All signage content must be clear, concise and un-ambiguous.

The needs of sign users must be understood before content can be developed and designed. For example:

  • if they may be vision impaired due to age or disability, recognise that they may need clearer content 
  • if the sign will be viewed from a vehicle, the sign should be large and use symbols and simple language where ever possible
  • if the audience is tourists, they will have less knowledge of the surrounds.

Use international symbols, especially if the signage is to be used by non-English speakers or those who don’t have English as their first language.

Examples of international symbols

Examples of international symbols

Reduce the content to the bare minimum so the sign isn’t crowded – this will improve visibility and comprehensibility.  It will also help the sign cut through the clutter and stand out among other surrounding items.

Content such as maps or reference images should be aligned to the user’s view of the site, building etc. Avoid using a bird’s eye view if the user will be looking at the site from street level.

Larger amounts of content on signage should be as clear and concise as possible.  There may be many distractions to contend with while people are trying to take in the information.

Directional signage

The needs of sign users must be understood before developing content or designing. For example, service suppliers would arrive by vehicle and have predetermined destinations; other visitors should be first directed to visitor car parks and then to main entry points.

Most people ask for directions before reading signs. The content should help people give directions.