Event signalization: how to properly mark up spaces

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Event signalization: how to properly mark up spaces

Signalization can be an important part of brand image, in addition to indicating areas and spaces and decorating an event creatively and uniquely.

Often and detrimentally, corporate signalization is not taken into account when organizing events, although it is vital for situating attendees, guiding them, and ensuring safety and the correct and orderly flow of an event.

Related to graphic design, by event signalization we are referring to the group of symbols and signs which orient people within a given space, a mechanism of visual communication to provide bearings and offer instructions on how to act in certain situations.

Spatial branding

Although the purpose of event signalization is to guide and orient individuals within spaces, it presents other opportunities beyond that as well.  It can be tailored in function of what is being represented, with the company colors and logo design, bringing your own brand identity to the event.  In the end, signalization contributes a visual impact as important as any other brand strategy, serving to reinforce corporate identity.

You can install aerial signs, hanging from the ceiling, or wall signs, more common, but the important thing is that a complete and efficient visual communication is achieved.  Here are 6 types you can use in function of the end objective:

Location

Location signs ensure that individuals can locate a specific point within a space correctly and easily, e. g. the building exit, the toilets, the dining area, etc.

Orientational

These allow the public to visualize where they are within the space and find the areas they want to get to.  A useful example is the map in shopping malls, where you can see exactly where you are in relation to what’s around you.

Directional

Basically, these consist of arrows indicating the direction to take for the correct flow of traffic.  A prime example is the arrows in parking garages which lead us to the exit.

Informative

These serve to provide information about the surroundings, like the panels at hospitals that give the floor number and where the different areas are.

Decorative

Their main function is to adorn the area, although they may also present information subtly.

Regulatory

Their function is to protect attendees:  preventive (caution, slippery floor), restrictive (authorized personnel only), and prohibitive (no smoking).

How to approach event signalization to accomplish your objectives

It is essential that you take into account the following four rules, otherwise your event’s corporate image could suffer and your signs won’t achieve their main purposes:

  1. Only necessary information

The objective is to communicate, that the message be recognizable at first glance.  This doesn’t mean that it can’t be imaginative, but you should clearly define the representations and words you’re going to use and steer clear of unnecessary additional communication.

  1. Don’t go overboard

The number of signs you’ll need will depend on the event’s complexity as far as the space involved.  With this in mind, include only those which really communicate key messages, don’t add signs just for the sake of it:  too many signs reduces their function and usefulness.

  1. Placement is important

Although signalization also contributes to corporate image, remember that that is not its primary function.  To identify the places where signs will be needed, go over a map of the space where your event is being held to get a sense of where individuals might need orienting.

  1. Go beyond

As we’ve already established, signalization should always fulfill its main function:  communicating to attendees their location, where they can go, where they can’t, and what spaces and services are available at an event.  As long as these points are covered, what’s to keep you from getting creative with the design, shape, or materials?  An important part of your events will always be making them memorable for guests, be that through the music, the speakers, the information presented, or distinctive signs.  They should leave knowing what they attended, what brand put it on, and what it was all about; who says that can’t be accomplished through innovative signalization?  Let your imagination soar.

Use signs and symbols to identify the venue’s entrance and exit, its different areas, the toilets, and for every other orientation the public might require.  Signal the restricted access and off-limits areas, as well as all emergency exits.  Don’t forget that signalization is another part of your event and should therefore be designed with a fitting aesthetic and include the brand logo.

How about you?  How do you go about designing and placing your signalization?  Leave us a comment.

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