Office Signage: The Benefits For Staff And Visitors

16th May 2019


When designing and fitting a new office space, there are non-obvious elements which might sometimes be forgotten. In addition to the self-evident components such as furniture, equipment and layout, signage is an important feature that can play a large role in the character of a workplace.

From branded signage on the building exterior to indoor signs and printed decals, signage can be used throughout your office space - reinforcing your company’s image, ethos and values for employees and visitors alike.

In this post, we will look at some of the benefits of good office signage for your office space, the difference it can make for staff and the importance of getting it just right.

First impressions last

First impressions are formed quickly, and they stick in the mind. “Buyers make most decisions by relying on their two-second first impressions based on stored memories, images and feelings,” says Malcolm Gladwell in his book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking - and studies show that we all unconsciously make snap assessments of other people within a tenth of a second upon meeting.

The impression that visitors form upon arrival at your office sets the stage for how they will perceive your business overall. In some industries (such as law and finance), trust and reliability are of paramount importance, and this split-second assessment can make all the difference when potential clients are deciding whether or not you might be truly dependable.

Impressive signage can also make your business seem to be more permanent and well-established in its current location, in the same way that a company operating out of a sparsely furnished office with zero signage might seem to be something of a ‘pop-up’ that has only been there a matter of weeks.

Professionally-installed signage can give a visitor the impression that your business is firmly settled and well-presented - an impression that they would not have when faced with an undecorated office. Why present them with a blank slate when they could be inspired and reassured with high-quality signage?

Reinforcing brand identity

In the world of branding and marketing, it’s well-known that colours, typography and other design elements can play a major role in the perception of your company. Warm colours might create particular associations, for example, or a geometric sans-serif typeface might imply something else - all influencing the subconscious perception of your brand by visitors and employees alike.

Signage is a great way to get these connotations into the minds of people on a daily basis as an intrinsic part of their physical environment - and for a workforce, this can be a great way to subtly influence the attitude of the entire team. Arriving for work every day at a building adorned with dark blue colours and sensible fonts is likely to evoke a different mood for the day than working in a bright red room with childish lettering on the walls.

This isn’t just conjecture - there is a long history of research into the psychology of colour, for example. Colour can affect anything from an individual’s perception of the passing of time to the apparent taste of food; it can certainly affect the experience of a working day or a visit to another office.

Signage can help to get your carefully-chosen brand colours into the minds of your workforce as a constant background, helping to create a harmonious team who work well together on the same wavelength of your company values.

Wayfinding and functional signage

In addition to subconscious influence on branding perception, signage can have good practical applications for helping visitors to find the building or navigate the office interior.

For somebody visiting your workplace, getting lost in a labyrinthine office complex or a multi-business building isn’t a fun introduction to your company, and signs to help them locate you will seem to give your company more of a presence. External building signage, too, can put the name of your business in the minds of passers-by every day.

Even for staff - especially new hires - wayfinding signage can help employees to quickly and efficiently find their way around, particularly in offices and buildings with complicated layouts. Safety or protocol signage, too, can remind staff to carry out their tasks in the recommended manner or to fulfil company policies.

Adding character to your office

Signage doesn’t have to just be a giant logo - you could put anything on a sign. Your business slogan, for example, or a list of company values and mottos. A sign might carry an inspirational quotation or image to influence your team and reinforce your working ethos, or to communicate additional messaging to visitors.

In short, the perceived character of your office can be heavily influenced by the placement and content of signage, and its form might be dictated by the mood you want to promote among your workforce. Do you want your working environment to be efficiently and dedicatedly professional - or more relaxed, casual and friendly?

Signage can set the tone for the attitude of your team and the overall character of your business as a whole, influencing everybody present in the office whether they be staff members or visitors.

Internal decals and graphics, even without additional messaging, can have a positive impact on the effectiveness of your workforce. A university in the Netherlands, for example, found in 2016 that images of nature can assuage employee stress levels - and so indoor office signage featuring large graphics of trees and fields could actually make a difference for the day-to-day happiness of your team.

In summary, office signage can represent a great opportunity for branding and the reiteration of your company’s ethos and values. Signs can be placed anywhere from the exterior face of the building to any and all internal walls, floors and ceilings - and so there are no shortages of locations for signs, which can communicate particular moods and values to visitors and staff alike.

Bold signage can be a powerful tool to make your business seem to fully inhabit its office space and to imply trust and professionalism for visitors - making it a shrewd investment for any company.

Please contact us for help with your office signage project.