Wayfinding Signs

Wayfinding solutions enable effortless navigation while enhancing spaces with attractive and functional signage. Our wayfinding and signage is at work in airports, hospitals, malls, events venues, and commercial and public buildings around Aotearoa.

Wayfinding signs are directional signs that are designed to help people navigate and find their way around unfamiliar environments. These signs are typically used in large, complex spaces such as airports, shopping malls, hospitals, and universities, where people may become disoriented or lost.

At Wise Studios we have extensive experience in providing clear and consistent directional signage that benefits your organisation in a wide range of ways. An obvious one is the countless hours that can be consumed with your staff or clients being lost or uncertain what actions they need to take. A further benefit of this is how your staff and customers feel about your premises. They are much more likely to feel positive towards your location and not feel frustrated in their interaction with your business - which hopefully will reduce negative feedback and reviews.

The purpose of wayfinding signage is to provide clear and concise information about the location of important landmarks and facilities, such as restrooms, exits, elevators, and parking areas. These signs may include arrows, symbols, and other visual cues that help people quickly and easily understand where they need to go.

Effective wayfinding signs are designed with a few key principles in mind. They should be easy to read and understand, with clear and concise wording and graphics. They should be placed in strategic locations, such as at intersections and decision points, to help people make informed choices about which directions to take. And they should be consistent in their design and messaging throughout the entire space, to ensure that people can navigate with ease and confidence.

Overall, wayfinding signs are an essential component of any large, complex space, and are critical for ensuring that people can find their way around safely and efficiently

A good wayfinding sign should be clear, concise, and easy to understand. Here are some specific elements that contribute to a good wayfinding sign:

  1. Visibility: A good wayfinding sign should be easily visible, even from a distance. It should stand out from its surroundings and be placed in a prominent location.
  2. Legibility: The text on a wayfinding sign should be easy to read. This means using a clear and legible font, appropriate size, and high contrast between the text and background.
  3. Consistency: All wayfinding signs within a location should have a consistent design and layout. This makes it easier for people to recognize and follow the signage as well as subtly promoting your brand image.
  4. Directional arrows: Arrows can help direct people in the right direction and indicate the location of the destination.
  5. Simplicity: A good wayfinding sign should convey its message quickly and efficiently. The sign should not be cluttered with too much information or unnecessary details.
  6. Iconography: Including simple icons or symbols can help convey information quickly and easily, particularly for people who may not speak the language or have reading difficulties.
  7. Placement: Wayfinding signs should be placed at key decision points, such as intersections or changes in direction, to help guide visitors along their route and avoid the wrong place.

Overall, a good wayfinding sign should be designed with the user in mind, taking into account their needs and potential challenges they may face in navigating the environment.

There are several types of wayfinding signs that can be used to guide people through an environment:

  1. Directional signs: These signs provide directional information, such as indicating the location of a particular building, room, or facility. Directional signs may include arrows or maps to help guide people to their destination.
  2. Identification signs: These signs provide identifying information, such as the name of a building, room, or facility. They can also include logos, graphics, or other visual elements that help people recognize and remember the location.
  3. Regulatory signs: These signs provide information about rules or regulations, such as speed limits, parking restrictions, or safety hazards. Regulatory signs may also include warnings or cautionary messages.
  4. Informational signage: These signs provide general information, such as historical or cultural information, event schedules, or emergency procedures.
  5. Interactive signs: These signs use technology, such as touchscreens or QR codes, to provide interactive and personalized wayfinding information. Interactive signs can be particularly useful in large or complex environments.
  6. Braille and tactile signs: These signs are designed for people with visual impairments and include raised lettering and symbols that can be read through touch.
  7. Multilingual signs: These signs are designed to provide wayfinding information in multiple languages, making them accessible to people from diverse backgrounds.

Overall, the type of wayfinding sign used will depend on the specific needs of the environment and the people who will be using it. A well-designed wayfinding system may incorporate multiple types of signs to provide clear and effective guidance.

