacing signage makes sure the next directive is visible so customers and employees don’t lost or confused.

Ideas for directional cues to assist wayfinding in a public office or business include:

  • Floor marker arrows and label decals point out directives at important junctures
  • Dots create specific paths or routes for text-free directions
  • Dashed lines or footprints identify travel lanes to ease congestion at entrance and exit points
  • Queue line floor signs streamline check-in processes in reception areas

Improve Navigation With Identification Signage

Identification signs tell visitors and employees when they have arrived at a destination. These can include text, symbols, and braille for better accessibility. While identification signs may be fairly generic, custom branded signage can bring a specific look and feel to wayfinding signage. Companies in shared buildings, such as business parks and malls, benefit from personalized signs. A company name or logo displayed in a reception area makes it clear to visitors which business they have entered. Couriers who use a retailer’s back door for deliveries can rely on branded markings to quickly identify the correct entrance. 

Types of identification signs include:

  • Wall plaques communicating the office name
  • Nameplates marking individual desks with employee names and job titles
  • Department signs to label the division (i.e. Accounting, Customer Service)
  • Room numbers to correspond with a map or directory
  • Number signs near elevators and stairwells identifying the current floor
  • Markers for facility locations, such as an elevator bank, vending machines, and restrooms
  • Branded signs for reception areas, lobbies, and employee entrances

Share Important Details With Informational Signs

Informational signs offer supplemental details about the journey or destination. To decide which messages are most helpful, consider the questions visitors often ask, and provide answers in clear, concise signage. Doing this helps guests feel empowered and informed while navigating to an office or department.

Details a business may communicate through its informational signage include:  

  • The business or building address for pick up or drop off
  • Hours of operation for specific places, such as offices or the cafeteria or pharmacy
  • General locations, for example “Elevator banks and stairwells are in the north wing”
  • Wi-Fi passcodes
  • Rules regarding the location’s pet policy

Stay in Compliance With Regulatory Signage

Regulatory signage includes visual cues to improve visitor safety and notify guests about property policies. The straightforward tone of this sign type is essential in enforcing business rules and restrictions. Placing these at entrances alerts visitors to any requirements and displaying the signs throughout the building offers periodic reminders. Some of these signs may be required by OSHA or local building codes and others may be added to communicate businesses’ preferences.

Regulatory signage often falls into these three categories:

  • Health and safety rules (No Smoking, No Weapons, No Outside Food)
  • Wall plaques and floor signs for safety compliance (Boiler Room, Danger – Roof Access, Emergency Exit, No Exit)
  • Access restrictions (Employees Only, Finance Personnel Only)

Ideas for User-Friendly Facility Signage

Easy-to-understand signage that meets the needs of facility visitors and staff can improve customer loyalty and employee satisfaction. When deciding the scheme for your business signage, consider the following factors to make the markings intuitive and inclusive:

ADA-Compliant and Accessible Signage

Accessible signage is required for public places and can earn visitors’ respect and lead to repeat business. ADA-compliant wall signs provide important instructions through various text types to accommodate many guests, customers, and employees. For example, use braille signs to mark stairs, restrooms, offices, and exit routes. We carry sturdy wall plaques offered in a variety of colors and feature pictures, raised text, and Grade 2 braille. 

Features to look for when upgrading signage for improved accessibility include:

  • Grade 2 Braille: ADA-compliant raised braille below raised characters for braille readers
  • Raised letters: Tactile signs must use ADA-approved fonts and styles
  • Pictures and symbols: Accommodates non-readers and multilingual visitors
  • High-contrast, large text: To support visual acuity even from a distance

Color-Coded Office Markings

Color-coding signage throughout an office building is another way to help visitors quickly locate destinations. Strategically colored visual cues tell someone if they have navigated off track or confirm the floor or department. Ideas for using floor or carpet tape, wall plaques, and informational signs to color-code wayfinding include:

  • Designating colors for specific wings of a large building or campus
  • Defining floors by different colored signs and coordinated floor tape
  • Using one wall plaque color for employee-only locations and another color for visitor areas
  • Color-coding by room type (offices vs. departments vs. stairwells)

Logical Room and Location Numbering

A property’s numbering system should be logical: When visitors can quickly understand the meaning behind location numbers, they can use the system for navigation. Labeling stairwells, escalators, and elevator banks directs visitors along the route and these identifiers are helpful if any of the equipment needs repair.

Consider the size of the property when deciding which numbering system provides the best wayfinding assistance. Some options include:

  • Use letters and numbers to indicate the name of the wing or the destination type, such as S for South, R for Restroom, or A for Accounting. 
  • Begin the label with the level number to remind employees and guests which floor the room is on, such as 02110 (room 110 on the second floor). 
  • For simple layouts, a sequential number system may be adequate for shoppers or customers, especially when combined with color coding or other cues.
  • Choose the least number of digits necessary to balance wayfinding with easy-to-remember number sequences.

All of your wayfinding signs should work together to communicate directions cohesively. Identification signage tells someone where they are and directional signs let them know where to go to get to the next location. Regulatory and informational signs set expectations for guests, customers, and employees while in the facility.

Every sign you choose should be concise and easy to understand. We offer many professional floor signs and tape to guide visitors, including options designed for use in a parking lot or garage. Wayfinding isn’t only a necessity in public businesses: Warehouse wayfinding floor markings can streamline traffic in industrial facilities, too. Visit our Resource Center for more ideas to improve visual communications throughout your business.