Wayfinding / Directional Signs

Clever Wayfinding Solutions for Large Complexes

Author: Christina Krenek

Finding your way around a large complex such as a college campus, vacation resort or any other place you’re unfamiliar with can be confusing. Many of these large complexes have outdated wayfinding strategies or no strategy at all. But that’s changing as businesses and universities recognize the importance of a coherent wayfinding solution for their sprawling campuses. They aren’t simply implementing bland campus wayfinding signage that won’t be recognized or used. Businesses, hospitals and colleges are now using sophisticated, even fun, campus wayfinding that is helpful, stylish and interesting. Here are a few examples of clever wayfinding solutions for large complexes.

Deakin University

Touch screen displays at Deakin University

Dog shacking its body with text over image "Exam time tips, every 20 minutes, stand for 20 seconds and shake things out."

Photo credit: Deakin University

These touch screen displays at Deakin University in Australia provide campus maps, step-by-step directions and floor-by-floor guides for visiting and current students. Deakin takes full advantage of the digital screens’ versatility, offering friendly reminders and educational trivia when the screens aren’t being used for campus wayfinding.

Trine University

Trine University nuCloud map

Photo credit: nuCloud

Trine University in Indiana is stepping up its wayfinding game with the use of nuCloud maps. These interactive maps can be found around campus as well as installed on students’ smartphones through a university app. The campus wayfinding signage allows students to see an overview of the entire campus and then select specific buildings. After the selection is made, photos of the actual building are displayed, so students and visitors are better able to identify their location or destination.

Falls Creek Alpine Resort

Falls Creek Resort directional sign of the village map

Falls Creek Resort directional signs

Photo credit: Buro North

Falls Creek Resort in Australia updated its wayfinding strategy recently with these efficient directional signs. The signs were designed to be used for the full year because the resort provides recreation during all four seasons. The signs are color-coded for visitors depending on what time of the year they visit the resort. The resort also chose to keep the design simple as the winding mountain terrain can often confuse guests. Village maps and bus routes are posted consistently throughout the resort to ensure guests stay on the right course.

Victoria and Albert Ceramics Galleries

London’s Victoria and Albert Museum

Museum shelving covered in graphic

Museum self pulled out with a graphic text on shelf door.

Photo credit: D&AD

It should come as no surprise that an art gallery located in London’s Victoria and Albert Museum used an extremely creative wayfinding solution.  The V&A Ceramics Galleries, 14 galleries altogether, are part of the world’s largest design museum. The galleries use stylish wall graphics to help guests navigate the gallery, while labels and cards provide directions and educational information.

Science and Technology Park of University of Porto

Hallway with large number 4 and 5 printed on the walls

Hallway with large number 4 printed on the wall and dog running down hallway

Large number 5 printed on a wall

Photo credit: Behance

The Science and Technology Park of the University of Porto in Portugal wanted its campus wayfinding signage to reflect its experimental approach to education. So they transformed these sparsely designed hallways into optical illusions through the use of wall graphics. Room numbers appear to shift and stretch as you progress down the hallway, creating an interesting and engaging stroll.

The main goal of a wayfinding solution is to inform and help guests, especially when it comes to large campuses and complexes. But solutions should also be fun, interesting and engaging. Spending some time to review your wayfinding solution is a worthwhile endeavor that will help your business, school or organization as well as your guests and members.


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