Wayfinding floor signage marks pedestrian lanes, work zones, and supply storage to help reduce searching and improve safety for warehouse foot traffic. Navigational cues help long-time employees, new visitors, vendors, and contractors find their way around safely and efficiently, and no business is too small to benefit from these visual cues. Read on for tips on choosing directional floor signs and tape to help you meet your facility’s navigational and safety objectives.
What Are the Benefits of Wayfinding Signage?
Wayfinding signage guides pedestrians through complex and potentially hazardous areas and helps visitors navigate unfamiliar environments. Directional floor tape and signs can do more than improve safety; when everyday supplies are easier to find, efficiency increases too.
Consider adding wayfinding signage directing staff and visitors to these areas to improve the visibility of:
- Crosswalks and walkways
- Exit routes and egress paths
- Emergency equipment and health and safety supply storage (e.g. first aid, fire extinguishers, fire alarms)
- Facility breakrooms, restrooms, and offices
- Packing or assembly stations
- Tool storage and equipment parking locations
- Goods and materials staging areas
- Check-in or visitor registration areas
- Office locations
How to Use Directional Floor Signs and Tape for Foot Traffic
Navigational signs should be placed in logical, visible locations to effectively guide foot traffic. Whether you’re revamping directional floor signs or installing them for the first time, consider where, how, and what style of visual cues you’ll use before jumping in.
Keep these tips in mind as you plan your directional cues and navigational signage:
- Be Selective: Limit signage and symbols to what’s necessary so navigational cues are as clear and concise as possible.
- Consider Placement: Install floor signs directly in pedestrian paths at all necessary decision points and junctions (e.g. intersections, entrances, stairwells), to reduce searching.
- Map a Path: Repeat floor arrow decals, footprints, and dots at appropriate frequencies so one cue leads to the next without visitors feeling lost or confused.
- Choose Signage Sized for the Space: Install floor signs that are visible from a distance so visitors can read and understand them without feeling rushed and to provide enough reaction time.
- Display Signs Near the Targets: Place wayfinding signage near the supplies, equipment, or intended destination or include an arrow pointing to the endpoint to reduce searching.
Types of Visual Cues for Warehouses
Noisy industrial environments can make communicating a challenge, increasing the importance of visual cues for warehouses. When choosing between floor signs or tape for wayfinding, first consider which legal requirements OSHA, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) require. These safety commissions prescribe markings for emergency evacuation routes, fire exits, stairwells, and handicap-accessible areas.
For non-emergency and general-use facility areas, fewer restrictions exist, but sticking to a consistent color scheme can facilitate easy recognition and understanding. We’ve outlined a variety of floor signs and tape below to help you find the right solutions to meet best practices for organization and safety requirements.
Floor Signs for Marking Locations and Supplies
Select directional signs that display symbols, text, or a combination to mark storage locations. Using 5S floor signs and coordinating floor tape to label tool and equipment storage makes retrieval and reshelving easier. A sign to mark a fire extinguisher or eyewash station reminds staff to keep safety equipment clear, and a series of floor signs or tape can help employees find emergency equipment quickly. Pictorial floor signs, like a marker for a mop or trash can storage, can be helpful for recognition without reading—and can be especially useful in bilingual workplaces. Using letter and number floor signs to mark workstations and zones makes it easy to refer to specific locations within a warehouse or production floor, reducing confusion.
Floor Tape to Highlight Navigation Routes
Floor tape is ideal for marking long or large areas, such as pedestrian walkways and egress routes. OSHA requires warehouses to mark aisles with floor tape, but the standards do not specify how this must be completed. We offer a variety of floor tape styles to outline navigation routes and direct foot traffic throughout a facility, including:
- Superior Mark® floor tape in highly visible solid colors, stripes, and checks to mark pedestrian paths, work zones, or hazards.
- Repeat messaging tape to draw boundaries and paths and provide extra information, such as Pedestrians Only, Caution, and Crosswalk.
- Anti-slip tape for locations prone to slippery or wet conditions to mark stairs, ramps, and passageways with solid colored lines or stripes while providing extra traction for foot traffic.
- Reflective tape for use in low-light areas to highlight egress paths as well as hazards.
