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Can You Create Unique Looking But Effective Directional Signage?

Updated on February 15, 2014
Directional Signage
Directional Signage

When you talk about directional signage, more often than not, you will find people thinking about signs that are rectangular, have arrows pointing left or right, and have names of rooms or facilities on them. While this is technically correct, you should know that directional signs don’t necessarily all look the same. You can actually tweak your directional signs to look somewhat unique and different without removing any of its effectiveness and usefulness.

In order to create unique looking directional signs, you should always remember what these signs are for. Straying from what is necessary may happen if you lose sight of the main purpose of these signs, so it is imperative that you keep the main usage of directional signs foremost in your mind while you are creating distinctive designs for these. You will also need to remember some of the rules that the ADA has put in place for these types of signs, and integrate these into your exceptional ideas for such signage designs.

Corrugated Plastic Directional Sign
Corrugated Plastic Directional Sign

General Directional Signage Features to Remember to Include

While you may want to create unique looking directional signs, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when you do so, and these are the features that make directional signage effective. Among other things, what differentiates a directional sign from a directory is the presence of arrows on these signs. Arrows that point you where you need to go is what makes one sign different from the other, so these should never be forgotten when you are thinking of creating amazingly different looking wayfinding signage.

Also worth remembering is the use of easy to read fonts and characters in the right sizes. What good after all is a wayfinding sign if people cannot understand what is written on it? Since these signs are subject to some of the rules set by the ADA for font usage, as well as character size as per mounting height and signage size, you should try to follow these guidelines as best as you can in order to ensure that these can be read by everyone who happens to see them.

Color contrast is also another feature that you need to remember when putting together these signs. This should not stop you from creating great, out-of-this-world looking directional signage. There are many ways to integrate all of the guidelines that the ADA has set for these signs, while still creating signs that are imaginative and inspiring to look at.

Unique Customized Directional Signs
Unique Customized Directional Signs

Ideas for Directional Signage That Are Not Run-Of-The-Mill

Okay, so it is very easy to simply order a general looking directional sign. It won’t require you or a sign designer to come up with rather awe inspiring ideas and it also won’t put you in the way of possible non-compliance issues. On the other hand, it won’t be interesting to look at or memorable, which is what you are aiming for. Creating a rather different looking sign that shows people where to go will make them remember your establishment more, and if you are looking to do just that, then a unique looking sign is just what you need.

One idea you can use for your directional signage is to create two huge arrows, with one pointing left and the other pointing right, in bright, contrasting colors. In each of these directional spaces, you can then place the names of the establishments or facilities that can be found in either direction. If some of these entries are located after a turn, you can easily add a small bended arrow beide the name on the sign.

Another idea you can use that is rather different but economical is to use corrugated plastic or metal (these are those sheets that are used for roofing purposes) and use each raised area (and even the recessed ones) as a single line for each entry. This is a good idea to use for industrial facilities and businesses that specialize in the sale or manufacture of building materials.

Also a good idea for unique looking directional signs is a sign that has pointing hands instead of arrows for telling people where to go. If they need to go forward, a hand pointing up might suffice; for left a hand pointing left; for right, a hand pointing right should also be used. This can also be used the same way that the huge arrows idea is being used, with a big hand pointing left and another one pointing right to show people the way.


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