4 Categories of Wayfinding Signs

The clear purpose of signage is to communicate important information to people about their surroundings. Since signs are one of the only elements of an environment that conveys meaningful information, they are an integral and interactive element of the built environment.

Wayfinding is a process designed to orient people within an environment and guide them to their desired destination. Ensuring that sign messages are clear, legible, in the right place and accessible is critical to a seamless and successful signage program.



Identification signage serves as a cornerstone for efficient navigation within any space. Seamlessly working alongside directional signs, these markers pinpoint specific destinations, ensuring a streamlined and user-friendly environment. Tailored to diverse needs, some applications may necessitate features like raised text and braille, promoting accessibility for all.

Examples: Room IDs, such as a Conference Room or Restroom sign.


Maple Grove Clinic

Directional signage is strategically placed throughout the environment to seamlessly guide individuals to diverse destinations. With clear and straightforward design, these signs often feature arrows to distinctly point the way toward specific locations. While raised text and braille are not obligatory, directional signs adhere to high standards of letter height and LRV contrast, ensuring visibility and readability.

Example: Overhead airport signage directing toward a gate.


No Smoking

Regulatory signage is strategically placed both on the interior and exterior of facilities to govern and communicate essential conduct guidelines. Designed for clarity, these signs often incorporate pictograms to effectively convey messages and draw attention to critical information. Mandated by code authorities, regulatory signage ensures compliance with established standards and regulations.

Examples: Signs outlining rules: No Smoking and No Parking signs.


Sign at Dallas Museum of Art

Informational signage is strategically positioned throughout campuses or facilities, serving as crucial markers of significance. These signs go beyond basic guidance, offering detailed insights into the use and operations of the surrounding environment. Whether highlighting key features, providing essential information, or offering insights into the facility’s functions, informational signs play a vital role in enhancing awareness and understanding.

Examples: Directory Signs or a location’s Hours of Operation.

Informational Sub-Categories

Appleton Arena

Signage that honors people and events related to the space. Honorific signage is most common at civic sites, schools, and nonprofit organizations. Typically, the client provides the message for honorific signage.


Located outside of dangerous or restricted areas. Warning signs alert people to hazards within a space – not always mandated by code authorities. Clear communication of safety procedures enhances overall security.

Cincinnati Zoo

Signage that helps to reach a deeper understanding of the meaning of an environment. Research is required to develop content – the client or an outside expert typically develops the message.

While these 4 categories represent the majority of signs in a wayfinding program, this is not a comprehensive list.

ASI’s local teams consist of signage professionals with extensive experience working alongside an architect, GC, designer or directly with a client to develop all elements of a signage program. Comfortable with taking the lead in developing the informational content of the signage program, ASI’s team excels at analyzing site-specific wayfinding needs.

Want to get the ball rolling on your comprehensive signage project? Speak with an ASI Sales Consultant today.