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Wayfinding Signage at Colleges and Universities

As students, faculty, staff and visitors arrive at your college or university, it’s important that they know they’ve arrived at the right place. While large signs at the entrances are helpful, how do they navigate the campus once they’re inside? This is where directional signage comes in handy. In addition to featuring your school’s name and logo, effective wayfinding signage can guide people to the correct buildings for classes, meetings, and events. Discover the benefits of implementing wayfinding signage on your campus and how it can benefit your school’s community.

What is Wayfinding Signage?

According to the Society of Experiential Graphic Design, wayfinding helps to guide people in a physical environment. It can also increase their understanding of a physical location and make their experience in a physical space better. Wayfinding signage typically falls into one or more category:


  • Identification: This type of sign informs people about the identity of a building or helps them recognize their location. Examples include signs displaying room numbers or names and entrance plaques.
  • Information: These signs provide people with useful information about a location, such as the location of restrooms or building hours. Informative signs can also direct people to other locations when a building is closed.
  • Direction: Directional signage offers guidance to people on where to go. This can include signs with arrows or text displaying the location of a room or interactive floor decals.
  • Regulatory: Certain wayfinding signs ensure that a location meets regulatory requirements, such as the International Symbol of Accessibility on restroom signs for accessible restrooms, or “no smoking” signs in designated areas.

Uses of Outdoor Wayfinding Signage at Universities

Outdoor directional signage serves a variety of purposes on a college or university campus. Highlighted below are some ways to utilize wayfinding signs outside:

  • Welcome visitors: A prominent outdoor sign placed at the entrance of the campus can welcome visitors and let them know that they are in the right place. Similarly, outdoor signage placed at the front of specific buildings can extend a warm welcome to visitors.
  • Guide people to the right buildings: Outdoor wayfinding signage can direct people to specific buildings and locations on campus. It can use arrows to show people which way to turn as they navigate through parking lots, paths or roads on campus. Signage can also include details on how far away a particular building is in feet, meters or minutes.
  • Help people find their way: Wayfinding signage can also feature maps to help people orient themselves and locate multiple destinations on campus. Maps can show people where they currently are and outline how far they can walk within 5 or 10 minutes. Additionally, maps can provide information on modes of transport, such as campus shuttles or bike share systems.
  • Share updates and information: Outdoor signage can display real-time information about campus happenings. For instance, digital signs at the campus entrance can display information about school closures, sports team updates, faculty announcements and new school policies. Displaying the necessary information on entrance signs makes it easy for people to stay informed as they arrive on campus.

Uses of Indoor Wayfinding Signage at Universities

Finding your way inside a large campus building can be a challenging task, even when you know where you’re going. Indoor directional signage can help visitors, students, and staff find their way and identify where they’re supposed to be. Here are a few ways that indoor wayfinding signs can be used to improve campus navigation:

  • Identifying rooms: Room plaques with printed numbers or names can be placed next to doorways, making it easy for students and visitors to locate classrooms and other areas within the building.
  • Directing people to particular areas: Wayfinding signs can be placed on walls to guide people to the right locations within the building. Arrows or floor numbers can be used to help people navigate their way around. Directory signs located next to elevators or stairwells can also guide people to the right spots.
  • Sharing rules and expectations: Buildings within your campus can have different rules and regulations that students and visitors need to be aware of. Wayfinding signs can be used to convey the appropriate information, such as quiet hours, building access, and closing times.
  • Providing necessary information: Signs located on walls, next to doorways, or near elevators and stairs can guide people by providing them with essential information. This can include details on fire safety procedures, restroom locations, and emergency contact information.

Banners on a RollⓇ Can Help You Make the Most of Campus Wayfinding Signage

Make everyone who visits your college or university feel confident and welcome by installing directional and wayfinding signage that clearly displays the right path. When people can easily get to where they need to go, they are more likely to have a positive impression of your institution, which can lead to greater enrollment, improved work satisfaction, and word-of-mouth referrals.

Looking to create wayfinding signs for your university or college? Get started by requesting a quote via