- Glow-in-the-dark tape to make wayfinding through dark stairwells and hallways easier.
Arrows, Dots, and Shapes for Traffic Flow
To dictate traffic flow or lead employees from one area to the next, consider directional arrow floor decals, dots, and other shaped floor markers. While a solid-color shape may seem simple, some navigational instructions do not require messaging or graphics to be effective. A path made from floor tape arrows guides foot traffic from the entrance onto the shop floor safely. Color-coding a route with floor tape dots can designate who should use the path or the destination. Dashed lines create lanes to make travel direction more obvious, and pallet markers show inventory staging locations.
Choosing Wayfinding Signs by Material
While all of the directional signs and tape we offer are sturdy and durable, certain materials work better in different environments. Some visual cues are made specifically for smooth surfaces and other visual cues mark areas where tape won’t stick. Taking extra time to consider each type of floor marking to choose the best one for specific locations makes sure your wayfinding signage will last as intended.
Vinyl and Superior Mark®
Wayfinding floor signs for pedestrian traffic should never pose slip or trip hazards. Our vinyl floor signs can be reinforced with guards that protect the sign edges so they are less likely to peel up and pose a trip hazard, even with frequent traffic. Pedestrians can also walk safely across these signs because of the non-slip overlaminate coating.
Superior Mark® floor signs are ideal for heavier trafficked areas because they feature industrial-grade adhesive that prevents bubbling or premature failure. This type of floor sign is applied as individual strips, rather than a single-piece “sticker” style sign. Each piece features beveled edges that resist catching and tearing for longer-lasting floor markings.
Both vinyl and Superior Mark® floor signs are easy to install and may be removed and replaced without a lengthy removal process. Because these signs peel up without leaving residue behind, they are ideal for commercial rental properties or warehouses with flexible workflows.
Warehouses with offices or retail environments can use carpet tape for indoor directional cues to provide directional cues where traditional floor tape won’t stick. We offer repositionable hook-and-loop floor tape and signs for use on low-pile carpeting to guide employees and visitors safely through warehouse offices and reception areas. A combination of carpet tape lines and shapes, like footprints, arrows, and other directional floor signs can organize queue lines or highlight emergency response and evacuation routes.
Our pavement markers are ideal for creating visual cues in exterior locations and on surfaces where tape may fail. Guide foot traffic through parking lots or outdoor lumber yards and storage locations with paint-free pavement signs and lines. These require less curing time than paint and are available in many permanent and temporary applications. Using pavement markers for traffic management doesn’t only apply to vehicles: footprint shapes show walking directions, crosswalks create designated pedestrian lanes, and assembly point signs reserve locations for emergencies.
Painting directional cues and messages in outdoor public spaces helps visitors find their way, and reusable stencils are a cost-effective solution to create tidy, easy-to-understand messages. Guide people from parking lots to pedestrian bridges, elevator banks, entrances, or crosswalk areas using painted arrows and phrases showing the way. Recreation areas, such as parks, sports fields, and playgrounds, also benefit from directional cues or safety messaging: Paint route numbers on paved trails or sidewalks, and use templates with arrows, phrases, and icons to indicate where landmarks, trash and recycling receptacles, and restrooms are located.
Advice for Designing Custom Wayfinding Signs
Creating custom wayfinding signs can give foot traffic specific directions they rely on to navigate safely and efficiently. Our custom sign design tool makes it easy to create a variety of floor signs and tape with text, icons, symbols, and in nearly any color you need. Before you begin designing facility-specific visual cues, keep these tips in mind:
- Adhere to OSHA requirements and the facility’s color-coding schemes
- Choose clear, concise messaging that is easy to read and understand at a glance
- Use consistent design elements (e.g. colors, icons, fonts, etc.)
- Incorporate branding where applicable
- Ask for feedback from employees on wayfinding signage design and messaging; be willing to revise based on employees’ input
Whether you choose a custom design or one of our pre-printed messages, visual cues are essential for locating storage, emergency equipment, and facility locations. Our durable, lasting floor signs and tape help improve navigation for long-time employees and one-time visitors alike. Visit our Resource Center for more ways to organize your warehouse to strengthen safety and increase productivity.