A sign of the times

13th May 2020

As sure as day follows night, we’re starting to see the light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel. All aboard? In the next few months – all being well, of course – offices will start to reopen and retail will resurface, but in an altogether different way.

While remaining socially distant will continue to be the soupe du jour that no one asked for, it’ll be one that we’ll continue to lap up. While we can’t predict for how long, what we do know is that the world of signage and wayfinding graphics will have a big part to play. 

When used thoughtfully, the right signposting will encourage people to walk safely from one area to another, instilling new working and shopping behaviours as we navigate this new, admittedly odd, world.

As our clients plan to bring people back to work, customers back into stores, and students back into college, we’ve outlined four new best practices for signage comms. Walk this way.

 1. Signage to support a common purpose

Unless you’re a small puppy or perhaps Dakota Johnson, no one really likes to be ordered about. The wrong design, typography and tone of voice can make a space feel harsh and unwelcoming – not great if you want to encourage spending. Shifting the aforementioned to something more friendly and human can soften instructions and even add a sense of community and common purpose.

Signage flyer

 2. Reflect your brand in your signs

You’ve no doubt spent ages creating a thoughtful brand, why ruin all your hard work with stark signs that detract from your comms principles? It’s likely that this won’t be a flash in the pan so it’s worthwhile investing in signage that helps to put employees and shoppers at ease. Think clever phrasing and creative illustrations that reflect your personality. While we might all be singing from the same hymn sheet, there’s no need for it to be the same dull and dreary song. 

Cafe signage

3. Customer and user-centric design

Get in your customer’s figurative size nines. What are they thinking, feeling, doing? Are they returning to your space? Examine their full user-journey from the moment they leave their home to the moment they reach you. Would a friendly “Welcome back” or “Hello, weary traveller” sign go amiss as they enter? Or what about a few more “Wash your hands” reminders dotted around, and not just in the lav!

Toilet signage

4. Pair your new comms campaign with signage

Going further than just installing the odd sign and paying lip-service to Boris, when used correctly, instructional signage, positive messages and iconography can actually enhance user experience if used as part of a more robust campaign. 

As well as physical touchpoints (hand sanitiser stations, canteen areas, meeting rooms, etc), think about how friendly and uplifting messaging could be used in conjunction with email, social media and other digital comms. A customer or user journey doesn’t begin and end with the destination, after all.

Signage campaign

Experts in creating witty, engaging and thoughtful design, we believe every organisation should have the support it needs to bounce back. If you need any help with signage, planning, design, print, production or fitting, we’re just an email or phone call away.