Our wayfinding philosophy embraces how people naturally gather information to guide themselves through unfamiliar environments.
Well before civilized society (and signs), man was using clues provided by his surroundings to find his way. He depended on landmarks like mountains, edges like rivers and cliffs, pathways like trails and canyons, and distinct areas like open fields or patches of woods to orient himself.
Whether in the built environment or in nature, man’s way of gathering information to self-navigate has remained the same. Each of us seeks to create a mental map of an unfamiliar place by identifying and organizing key elements including landmarks, pathways, edges, areas and intersections.
We use this knowledge to carefully coordinate architecture, environmental cues, interpersonal communications and displayed information presented in a way that leverages human behavioral patterns and the psychology of orientation. This wayfinding philosophy is the foundation of our work.
Architect Kevin Lynch coined the term ’wayfinding’ in 1960 in his book Image of the City…
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President of WFA, Scott Saunders is a nationally recognized expert in the field of wayfinding and signage.