What is Wayfinding?
Wayfinding is the process by which we orientate in physical space and navigate from place to place. Sounds simple enough, but in reality, we use a complex mix of cognitive processes and cues to find our way around. These range from prior knowledge and sight lines, to landmarks, asking for directions and signs.
Much of the theory, underpinning wayfinding design was first discussed in the seminal book Image of the City, written by urban planner Kevin Lynch in the 1950s.
Developing Wayfinding Strategies
The Velvet Principle combines an understanding of these processes, with an ability to interpret spaces and analyse traffic flows. We will create a series of visitor profiles and scenarios, to explore requirements and identify where interventions are needed.
It’s then a question of selecting the right mix of tools for the job. From a palette that can include lighting, architectural features, landmarks, people and of course signs. Finally, we wrap everything into a strategy that specifies where and what is required to deliver a high standard of customer care.
There are a range of elements, beyond signs and graphics that can have a wayfinding function. But where signs are the only option, we make sure the investment works hard. We recognise that in today’s experience economy providing easy to understand information isn’t enough. Once the strategy is agreed, our talented team of product, graphic and information designers get to work on the wayfinding design. The outcome is a hard-working, bespoke signage scheme that:
- Delivers the functional navigation requirements.
- Communicates all there is to see or do.
- Aligns with the architectural design.
- Captures and expresses the character of the brand.
- Provides that little extra to add to the experience.
Project Management: Procurement and Installation
We’re only as good the scheme that is installed. As we don’t manufacture ourselves, we take a keen interest in those that do. So, we invest time is getting to know who’s got the capability and capacity to fulfil a brief.
We will work closely with fabricators, throughout the manufacturing and installation stage, to make sure what’s delivered meets the design intent and quality aspirations.
Need a Refresh or Just Want Some Advice?
Like everything in life, for optimal performance your wayfinding needs regular review and fine-tuning, to respond to changes in the wider environment. We don’t just work on new schemes. We can also help you get the best out of your existing information:
- With an audit, analysis and recommendations for improvement;
- A design refresh;
- Solutions to encourage footfall to low traffic areas;
- Solving specific wayfinding related challenges.
Examples of Wayfinding Case studies from our portfolio: