Building directory signs are an important part of successful building design

You’re headed to an appointment, your calendar says that Jones, Smith, Green & Chardansky are on the 12th floor. Do you head directly for the elevator? Do all the elevators go to the 12th floor? Oh, there’s a sign that informs you which one to use. Wait, which office on the 12th floor? Are you sure they’re on the 12th floor? Maybe your partner who scrawled the message on a used post-it note makes 7’s that look like 2’s.

When you enter a building and need some direction or confirmation of directions, the first thing you probably look for is The Directory. The best directories are key elements in the architecture of the building. This is where people will stop, look and search for that critical piece of information – “Which Suite Is The One I’m Looking For?”

The Directory can even be a significant building landmark – “meet me by the Directory and we’ll go out for lunch” sort of thing.

Building Directory Signs are an Important Component of Building Design

The Directory, even in this electronic age is still a central and critical part of any building. It confirms the building address and identifies the location of each tenant, quickly, easily and with very little maintenance required. Some buildings use electronic directories (additional maintenance may be required.) Maybe someday your phone will automatically log-in to the building’s interface, look at your calendar and provide directions-this does make sense for very large institutions like hospitals or museums.

A well designed Directory is an extension of the building’s architecture or interior design. After all, if this is one of the first things people look for (perhaps second to the restroom) it makes sense for it to be a visually outstanding display.

This display should be made so that it is easy to read and the names are in a logical, (i.e. alphabetical) order. All of the text is uncluttered and contains only the most essential information to find the office – this is NOT the place where tenants need to advertise their specialties – you already know this information or you wouldn’t be going to their office in the first place.

Just as importantly, the Directory should be constructed such that updates are easy and non-destructive to the surfaces. No one wants to see their name on top of some faded piece of plastic that has ghost images of tenant’s name past.

How do I know that Directories get a LOT of eyeball traffic? Easy. Just be the guy who needs to come in and change out a few names. You better be quick – in a busy building traffic backs up quickly and pretty soon they’ll be asking where Dr. Blomfiled’s office is since they can’t see through you.

If you’re looking to purchase or update a Directory, try to find someone who understands how to incorporate this important business sign display into your interior and is sensitive to ensuring the information is professionally presented and managed. So the next time your partner mistakenly writes “Suite 1715” on that post it note, and they really meant “Suite 1215”, the humble Directory will ensure you’ll arrive on time instead of taking a an extra elevator ride.