As technology evolves, so must signage.

Believe it or not, signage is changing all over the world, in a global effort to improve wayfinding signage in terms of ease of use, helpfulness and aesthetics, and efforts are being made to ensure it is a sustainable approach.

In no place is this evolution more evident than in the wayfinding signage that is being employed in museums around the globe. The face of signage is changing, and here’s how.

Digital Signage

Sony Digital Signage Box

Sony Digital Signage Box (Photo credit: AV-1)

The development of new technology allows for new innovations to be put into play. Digital signage is the next big thing on the scene, something that you can already see in some shopping malls, in the form of interactive, touch screen kiosks, displaying information on the location of various different shops.

Digital signage allows for real time information, and can be updated swiftly and easily, and at almost no cost to the owner. However, the initial installation cost can be quite high, and this may deter potential adopters.

It soon pays for itself though – digital floor plans are massive savers of space, replacing the need for huge lists of static, unchanging information, and they offer only the information that is needed, when it’s needed. They can even be customised so as to promote your brand image.

Handheld Signage

Handheld signage is another fairly recent development. An improvement over audio guides that could only tell and not show, and which had to be manually calibrated for each new piece of information, a handheld multimedia guide can do that and more.

As well as providing a constantly updated map of the museum, they can tell each visitor more about each individual item, perhaps providing a short video of what something was once used for, as an example.

Again, these can be quite expensive, as you have to produce a number of the handheld consoles, but as the technology progresses, the price will swiftly come down.

A twist on this development involves smartphones – by using an app for iPhones and Android phones, you can pull off most of what a handheld multimedia guide can do, but at a fraction of the price.

Sustainable Signage

Year on year, demand for environmentally friendly wayfinding signage increases. The best way to do this is to invest in a changeable system, rather than a static one, one that can be updated easily.

Flexible signage solutions, such as those offered by signage manufacturers like IS Group, are clearly better for the environment, but in addition to this they are also cost-effective, as you don’t have to shell out for a completely new set of signs when the information becomes obsolete.

There are even solutions that use green materials, such as recycled cardboard or timber. Choosing to use recycled materials can be a little more expensive, but are worth it when it comes to saving the environment.