The importance of using wayfinding signage in the educational sector


With the UK population increasing year on year, the demand for schools, colleges and universities has never been so apparent.

With this increased demand comes the need for expansion to accommodate such growth. Educational buildings now occupy often very large sites, which can be confusing and difficult to navigate, especially if you’re a new student or member of staff!

Why wayfinding signage is key

Effective wayfinding signage is crucial for any educational building, to ensure a smooth operation. During the busiest periods, i.e. break times and class change, the corridors are filled with students, all trying to get to their next destination, travelling in different directions, and often in large groups. Clear and explanatory signs can help to keep pedestrian traffic moving, reducing bottlenecking, and confusion.

The benefits

With most educational facilities running to strict timetables, wayfinding signage can also offer peace of mind to staff and students that may not be familiar with the site, and who need to get to their next class as soon as possible. The use of clear instructions can massively help to reduce stress, especially as starting in a new school, college or university can be an overwhelming experience. A floor plan is a great way to show exactly where you are in the building, as well as highlighting facilities, such as toilets and reception areas.

Types of wayfinding signage

Door plaques and directories can help students and staff to identify a room or corridor with ease. When planning out a wayfinding system, it’s important to clearly label rooms and corridors. It might sound obvious, but the signage needs to be informative and easy to understand. Taking time to plan, will make the site much easier to navigate and will also save you having to redo signage that’s ineffective because it wasn’t planned properly!

Extend to outdoors too

Of course, wayfinding signage is useful for outdoor spaces too and can be used in different settings, such as car parks, playing fields, tennis courts and athletic tracks. After all, navigating the outdoor environment can be just as much of a challenge as the indoor. Finger posts and panels are the most popular choice for this as they are elevated and easy to understand from a distance. Outdoor wayfinding signage is incredibly important for site visitors, especially if it’s a first time on site.

Health and safety considerations

Not only is wayfinding signage useful for smooth operation, but it’s also vital for health and safety reasons too. For instance, in the event of a fire, staff and students will need to evacuate the building as quickly and as safely as possible. Wayfinding signage helps to locate fire escapes and also clearly shows where fire extinguishers are located on the fire evacuation plan. The use of bold text and well-known logos helps to reduce the risk of danger to life.

Signbox specialises in educational sign solutions designed to enhance institutions both visually and practically. Browse their range of case studies to see how wayfinding signage can be best used to engage and inspire people.