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Fremantle WA 6160
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  • Pedestrian Wayfinding Signage

21st September 2015

Pedestrian Wayfinding Signage

Is good pedestrian wayfinding signage important? Yes – absolutely! Good pedestrian wayfinding signage and systems encourage people to walk and be out and about in the community – so, they provide a lot of benefits including:

  • Improved health
  • Less traffic congestion
  • Reduced fuel emissions (greenhouse gases)
  • Economic benefits – more spending from increased footfall, length of stay,
  • Improved community safety

Good wayfinding is often not noticed. Bad wayfinding is always noticed.

What is wayfinding?

Wayfinding is about finding one’s way. It relates to how a person orients to and navigates through an area or place.

A wayfinding system is a unified series of related informational, advisory and directional aids to help visitors move about successfully, safely and with confidence.

A good wayfinding system aims to answer the following basic questions.

  • Where am I?
  • How do I get where I want to go?
  • What is the quickest route? The safest? The most attractive?
  • How long will it take or how far is it?
  • Where can I find amenities I may need or want, such as toilets, places to rest, places to eat, shopping or places of interest?
  • Where can I cross the street safely?
  • Where can I connect to other forms of transport such as trains, buses or taxis?
  • Where can I get help or additional information?

Best practice in Wayfinding signage design

Wayfinding signage needs to be coherent, conspicuous, legible and functional.

General standards for Design, content, location and function are explained below.


  • Design, color palettes and style elements should be locally meaningful and universally appealing.
  • Sign background and lettering colours should be high contrast.
  • Colours should be chosen to stand-out from the surroundings.
  • Clear, legible typefaces that are large enough to be seen at a distance should be used. Title-case is usually the most legible.
  • A limited, easily recognisable and consistent palette of symbols and pictograms should be used throughout.


  • Signs should be uncluttered – using the minimum amount of information and text possible.
  • Only major landmarks/attractions should be included with detailed interpretation panels provided at sites.
  • Terminology should be concise, easily understandable and unabbreviated.
  • Information should be provided in different formats to cater to a wide range of user abilities and limitations (such as non-English speakers and people with disabilities).


  • Sign location should be decided by documenting trip origin points, destination points, circulation pathways, decision points and sightlines.
  • Information signs should be in logical places where people might expect to find them to be – eg: outside of train or bus stations or the visitor information centre.
  • Signs should not be obstructed by other signs.
  • Point in the right direction.
  • Be consistently located so pedestrians know where to expect them throughout the journey.


  • Wayfinding systems generally consist of combinations of signs – information panels, navigation and orientation.
  • Sign design and materials are durable, flexible and adaptable to accommodate changes or future requirements.
  • Signage fits the environment well – striking the balance between being obvious but not jarring.
  • Has a combination of whole journey information and segmented or sequential information.