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Some definitions

New Scotland Yard sign
Wayfinding is concerned with the cognitive processes and tools people use to navigate from place to place.

Wayfinding consultancy is an analytical and strategic activity that involves:

  • Understanding human behavioural psychology
  • Analysis of the environment to identify existing wayfinding cues and where interventions are required
  • Strategic selection of the most appropriate tools.

The deliverable will be a plan that specifies the location and nature of the interventions required to enable visitors to successfully navigate to and through the environment. Signs are the tangible outcome most associated with the process, but there are a number of other tools available (see below) that a consultant may bring into the mix. Typically a specialist wayfinding consultant will also have the graphic and product design skills needed to create bespoke sign forms and content that will  fulfil the functional requirements and align with the visual communication needs.

Wayfinding cues & tools – can include architectural and interior design features; geographical and landscape elements; lighting, maps, digital apps, civic art and landmarks; people and signs.

Wayfinding Design – is a specialist design discipline that requires skills in information, graphic and product design and an understanding of materials and production processes.

Environmental/Experiential Graphics Design – any graphic communication concerned with wayfinding, identity or other information applied to a building or architectural feature within a public space.  This can range from interpretive information, wayfinding signs, graphics that express the character of place/brand or  applied to for aesthetic purposes.