The importance of wayfinding & architectural signage in urban landscapes

The importance of wayfinding

Written by Guy Walton - 6 Sep 2019

While it’s true that wayfinding is about helping people get to where they want to go, it can also create brand enhancements and key destinations.

In a world where cites are quickly and easily navigated with smartphone and information can be found within minutes, why is physical wayfinding necessary?

Wayfinding in urban landscapes proves to be – perhaps surprisingly – critical beyond basic navigation. Identification and information represented in elements such as monuments, directional systems, directories, interpretive and even regulatory signs enrich our experiences through urban environments.

In order to create a successful wayfinding system, physical wayfinding elements and systems strengthen brands by improving the legibility, navigation, understanding and accessibility of the environment.

  • They reinforce defining history, architecture & landmarks
  • Give less prominent districts and destinations a much-needed boost
  • Help the public find parking, improve traffic flow & ease the transition between car, pedestrian and transit use
  • Reduce visual clutter with clear, consolidated and on-brand information and identity

Good wayfinding in urban areas defines a Sense of Place, creating a ‘legible city’ helping to identify different areas and locations.

Whilst GPS will continue to be used, a city’s wayfinding programme can incorporate signage that clearly showcases landmarks which visitors may otherwise overlook.

Visible organisation and consistency makes urban wayfinding easier, meaning that a passerby can read and comprehend the message effortlessly.

Written by Guy Walton - 6 Sep 2019

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