How to Take a Creative Approach to Hotel Wayfinding

To stand out and stay competitive, hotels must work hard on their branding and customer experience. They must strive to give guests an immersive experience rather than just a place to stay. They must take a unique approach to their entire hotel property — and that includes using creative hotel wayfinding.

Minor details in how people navigate your hotel can have a significant impact in the eyes of guests. It can turn an average property into a destination that guests seek out and plan to visit again and again.

If you want to provide this level of experience to your guests, learn more about how you can take a creative approach to hotel wayfinding.

1. Start With an Audit

Before you can get creative with hotel wayfinding, you need to get the technical aspects out of the way. This means conducting an audit to determine your wayfinding signage needs.

Start by gathering a list of notices and information that people need to see. For example, you may need to update the interior signage system that guides people to the correct room number, and consider other guides, like parking wayfinding and notices for guests in your loyalty program. The audit will also need to review legal needs (like size and visibility) to make sure the signage is effective, regardless of its design.

2. Review Your Signage Needs

Once you have audited your existing signage, take steps to identify new signage that you might need.

For example, do your guests often ask about the location of the pool or struggle to find the elevators when they first check-in? Adding new signage to your hospitality property can help ease these guest worries and take the burden off your team to help with wayfinding.

Additionally, you may find that you don’t need a full signage rebrand, but rather just a few new notices to guide customers. Evaluate the information you need to convey and make a note of how you can improve it with signage. A few well-placed signs can significantly improve the guest experience.

3. Tell a Story With Your Wayfinding

Once you have conducted your audit and needs assessment, you can enjoy the creative hotel wayfinding process. Work with your branding team and hotel leadership to decide what kind of story you want to tell with your wayfinding.

For example, we worked with LEGOLAND Beach Resort to develop a creative hotel wayfinding experience and upgrade their wayfinding Totem system. Along with ensuring that the signage was clear, we stayed true to the Lego brand. We incorporated the Lego bricks into the design and created a fun experience for kids. Finding the right hotel room meant exploring new worlds on the way to adventure. This is how your signage can tell a story.

Of course, not every story is going to be as high-energy as Legoland. The Wyndham Grand Resort also needed improved wayfinding. The brand wanted to highlight elegance and care while guiding guests to relaxing beach experiences. Our signage story made navigation easier (reducing stress for travelers) while staying true to the classic Florida style.

Related: Environmental Branding: Using Your Commercial Property to Tell a Story

4. Add Creative Elements to Your Design

The logos, colors, and font choices you select within your signage play a major role in your design, but they aren’t the only parts of your signage. The physical signage material, the lighting, and the environment all contribute to your branding.

In fact, these elements can put your creative hotel wayfinding above the rest.

Use environmental graphics that play off the surrounding area and incorporate design elements within it. A beach resort may create signage that looks like it is made of driftwood to help the information blend with the environment. With environmental design, the signs stand out while still enhancing the customer experience.

Lighting can also help with wayfinding and setting the tone. A backlit sign adds a sense of luxury to your brand, appealing to existing guests while attracting new ones. You can also use wayfinding lights along your walkways to create romantic (but safe) experiences for guests. These small details can have a big impact in your overall hotel look and feel.

5. Make Sure Your Signage Lasts

All of the time spent on your design and materials is valuable, but it is still important to consider the durability of your signage. You don’t want to invest significant funds into a rebranding only to need new signs within a few years.

As you develop creative hotel wayfinding solutions, keep a few things in mind.

  • How easy is it to clean the signage material that you choose? Will you need special products and will it take your employees longer to maintain the signage?
  • What type of signage maintenance will you need? How frequently will you need to replace bulbs for backlit signs or replace lost letters?
  • What natural elements can wear away your signage? The sun can quickly bleach a sign within a few months if it is made with the wrong material.
  • Is your signage sustainable? What environmental impact comes from the lighting and materials chosen?


High-quality signage should give you the look and feel that you want in your hotel experience without driving up your maintenance costs. For example, energy-efficient LED lights may cost more up-front, but they will last longer and drive your electricity costs down.

Use Creative Hotel Wayfinding to Create a Better Guest Experience

When guests take pictures of your property to share with friends on social media or post on online reviews, do your signs stand out as eyesores? Do you frustrate guests who have a hard time navigating because your signage is unclear or too spaced out?

Signage plays a significant role in how people view your hotel. It can enhance your brand and help guests focus on big-picture experiences.

If you want to improve guest experience by adding creative hotel wayfinding elements, contact Creative Sign Designs today to see how we can elevate the look and feel of your interior and exterior signs.

We have two locations in Florida featuring more than 50,000 square feet of our product offerings. In Tampa and Orlando, we provide a glimpse into the endless possibilities in the sign world. We have created a whole new concept in signage, one that incorporates high-tech design and top-of-the-line construction.



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