We are always in a space, every single time. Whether it is an indoor or outdoors, we will be somewhere! And in this somewhere we will be having experiences, mostly visual experiences.
Environmental Signage is an approach to enhance these experiences through signage and graphic systems that will resonate to individuals visiting that particular place. It is an extension of a brand, vision or idea through signs and graphics into an indoor or outdoor space.
The objectives can differ, as a retailer would use environmental graphics to reinforce its brand to consumers, while an organization could apply signage in the office to build a strong company culture and engage employees.
You can see environmental graphics as a multidisciplinary approach, in which sign designer, architects, marketeers, interior designers work to build a particular experience through signs and graphics. When creating a signage program for an environment, there are a few key factors the designer needs to take in consideration:
- Branding & Identity
- Accessibility and ADA
- Mapping & Wayfinding
- Colors, materials and finish
- Symbols, icons and typography
Environmental Signage Categories
Although those points are crucial, the most important during the process is understanding the main object, the message that needs to be communicated with the audience. You can divide environmental graphics in three main categories:
Bringing a place to life, with a message. Further, it prepares the audience and visitors to understand an environment, a new place. Usual elements are dimensional logos and imagery on the walls at a lobby or donor wall in a key area of the building.
Wayfinding & Directional
The signs that ensure people navigate through your space, they ensure people know where to go. Although they are a must have and in many times compulsory, they still must be connected to your brand and are a fundamental tool to communicate your message.
In summary, the main users of environmental signage: corporate headquarters, workplace, education facilities, exhibitions, expos and fairs, healthcare, hospitality, museums, parks and recreation, retail, sport facilities. Likewise, you can also apply the concepts of environmental graphics and signage anywhere to engaged with a space.
- Use wall-wraps and dimensional signage in the Club House, ensuring visitors understand your vision for that property.
- Brand swimming pools and leisure areas with well-though signage. Swimming Pool signage do not need to be boring. It is a great opportunity to engage the audience.
- There are so many available spaces in universities that are used to send a unified message to current and future students. Storytelling in building halls through wall graphics, window graphics, dimensional lettering, and sign panels.
- Integrate branding with campus wayfinding and directional systems, a great combination of pragmatic and must have signage that can be aligned with a message and vision.
Parks & Museums
- Informative signs about the park or exhibition in a museum are a in most cases a must have. This is a great opportunity to engage visitors and audiences through well-designed sign systems.
- Parks often require interpretive signs and compositions to guide visitors. Here you can develop a strong engagement with the audience through a well-though sign system.
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