Most churches do a pretty lousy job at wayfinding. Because many churches are built as add-ons over time, sometimes many years, buildings tend to be mazes of corridors and stairwells with little rhyme or reason. Many churches suffer from poor layout, people-traffic control, and wayfinding.
Wayfinding is the process of using spatial and environmental cues to navigate through an environment. In its most literal sense, wayfinding is the ability of a person to find his or her way to a destination. It can also be defined from the standpoint of the designer or owner who is seeking to improve the function of a particular environment.
Wayfinding is not separate from traditional signage design, but is a broader, more inclusive way of assessing all of the environmental issues that affect our ability to find our way to a given destination.
A comprehensive wayfinding system can greatly improve your congregation’s ability to not only find areas of the church campus they are seeking, but to direct guests and others to these areas as well. A clear wayfinding system can add to the accessibility and friendliness of the church buildings. Here are a few tips on wayfinding:
- Focus people on buildings by labeling them
- Avoid long directional signs that slow people down
- Divide the campus into distinct zones
- Use color and monuments to create bread-crumbs
- Make room numbers make sense
- Develop a simple campus map
After all, how can anyone really connect with your church if they can't find the front door?