Effective communication is increasingly necessary in order to navigate and enjoy the diverse and complex environments where we live and work. Hospital campuses are one of the most complex and difficult locations to navigate in the world. They typically combine a large number of similar appearing buildings, with a variety of direct and indirect circulation pathways. Facility interiors often are busy, chaotic and “maze-like” to the inexperienced navigator. Pedestrian, automobile and emergency vehicle routes must be safely and clearly organized, identified and communicated to groups that vary widely between daily users and first-time visitors (who are often emotionally distracted). Add nearly constant site redevelopment and department reorganization altering campus pathways, invalidating existing signage information and creating inconsistent messaging, terminology and graphics, and one wonders how anyone finds the way to their intended destination.

A hospital’s wayfinding system must function to provide clear, concise and effective directional, informational and identification messaging. Nomenclature must be formalized and used consistently in all written, verbal and graphic messaging throughout the organization. The hierarchy of communication must be prioritized on primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Colors, fonts, symbols, icons and shapes must be attractively utilized. Shape, size and placement must maximize legibility, while also respecting the facility architecture and interior environment. Lastly, signage system materials and technologies must be green, durable, maintainable and cost-effective to provide long-term value and use.

Working closely with your project team S D S D E S I G N will coordinate these critical informational components and develop a system of signs and graphic elements to achieve simple, consistent and cost-effective solutions. A systematic program will provide patients, doctors, visitors and staff with clearly defined routes and identification of services. Directories, facility maps, and orientation devices will be implemented as necessary to facilitate communication, support wayfinding, and meet the client’s needs for effective operations and changeability.

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