For directional signs, it's important to use high-contrast colour combinations that make the information easy to read and understand quickly. Here are some color contrasts that work well for directional signs:

  1. Black and white: This classic colour combination provides high contrast and is easy to read, even from a distance. It's a great option for signs with a lot of text. However, 95% is a better contrast for those with visual impairments (so dark grey on white.)
  2. Black and yellow: This combination is often used for warning or cautionary signs, but it can also work well for directional signs. The yellow adds a pop of colour and draws attention to the information. It is also the perfect colour combination for those with visual impairments.
  3. White and blue: This colour combination is often used for informational signs, such as those indicating the location of a restroom or elevator. The blue background is calming and easy to read against white text.
  4. White and green: This colour combination is often used for directional signs in outdoor environments, such as parks or hiking trails.
  5. Black and silver: This combination is often used for high-end or modern directional signs. The silver adds a sleek, sophisticated look to the sign.

It's important to note that the colour combinations used for directional signs will also depend on the environment and the specific needs of the users. For example, a hospital may use different colour combinations than an amusement park. Ultimately, the goal is to choose colours that are easy to read and provide clear guidance to the use. They should also contrast with the background so that they can be easily seen.

Pictorials, or visual symbols, can be used with navigational signs to provide additional information that is easy to understand at a glance. Here are some reasons why pictorials should be used with navigational signs:

  1. Universal understanding: Pictorials can be easily understood by people from different cultural and language backgrounds, as they do not rely on written language. This makes them particularly useful in multicultural and multilingual environments.
  2. Quick recognition: Pictorials can be recognized quickly and easily, even from a distance or in low-light conditions. This can help users to orient themselves and navigate the site more quickly and efficiently.
  3. Reduced cognitive load: By using pictorials, navigational signs can convey information with fewer words, reducing the cognitive load for users. This can be particularly useful in busy or complex environments where users may be experiencing information overload.
  4. Greater accessibility: For people with reading difficulties or visual impairments, pictorials can make the information on navigational signs more accessible. This can improve their overall experience of the urban site.
  5. Consistency: By using consistent pictorials throughout the urban site, users can quickly and easily recognize key information and navigate the site more effectively.

Overall, incorporating pictorials into navigational signs can provide a range of benefits, including improved accessibility, reduced cognitive load, and greater efficiency and ease of use. When designing navigational signs, it's important to consider the specific needs of the users and the environment to ensure that the pictorials used are appropriate and effective.

Contact us today to discuss your directional signage scheme

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Wayfinding Signs and Directional Signage FAQ's

Companies we’ve worked with

Volks Wagon

The Volkswagen Group with its headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany is one of the world's leading manufacturers of automobiles and commercial vehicles.


Škoda is a hive of technical development. A place where models are crafted and put into full-scale production.


Tracing its history back to 1924, MG is the iconic motoring brand, famous for building sporty, exciting and value-for-money cars which are always fun to drive.

Auckland Transport

Auckland Transport is the council-controlled organisation of Auckland Council responsible for transport projects and services


MOTAT is New Zealand's largest transport and technology museum and offers a fun and exciting learning experience for visitors of all ages.

Auckland Zoo

Auckland Zoo is home to the largest collection of wildlife in New Zealand


MC is New Zealand's biggest litigation firm, by far. They represent New Zealand Government and private-sector clients.


Established in 1928, the Ebbett Group now represents 25 brands across 21 dealerships in New Zealand. Their mission is to “love delivering exceptional experiences every single day” and they strive...


Fonterra is one of the largest dairy manufacturers in the world , as well as New Zealand's largest exporter of dairy products.


With 850 hotels in over 70 countries, Ramada is one of the most recognized hotel brands in the world.


Australasia's leading apartment hotel brand

White + Wongs

White + Wong's restaurants brings big and fresh Asian flavours to New Zealand.

