Wayfinding Signs

Wayfinding Signs

Wayfinding signage helps you find your way around a city, business, a park, a school/college, a hotel, or any other locations. Wayfinding signage is made to help people get from one point to another with signs keeping you in the right direction. You can find wayfinding signage at:

  • Restaurants and Bars
  • Recreations Centers
  • Tourist attractions (Water parks, mountain trails, and ski resorts)
  • Educational facilities
  • Financial Institutions
  • Malls, retail stores
  • Car dealerships
  • Hotels 

What is the difference between ADA Signage and Wayfinding Signage? Wayfinding signage is not the same as ADA signage, but it is very similar. Wayfinding design combines signage and map design, symbols, color, and typography to effectively navigate people through a space. Wayfinding signage is not a form of advertising or promoting. 

  • ADA compliant indoor location marking signs for locations such as the restrooms, room numbers and directional signs. The ADA regulations include provisions for Braille signs, placement and height of directional signs and other identifying signs in large, easy to read colors and fonts for those who may be visually impaired. The ADA regulations only apply to indoor areas and not to an exterior sign.
  • Wayfinding systems help businesses comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Local regulations that require accessibility compliance must be considered as well. An ADA-compliant wayfinding solution is designed to provide a tactile response.

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  • Directional Signage: Directional signage are signs are wayfinding signs that point toward a direction, usually using an arrow. Directional Signage means a sign for public safety, or which provides direction information for the control of vehicular traffic such as a Common Entrance or exit Sign or a loading area and bearing no commercial advertising.
  • Identification Signage:Identification signage is a style of signage that clearly marks a particular area and indicates that you have arrived at a location. Typically, these signs specify the name or number of a room or the entrance to a department or office. They are generally placed adjacent to doorway entrances and most often ADA compliant for door plaques, departmental markers & landmark signage.
  • Informational Signage: Informational signage pertains to the overall facilities. These signs give people broad information they need while navigating. Informational signs should be universally understandable immediately—signs and symbols anyone can understand. Informational signage is best placed in an area with broad exposure like Lobbies, waiting rooms, building entrances, and atriums including safety signs, facilities signage, amenities/accommodations, business information.
  • Regulatory Signage: Regulatory signage focuses on safety and liability concerns and sets boundaries—what is and isn’t acceptable in your facilities. It’s used to establish and reinforce rules, safety standards, and privacy expectations. Regulatory signage is generally big and bold. No frills—only a clear, concise, prominent message. Regulatory signs should keep people out of restricted areas and state clearly facility/area rules & regulations.
Sample Evacuation Map
Sample Evacuation Map

Evacuation Maps

Evacuation maps, also called egress maps, refer to signage to exit a building during an emergency, and relate to fire code and building code. Emergency evacuation diagram fire code requirements in California vary depending on the jurisdiction.

For example, large municipalities such as Los Angeles have adapted the California Title 19 requirements but might specify additional graphic requirements.

Regardless of the jurisdiction, buildings in California with 2 or more levels require evacuation maps to be posted at the lobby entrance, at elevator banks and at staircase entrances. Temporary occupancy facilities (hotel, motel, dormitory and shelters) must also post an evacuation diagram inside each guest room.

Although evacuation diagram sign size is not specified in code requirements, evacuation diagrams should be adequately sized to accommodate the necessary graphics required by local fire codes; building evacuation signs should have a non-glare surface and be permanently mounted.


  • Icons should adhere to a specific style and minumum size requirements.
  • Hallways should be at minumum 1/4’’ in width.
  • “In case of fire use stairways, do not use elevators“ is required for buildings with elevators.
  • All text on evacuation diagrams must adhere to minumum font size requirements.

Always contact the local fire inspector or authority having jurisdiction before starting an evacuation diagram sign project. Obtain local requirements and whether diagrams must be submitted and approved prior to installation. Once all requirements are confirmed, let our team help you design and produce code compliant building evacuation diagrams for your facility.

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