Signage functions are multi-dimensional and effective in all industry sectors.
It helps build a communication line between brands and customers by effectively informing and directing them to find their way in a building, parking or other spaces. It also encourages learning about a brand through images, graphics and communicating messages which ads value in creating a sense of place.
In a three decades experience, at Hardy Signs, we have mastered the signage manufacturing in all aspects. In the whole experience have been proved how signage can change environments, indoor and outdoor, transforming them in a better place to live.
First, lets explore how sense of place is linked with signage!
What Sense of Place means?
Placemaking, or sense of place, is the best descriptive phrase to explain the relationship between humans and place. How a place can be connected with people’s feelings and leave them with a particular emotion or opinion. A good experience in a specific location encourages a sense of familiarity, safety and attachment to the place.
At Hardy Signs, in 30 years experience we have seen carefully how signage have changed places from a decade to another. It is more about the feeling of unique aesthetics quality and reputation, which results from the most attractive characteristic to drive in customers.
Promoting a brand through signage and using signs for navigation is undoubtedly the main reason for investing in it. However, urban planners, architects, and signage experts are now more interested in increasing engagement in a place by creating a specific identity which is connected to history, heritage and cultural elements.
Consumers are increasingly demanding an experience that goes beyond a simple transactional. With online shopping, which offers a seamless experience, they look for a more entertaining experience in-store, feeling more emotionally attached to the brand.
Creating a sense of place is the complex process of building a certain environment which offers beyond the primary purpose, including even eco-friendly infrastructure projects and historic designs in order to give people the opportunity to be in contact with physical identities.
Benefits of creating a sense of place
Every investment which helps on bringing potential customers is always worth it. Charming and well-designed places strongly influence positive experiences for those living around urban areas, or visitors. All the experiences will translate into safety, comfort, and well-being. They will develop the visitor’s experience to create a sense of place, increasing the visitor’s chance to return.
Enhancing the overall appearance of a public space, and its surroundings means providing a safe environment for visitors, and pedestrians, reducing the time spent looking for information.
Reinvent the place
Place-making helps in many aspects, from adding value to the brand and reinventing the place. Placemaking signage inspires us to reimagine spaces and achieve a new brand look by using creative and engaging displays. Signage will change how people interact with the brand and start paying attention to details. Depending on the location, a good start would be to highlight the uniqueness around your business and the architectural designs and, from there, look at how signage displays can make the place more memorable.
Looking into the landscape from the visitors’ perspective will help to remodel the signage view and integrate more light posts, road signs, street signs, and benches signs.
Spurs Local Environment
People create engagement and bond with each other to contribute to developing their place every day. Signage can make their life easier through directional signs and wayfinding to the grocery store, outdoor entertaining places, or cultural centres. Eye-catching displays and other services for people with disabilities would increase and strengthen local inclusivity.
How can good signage impact an environment?
Promoting an eco-friendly space through signage and advertising can significantly impact the local area by spreading awareness and promoting a greener life.
An example of how signage can contribute is through displays and boards in public spaces, which can be done in a variety of materials, and there is a chance to promote products which can be recycled and eco-friendly such as wood and other sustainable signage materials.
Increase green and eco-friendly awareness.
Signage has enormous potential to influence people’s perception of the environment. The transformation into LED LCD screens has significantly decreased CO2 emissions combined with the modern flat screen, an excellent tool for reducing electricity consumption.
The usage of paper last several years has increased deforesting. Digital signage systems can lower paper waste and instead implement modern digital screens, which allow to change the sign design and content at any time.
Good wayfinding signage can influence people to use bikes or walk by suggesting road guides that get them to their destinations quickly without using vehicles. It shows on signage boards how many landmarks and other landscapes they can see when taking a bike that would convince them to avoid the short way with a car.
How to create a Sense of place
The first thing you should do is analyse data on the environment and people. This needs a physical visit to the area and observing the main types of visitors, age range, and most visited areas. Meanwhile, getting as much information as possible from their reaction through the way in and out of the place is critical.
It would be enough without direct feedback and communication which can easily be taken by talking to people and creating surveys. This method would lift the ideas and give a better understanding of what residents and visitors expect, the difficulties they face, and changes in signage they think would make the journey easy to navigate.
Understanding the background
Knowing the area’s history and culture will help improve and highlight, creating directional signs to the most attractive buildings or cultural spaces.
Adapt to community needs
Once you have observed what is needed to improve, the signage for a more engaging place is time to test and evaluate as per the feedback gotten in different timeframes. Once a change in signage is made, get a survey out to see how helpful it has been for people to get around and find services.
What signage to use?
Wayfinding & Directional Signs
Every environment needs directional signs to guide people to the most important locations, such as health services, malls, businesses and other services, and easilyly reachable for residents and visitors. It will reduce wasting time and build trust with the visitors.
Directional signs and place-making help develop a place’s narrative, giving customers a sense of place and ownership. Wayfinding uses physical signposting and markers to provide a sense of direction route flow of space while place-making uses decor and aesthetics to give a building a common culture.
Contributing to deforesting and reducing paper waste through the implementation of digital screens, which are safe for indoor and outdoor spaces, has significantly changed the number of forests used to produce paper.
Digital screens offer a wide range of flexibilities such as change of content anytime, being waterproof and being safe from other weather conditions. Meanwhile, these displays allow creating and designing a modern content design, adapting colours and fonts as per exceptions and many more advantages.
Light Box and 3D
Another signage that adds value to the place is light boxes and sizeable 3D sign designs on city side, which are highly eye-catching for the community.
Creating a sense of place requires attention to small details, such as marker signs for achieving a pleasant environment when looking for a kid’s zone or other essential services for residents and visitors.
Boards are very commonly used for placing maps. Even in this case, it is important to have a map set on a board to show wayfinding and guide people around.
Educational signs can always come in a fun way to engage people and attract their attention. Short and precise information about unique aspects of a place will keep them reading. For sure, there must be some investigation about various audiences and their points of interest to be able to deliver a good piece of information.
Signage Features to Fit an Environment
Urban landscapes differ from each other in many aspects such as cultural, history, visitors, and architecture. Placing signage always requires matching to the place, to a specific urban design and in order to achieve that, there are few main qualities to consider:
- Size of the signage
- Orientation of the signage
- Location of the signage
- Material of the signage
- Shape of the signage
Nowadays has become crucial to be innovative and inclusive and the best way to reach these goals is investing on signage. Technology advancements on materials, machines and techniques have changed over the years but the main purpose is the same: to communicate.
At Hardy Signs, we offer a wide range of signage for your business and help to adapt the designing and content to the brand and environment. With 30 years experience in signage industry we make sure our customers are happy. Our award-winning team is available to support and help on creating innovative ways of implementing signage into your business.
We are reachable in different ways of contact and available to help you anytime.