Silky Otter Cinemas

The Silky Otter offers a modern and luxurious cinema experience

Oyster Property Group

Oyster is a leading New Zealand commercial property and fund manager with expertise in property fund structuring and equity raising.


A leading supplier of construction equipment, diesel engines, generators and transmissions to a variety of industries throughout New Zealand.


CUPRA is the unconventional challenger brand that combines emotional design, electrification and performance to inspire the world from Barcelona.

Safari Group

Safari Group are a leading investor focused developer having delivered over 2000 hotel units and residential apartments.


The Audi Group is among the world’s leading producers of premium cars.

La Quinta by Wyndham

La Quinta by Wyndham hotels offer everyday essentials, friendly staff, and contemporary accommodation.


Americold offers the most comprehensive temperature-controlled storage and distribution network available.

Cookie Time

A family owned Christchurch company, founded in February 1983 with the delivery of 70 jars of Cookie Time® Original™ Chocolate Chunk cookies to 70 Christchurch stores. People quickly fell in love...


Poolwerx is the largest pool retail and service business in Australia and New Zealand.


A design and experience centric company who create furniture solutions based on their intimate understanding of workplace behaviour and the organisation.


A leading provider of literacy curriculum, professional services, and classroom magazines, and a producer of educational and popular children's media.



Youthline is a "with youth, for youth" organisation that supports young people throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organisation that helps families build and improve a place to call home, here in New Zealand and around the world.


New Zealand's premier skateboard, snowboard and streetwear store.

Dunlop Flooring

Dunlop Flooring is focused solely on the manufacture and supply of re-bond foam carpet cushion (carpet underlay) to the New Zealand market.

My Food Bag

My Food Bag is a New Zealand meal-kit home-delivery service providing customers with ingredients and recipes to cook meals.


Animates is a new breed of pet store with everything for your pets needs under one roof.


Founded in 1932, Butlers is Ireland’s premier family-owned firm dedicated to the craft of exceptional chocolate-making.

Callaghan Innovations

Callaghan are New Zealand's innovation agency. They activate innovation and help businesses grow faster for a better New Zealand.

Crombie Lockwood

Crombie Lockwood brokers combine local and industry knowledge with insurance expertise, to keep their clients protected when things go wrong.

Kiwi Wealth

Kiwi Wealth offers investment services across New Zealand through their KiwiSaver Scheme, Managed Funds, and Private Portfolio Service.


Mevo is Australasia's first free-floating and the world's first climate positive car share company, born in Wellington.


MITO offers a range of on-job training programmes and learning experiences for those working full-time in the industries that they support.

Noel Leeming

Noel Leeming Group is New Zealand's leading appliance and electronics retail company.


New Zealand's leading media organisation

Te Papa

Te Papa is New Zealand's national museum, renowned for being bicultural, scholarly, innovative, and fun.


Tesla designs and manufactures electric vehicles, battery energy storage from home to grid-scale, solar panels and solar roof tiles, and related products and services.

The Warehouse (TWL)

The Warehouse has Everyday Low Prices across Clothing, Homeware, Toys, Groceries and much more.

Warehouse Stationary

Warehouse Stationery has almost 20,000 products across multiple categories including Office Supplies, School Supplies, Fashion stationery, Technology and Furniture.


“The team at Wise Studios collaborated with our team to ensure that we had a consistent look with all of our new offices throughout New Zealand. Their project management and professionalism provided an excellent result.”

Irene Bates, EAP Services Ltd

“Wise Studios have great people and go the extra mile. They were instrumental in helping reintroduce the MG Brand to New Zealand.”

Anthony MacLean, MG Motor New Zealand

“The Wise Studios team have worked extremely hard with our dealer Tristram European to get their New Volkswagen Auckland Dealership looking amazing and updated with the Volkswagen new 2020 Brand Design.”

Rob Kieran, Volkswagen New Zealand.