The Fundamentals of Wayfinding

By John Hammerschlag

Below are basic fundamentals when developing wayfinding systems for your next parking project to direct parkers and pedestrians safely and efficiently:

  • Project budget to include 10 percent for unforeseen/changing circumstances upon project completion. The project manager should complete a final walk- and drive-through in and against the direction of traffic to ensure installed signage is clear and concise, communicates the desired message, and is positioned for maximum visibility.
  • Avoid sign pollution. Time is limited. Customers should be able to find the information they need instantly. Limit the amount of signage while still communicating the message effectively.
  • Ensure there aren’t conflicting pedestrian and vehicular arrows. Directional arrows are amplified when placed in a circle.
  • Consider elevator symbols. The use of elevator symbols has evolved over the years to address diversity of those parking in our facilities.
  • An ideal sign should include the following elements:
    • Contrast between background color and messaging.
    • Readable font that makes the message clear at a quick glance. Be consistent in font type, size and color. Remove excessive information.
    • Upper and lower case lettering is preferred to ALL UPPER CASE.

Click here for examples of each of the above.

John Hammerschlag is president of Hammerschlag & Co., Inc.

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