After facing a long period of working hard to flatten the curve, we’re now faced with the equally challenging task of reopening our schools, businesses, and workspaces safely while also promoting health and well-being. There’s no shortage of strategies to make this happen, and each situation should take a customized approach based on the facility and how it’s being used, but one thing is universal: signage is crucial.
The “new normal” of using public space means wayfinding graphics and instructions that are implemented to help navigate throughout buildings to help with social distancing, personal hygiene, and overall infection control standards. Ideally, this signage should put everyone at ease and offer peace of mind. Working with a team of professionals to follow the best practices below can help a great deal.
Think About Messaging
Visitors to your facility are already facing down a great amount of stress. Retail customers, staff, and students at school, and employees have all been through an extensive period of adjustment, and the last thing you want your signage to do is scare or worry them. Write instructions and other information in supportive, informative ways.
Go beyond the copy, too. Choose color palettes carefully and consider how your typography can welcome readers to follow important safety guidelines instead of creating a sense of alarm with bright, jarring colors and harsh lettering. Now, more than ever, visitors to your building need a human touch after working remotely or avoiding your store and spending months at home isolated.
Enhance the Experience
Don’t lose sight of how the right signage can enhance the experience visitors have as they travel through your building. Start by empathizing with them: What do they need from you as a business owner? How are they feeling about returning to school? Will they need guidance from managers and leaders to return to work? Keep in mind their journey starts the minute they leave home.
The signage around them should work hard to sync up with that experience. Even if they can’t be physically close to store employees or coworkers, the signage surrounding them should portray warmth that could be a good substitution. Let them know you care about their well-being and safety, and build a sense of camaraderie that recognizes we’re all in the same water while piloting different boats.
Don’t just stop at signage. Reinforce new guidelines and updated protocols that you share in your signs by launching a digital campaign to go along with it. Use your store’s social media accounts to let followers know that you’re open with protections in place, and what they can expect when they return to shop. Send out company-wide newsletters with messaging that repeats what employees will see in-office.
Supplement all of this with print collateral that you can send to customers, employees, staff, and students at home, where they’re sheltering in place to keep their community safe. In an era where being in physical spaces with others can be a little scary, it helps to return to a sense of normalcy with tangible pieces of branding.
Bolster Your Branding
Your branding elements are a big part of other signage you use; this is no exception. Add your logo with the protocols you’re putting in place to help build a psychological connection. If your school has a mascot, use that. Include company taglines and clever copy to show that there’s an actual human element to the signage.
Your building will look and feel vastly different now than it did the last time visitors were there, but showing them they can depend on you to help everyone continue on safely while keeping them healthy is of the utmost importance. Using cohesive branding can be the glue that holds all of these new policies and procedures together and make them easier to follow.
Now more than ever, retail signage is one of the most pivotal aspects of marking your brand. It’s also taken on the additional role of protecting visitors who are entering your space after months of uncertainty. Your first and most important goal: Communicate with your customers, staff, and students as they start to build new routines and meet them where they are on their journey to do this. Reach out to our team; we’ll apply our years of expertise and experience creating retail signage to help develop post-COVID signage that gets everyone back on track quickly and safely.