More and more businesses are focusing on creating an engaging consumer experience. With this, successful signage (especially in the area of wayfinding), is becoming a much more important consideration for businesses of all kinds.

So what is wayfinding? Wayfinding is the consistent organization of sensory cues in the external environment. These cues can include visual graphics, retail merchandising displays, digital signage, and now with proximity marketing playing a bigger role, mobile innovations.

Signage Foundation, Inc. has developed a comprehensive research report on successful wayfinding methods, called “Retail Wayfinding Best Practices.” We’ve summarized it into 5 basic concepts you need to implement for successful wayfinding design:

  1. Mix the old with the new. Combining traditional methods with more innovative practices can create a solid balance that appeals to everybody. Mix permanent architectural signage with digital signage and more modular point-of-sale displays. This gives you more control over the ever changing needs of your space while still displaying signs made of higher quality materials. Digital displays give you a modern appearance, and flexibly to change communications on the fly.
  2. Create a consistent experience. The terminology, design, and hierarchy of the shopping experience should be consistent throughout stores, websites, and print marketing. Extending the graphics type, color, and textures into print, packaging, and even social media not only reinforces the brand, but helps customers navigate their experience when interacting with a business.
  3. Be illuminating. Illumination plays a large role in successful wayfinding, and can be used in a myriad of creative ways. From lighting a path to creating contrast in signage, illumination can really help the end user and your brand.
  4. Dimensionality in design. Combining both three dimensional displays that are lit from within (such as channel letters) and digitally printed displays illuminated from above or in front will create contrast and grab attention to important markers. Dimensionality also aids customers in understanding your product hierarchy, guiding them to larger sections of the store, and eventually finding the product or service they need.
  5. Seamless integration. Integrating wayfinding into the spaces architecture, modular displays, point of sale, and other areas can naturally guide customers through the experience of shopping or eating.

Want to find out how top brands are using these to find success in wayfinding? Read the full report here and follow Sign Foundation, Inc. on twitter for updates on more signage reports and case studies.