How to Create a Wayfinding Map

by | Feb 28, 2024

Wayfinding maps help people navigate office complexes, malls, campuses, and other large buildings. Whether users are visitors to the space or simply unfamiliar with the area they’re in, wayfinding maps relieve the anxiety of not knowing where to go or how to get there. When you need to create a wayfinding map, it’s important to get the details right.

What Makes a Good Wayfinding Map? Simple and Clear Layouts

No one wants to stand around pouring over a complex map, trying to find their way. That’s why the most effective wayfinding maps are clear and easy to read at a glance. To make this ease of use possible, effective wayfinding maps should be free of unnecessary details. This includes distracting colors, too much text, and symbols that are difficult to recognize.

Creating Your Wayfinding Map

Digitally draw the space, making sure it’s to scale. Include the details that are critical to the navigation of the space, such as locations of various buildings, rooms, and landmarks. When indicating amenities or other specific details, use universal symbols that are easy to recognize whenever possible, such as a blue wheelchair to indicate an accessible entrance.

Use only the required details, which vary based on what type of wayfinding map you need and where it will be located. For instance, it may be appropriate to label the names of the meeting rooms on an interior office wayfinding map layout, but that level of detail would be ineffective on an outdoor wayfinding map for a college campus.

Campus Map Complex

The Most Important Feature in Your Wayfinding Map Is Accuracy

Map users trust that wayfinding maps will be accurate. When maps can’t point them in the right direction or misrepresent the location they’re laying out, it can damage the trust the user has in the organization they’re trying to navigate. However, creating accurate maps is often easier said than done, especially if mapmaking isn’t your specialty or focus.

That’s why Building Maps exists—to help businesses and organizations create effective, easy-to-use maps that help people find their way without any fuss. Our team of expert illustrators and safety experts put our skills to work creating to-scale, directionally-oriented maps that meet your needs. Whether you need to help freshmen find their dorms or interviewees make their way to the reception desk, Building Maps is ready to get started on your wayfinding map project.

Build Your Wayfinding Map Project with Building Maps

Building Maps has helped countless businesses, schools, and organizations create effective wayfinding maps. We have a team of in-house illustrators whose entire focus is map-making, so you can trust you’re getting the highest level of skill and expertise on your project. To get started, request a quote or give us a call at 877.866.9696.

Tony Jones

About the Author: Tony Jones, CFPS, is the owner and founder of Building Maps. He is a safety mapping and code compliance expert. Tony holds his work to the highest standard because he knows “it’s not just a map, it’s about saving lives.”

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