What’s The Difference Between Signage and Wayfinding?

Whenever we go out in built-up areas, we are bound to find signs with information telling us where we are, the direction of other locations, advertisements, and so on. Such signs are essential in societies like ours because they help keep their citizens content and the economy rolling.

Signs like these have been around ever since we’ve had towns and cities. In the past, such signs would have been carved into wood, but the technology has developed leaps and bounds since. Today’s signs are often made of plastics, metals and other modern materials, while some signs are also illuminated.

Regardless, the basic principle of signage is that it helps to impart useful information to whoever looks at it. This helps people find their destinations, lets businesses market themselves and so many more benefits. 

Digital Signage

We now live in a digital world, and are surrounded by digital products wherever we go. Signage is no exception, and digital signage is rapidly becoming the norm.

Digital signage offers various benefits when compared to traditional varieties. For one thing, digital signage looks appealing, which can be valuable when it comes to marketing and selling products. For another, digital signage can be changed easily and even remotely, offering greater flexibility in what you display.

Overall, digital signage offers flexible advertising and information platforms that can help empower businesses and help citizens find their way. But how does this tie in with wayfinding?  

Signage vs Wayfinding

Signage is the use of signs to impart useful information to whoever might need that information. As mentioned, this information can mean details like your location and possible information on other locations, helping you find your way around.

This is where we find a crossover between signage and wayfinding and highlights how signage can be a very powerful wayfinding tool. This means that while there is a distinct difference between signage and wayfinding, one very much relies on the other.

Wayfinding typically involves the use of maps, floor plans, street signs, and any other type of signage that will help people know where there are and where they need to go. In the past, this would have been done with help from compasses and reading the stars. However, we now have much easier and more convenient ways of navigating our way from one place to another.

We’ve all used it, whether it’s finding your seat in a cinema or locating a store in a mall. And the crossover between signage and wayfinding lies in the fact that signage is often used to let people know where they are and/or give directions to another location.

Such wayfinding signage is often used in locations like shopping malls, and trade shows to help people find the stores or stalls they are looking for. And such signage is becoming increasingly digitized.  

Digital Wayfinding

Wayfinding has also evolved and become more effective in recent years, thanks largely to signage developments. For example, fully digitized signage can now be interactive, letting people ask questions or use the platform in other ways that help them personally. This is helped by technology like touchscreens that help make it easy for anybody to interact with the platform.

Not only can users ask for the information they specifically need, but digital signage also helps when it comes to making the information useful. For example, digital wayfinding kiosks can show 3D maps that help people to navigate often sprawling layouts quicker and easier. Such technology is ideal for locations like shopping malls, stadiums, show centres, and similar locations.

When used in this way, 3 signage offers numerous benefits, including the following.

  • Improving the Customer Experience

Getting lost can be frustrating and potentially costly. And not only to the lost individual but also to companies and stalls that lost out on potential visitors. Thankfully, digital wayfinding kiosks will help the user reach their destination, improving the customer’s experience.

Enhancing the customer’s experience is an effective way of attracting more revenue in the short term to the long term. This is because people are more likely to return again after a good experience, helping generate more revenue and help your company get noticed.

  • Flexibility

Digital wayfinding signage can be changed quickly and easily. As such, any changes in the layout of a building can be reflected straight away, helping to ensure users will always know where they have to go. Such flexibility means you can change layouts and make other changes without having to have new signage installed. It also allows managers to experiment, helping them find the right formula that benefits all involved/

  • Marketing

Digital wayfinding kiosks can also create effective marketing opportunities for businesses that can boost revenue and help them get noticed. For example, the kiosks can be used to promote products, and their flexible nature means the digital wayfinding software can be updated with new offers quickly and easily. Users can even use the signage to look for promotions, helping them find the best available deals on the day. The kiosks themselves can be branded, helping mall owners and event organizers ensure proper branding throughout their businesses.

  • Aesthetics

You should never underestimate the importance of aesthetics – and a well-designed digital wayfinding kiosk will look fantastic. The kiosks can be branded and designed in whichever colour you prefer, helping them complement your premises perfectly. The right aesthetics will also help draw people towards your kiosk, encouraging them to benefit from all it offers. 


Although signage and wayfinding are two separate phenomena, the two are very tightly linked. After all, effective signage can help people know where they are and how to get to their destination – which is the essence of wayfinding. As such, countless businesses across the planet have had wayfinding signage installed on their premises.

And today’s wayfinding signage is far more helpful than it has been in the past. Thanks to interactive kiosks and similar, users can now use wayfinding digital wayfinding signage so that their needs are answered directly. The signage is also made to be very easy to use, further adding to a positive overall experience.