Critical Approaches for Developing Signage Programs for Facilities Managers 

On Wednesday April 6th, two leaders in our GNU Group division shared critical approaches in developing signage programs for facilities managers. You can check out the full video recording below with our SVP of GNU Group Kevin Wilhelm and Principal/Director for Design Dickson A. Keyser or read on for a verbal recap.  Thanks to the Corporate Facilities Council for hosting this free webinar!

Facility managers are sometimes left out of the party by interior designers and architects when the facilities are being built.  They are very often left to maintain what is handed over to them.  Facility Managers often feel their lack of input in the beginning of the process is a missed opportunity and they are right!  Interior designers and architects love to build but may lack the expertise or consideration of the maintenance implications.  Here are some critical approaches you can take to help influence your current and future wayfinding and signage programs and ensure that you have a seat at the table. 

What shifts have occurred in your built environment? What behavioral changes will need to be reinforced?
  • Identify how circulation patterns such as arrival and key entry points will function with return to office
  • Observe how your users engage with your space whether it’s through benching, hoteling or conference rooms, administrative offices
  • Evaluate sign types from branding with environmental graphics, to lobby logo signs, wayfinding signage and regulatory signs
  • Edit your messaging to see if any adjustments are needed
  • Understand users and their journey/experience throughout the space 
  • Take advantage of tools such as WayFindItPlanGrid and SignAgent 
What challenges are more temporary in nature? What are your plans for phasing up/down?
  • Identify new wayfinding challenges with RTO
  • Reassess information and language to be consistent
  • Make sure systems are ADA compliant and correctly located
  • Ensure fire/life safety is reflected in signage
  • Talk with facilities team and lobby ambassadors to assess maintenance challenges
What changes can you implement within a leased office? What areas will the landlord be responsible for?

Identify key internal stakeholders in the following areas:

  • Facilities/Operations
  • Brand/Marketing
  • Employee Health & Safety
  • Property Management
  • Landlord/Ownership
What internal resources are at your disposal? Where do you have potential implementation gaps?

Identify key external partners in the following areas:

  • Experiential design
  • Fabrication
  • Architects
  • Digital providers
  • IT Infrastructure

It’s critical to know what to outsource and what you have in house.

How will the return-to-office signage be maintained? What signs require flexibility for quick change-outs in the future?
  • Sign types hierarchy with branding, wayfinding, identification and regulatory signs
  • Engaging signs to make people feel safe and welcome
  • Map out sign locations
  • Understand how material will be maintained, cleaned and if you are eligible for LEED points
  • Identifying the budget up-front is critical

Our Key Design Concepts:

  1. Create Sense of Arrival – Crafting a welcoming brand with exterior and interior experience is even more timely with the pandemic, as shown through our case studies with Roku, a tech company and McAfee. 
  2. Multi-Building Campus – When working with multi-building campuses that are both consolidated and non-consolidated, it is important to ensure easy navigation with consistency and simplicity of addressing information. Our case studies of this include Rosewood Commons and Workday.
  3. Zoning/Orientation – This concept is crucial for complex environments. Examples of our work in this area include our Lyft floorplates that are adaptable to change and our digital wayfinding project with LinkedIn.
  4. Fighting Visual Fatigue – Curating the visual experience to tell stories elevates the space even more. Our case study with LiveRamp captured their company culture while our work with Atlassian showcases their company history.

Whether you are developing a new wayfinding and signage system or you need to augment what you currently have for return to office, your strategy is the foundation for success.  As an experiential design firm, GNU Group is here to help not only plan and design these wayfinding and signage programs but also help you implement them. You are welcome to learn more by filling out our form below.

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