When specifying a new wayfinding system, it’s important to factor in the ongoing maintenance costs. Beyond ensuring the physical infrastructure is safe and kept in good order, you need to think about how frequently the information may need updating; the extent of likely changes; how critical the response time will be and budget. Feeding these into the design process will help ensure that the scheme is affordable over the long-term.
Selecting truly sustainable materials for wayfinding signs is challenging. It’s rarely a clear-cut choice – with low carbon products or processes often having a negative impact on some other aspect of the environment. A holistic, whole life view is needed, where designers and fabricators work closely to reduce waste; explore latest materials; consider end of life disposal and focus on improving the environmental performance of processes.
When it comes to sustainable wayfinding design – material selection and dematerialisation strategies are an obvious focus. However, to ensure that the end result is fit for purpose, future proofed and contributes positively to the overall aesthetic and enjoyment of a place, the most important factors are the underpinning strategy and design.
In November 2020, amendments to The Building Regulations 2010 came into force. Responding to the recommendations from the Independent Review of Building, following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, these new regulations cover wayfinding signage requirements for the fire service for all apartment buildings over 11m in height with specifications for location, position, typeface and nomenclature.
Every sector, discipline and business establishes its own language. Using single words or acronyms to represent more complex constructs that act as communication shortcuts. It’s all very well if you’re in the know, but it can be a huge barrier to understanding if you’re not. So for anyone experiencing his or her first encounter with the world of wayfinding we thought it would be helpful to put together a bit of a checklist.