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Interesting Icons Used in Wayfinding

Escalator sign

Trying to sign certain directions can be problematic in wayfinding, but there are some interesting solutions which you may wish to consider. Below are some interesting icons you can use.

1. Escalator (Moving Stairs in American English)

Creating signage which explains forward movement combined with going up to a different floor level (via a moving staircase) has in the past proved to be a problem for many wayfinding systems. This icon below has become popular in the last couple of years and one which I think is a very good way to express the directions to users.

2. Portage Signage

Portage signage

For those of you who are also interested in kayaking and similar activities, you will appreciate that there are in fact two levels of wayfinding which are involved. There is the navigation which is involved with finding your way through a river (or other waterway) and this includes finding your way not just in a navigational sense, but also in terms of finding your way through certain currents and tides. The second wayfinding experience connected to kayaking is the effort needed to find the appropriate entrance points on a river. You need not only to find a point which is safe and appropriate as an entrance point to the water, but this point also needs to be one at which you will be easily able to also exit the water! This entrance point will often need to be close enough to where you can also park. I sometimes find that it needs a discovery trip of its own in order to find the right entrance points when kayaking some regions.

In addition to the two forms of wayfinding in kayaking navigation, there is also of course the portage! Portage means when you cannot navigate between two water masses and where you have to carry the boat. It might be a two person canoe which you and one other are carrying or it might be a solo trip. The portage sign above is one which I have sometimes seen in the wilderness.

3. Kangaroo Crossing

kangaroo sign

Whether this is really connected to wayfinding or not I will open to debate. This sign nevertheless is one I saw often whilst travelling Australia and which brings back many fond memories. In getting between A and B, such signage is important on some roads in Australia and clearly a symbol of travel experience for backpackers crossing this country.

4. Staircase Symbol Signage

staircase signage

Similar in many ways to the escalator (upward moving stairs) issue, trying to create icons on signage which makes clear the change in floor level, has so often in the past been problematic. An up arrow is so often used to signify movement needed up stairs. This causes confusion though, because an up arrow is often used also to signify to walk forward. The symbol above to signify movements up stairs and to another level I think is ideal.

5. Skiing Signage

ski signage

Another sign you might not be familiar with is the skiing warning sign, sometimes visible on slopes on black runs and avalanche possible areas.

6. Korean Stop Signage

Korean road signage

Having lived in Korea for 2 years (make sure to read the Korean wayfinding post I did previously) I have often see n this sign above and it brings back memories of trying to navigate my way around Seoul, Korea. As a city, a location such as Seoul is especially interesting if you have a fascination with wayfinding, because of the technological developments in Korea. I will explain more in future posts regards Korea, technology and wayfinding.

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