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wayfinding stairwell

Links Signs and Graphics moves beyond directory sign systems and finds its way to something bigger and brighter. Large Format Review takes a closer look:

Stairwells, practically every multi-storey building has one or more and, dependent upon whether it’s an architectural feature or a forgotten, non-public area, a stairwell can provide a mixed experience for the foot traffic using it.

Pedestrian traffic moving through those stairwells needs to know where it is. Which floor am I on and what else is on this level? A list of room numbers would be useful. Without such information time can be wasted and safety might even be compromised.

It is an old problem for which the paradigm solution has been the systemised directory sign. These signs identify the floor number and, perhaps, the rooms available at a given level. They usually don’t contribute much towards improving the ambience in what might be an overlooked part of an otherwise attractive building, and message legibility sometimes comes second.

However, it doesn’t have to be that way, as Links Signs and Graphics has proved with its recent installation for Liberty Living on behalf of a Blackpool-based construction company.

Arrive at any given floor in a new Liberty Living property and, thanks to Links’ work, there’s no doubt where you are. The floor number dominates the landing area with a colourful rendering covering an entire wall. Picked out within the floor-to-ceiling graphic is all the information visitors need, including room numbers. As a wayfinding aid, Links Signs and Graphics’ installation is functional and effective. As a means of enhancing what might otherwise be a really dull area, it succeeds brilliantly.

Producing and installing the scheme was an involved process. The Links team produced graphics for about fifty-six floors in total across a number of sites. Each involved a precision survey and reference to a supplied design. Wall preparation was also needed ahead of installation.

The graphics are both colourful and durable. The team used its Mimaki printer and a pairing of Metamark MD5 and its matched, matt-finished laminate to produce the job. Installation was completed on schedule and the whole programme never missed a beat.

Is it decor? Is it signing? The answer to both questions is an emphatic yes and even arguably a little more. This work takes the company to a market where it’s satisfying the need for what might be called functional decor. It’s new, dynamic and it’s bright and effective − Links Signs and Graphics is sure to find a ready audience for more.