The Importance of a Master Plan in Wayfinding Signage Systems

As discussed previously, wayfinding encompasses all of the ways in which people orient themselves in physical space and navigate from place to place.  In addition, for large companies, educational campuses, operational facilities, hospitality industries, parking structures, and more, wayfinding master plans serve to help meet federal and state requirements for accessibility wayfinding infrastructure and emergency wayfinding infrastructure.

Taking into account a variety of tools and visitor touchpoints, a master wayfinding plan takes a holistic view from a visitor’s perspective while concurrently identifying opportunities for brand awareness, identify enhancement and the promotion of a thoughtful, organized and well-planned approach to wayfinding.

A master plan for wayfinding signage systems is developed and executed in phases. Below are the phases for a design-build approach to master plan wayfinding signage systems.

Program Definition Phase

The Program Definition phase assures a comprehensive and cost-effective signage solution and can uncover the possible risks in order to develop a stable project foundation. Project management will simplify the complex tasks of developing, identifying and realizing a signage program by providing solutions that meet ADA and code regulations, resolve wayfinding and visitor directional challenges, communicate brand identity, address documentation needs and facilitate on-site product installation.

During the program definition phase, project managers will:

  • Complete necessary audits, site studies, and analysis
  • Establish graphic standards
  • Survey and budget, including site survey client interviews, budget analysis, distance visibility analysis, traffic analysis for both pedestrian and vehicular
  • Define schedule and performance expectations
  • Complete a local code compliance and analysis
  • Client representation before government agencies (e.g. variances) if necessary

Schematic Design Phase

The Schematic Design phase performs site and visibility analyses, determines zoning requirements, and makes recommendations for overall custom sign designs, size, typestyles, and color/contrast to communicate the messages effectively. In addition, the designs specify structural supports, lighting, fastening methods, and electrical requirements to ensure the long-term value of a signage investment.

During the schematic design phase, project managers will:

  • Identify opportunities
  • Conceptualize applications
  • Define spaces
  • Review solution


Design Development Phase

The Design Development phase focuses on ensuring that the sign system is both cost-effective to produce and easy to maintain. Project managers will work with clients and their marketing partners to make each branding effort a success and may offer complete engineering sign design services and working drawings to help further define the intended result of a project.

During the design development phase, project managers will:

  • Refine designs
  • Define applications
  • Confirm scale and use
  • Obtain final approval

Fabrication Phase

The Fabrication phase utilizes the latest in sign design and manufacturing technology to ensure the highest level of efficiency and quality. A variety of materials can be used to create themed signage, including stainless steel, aluminum, and other metals, painted plastics and acrylics, 3Form and wooden laminates, electronic and illuminated signage.

During the fabrication phase, project managers complete:

  • Construction documentation
  • Schedule installation

Installation Phase

The Installation phase analyzes engineering and code requirements, fabrication staging and sign installation logistics. Sign installation project managers ensure that your signage is installed correctly and in compliance with all local, state and ADA requirements while following all OSHA Safety Regulations for Construction.

During the installation phase, project managers complete:

  • Utility & Code checks
  • Coordination of timing and equipment

With a thoughtful, strategic wayfinding master plan and an experienced signage partner like Creative Sign Designs, every visual or graphic element within your company’s environment can be useful, serve a purpose and do so efficiently, impactfully and intuitively.

Contact us a call today to see what a wayfinding master plan can do for your business.

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.



12801 Commodity Place
Tampa , FL 33626
Toll Free: 800-804-4809
Fax: 813-818-7200


285 National Place
Unit 127
Longwood, FL 32750
Toll Free: 800-804-4809
Fax: 813-818-7200


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