Identification Signage

Since 1977 Wm. Whiteley Limited has designed and manufactured interior signage, including Identification Signage, as well as complete wayfinding and sign systems for both existing facilities and new buildings. Over the past five years alone we have successfully completed well over 100 interior signage projects. Our clients include healthcare facilities (nursing homes, Long Term Care, and hospitals); colleges and universities; airports and transportation terminals; hotels and public buildings.

How Identification Signs Fit into a Wayfinding System

Wayfinding or sign systems specified for a commercial or industrial building generally include the following four primary sign classifications:

  • Directional (point the way to departments or services, etc.)
  • Informational (hours of operation, departments or services available, etc.)
  • Identifier (company, department or individual’s names, room / suite numbers, etc.)
  • Safety / Security (emergency procedures, heath alerts, etc.)

When a visitor or facility user has been successfully guided through a building using its wayfinding system, identifier signs are like the ‘pot of gold at the end of the rainbow’, confirming that a particular location, function or person has indeed been found. Clearly for this navigation process to be successful, other supporting wayfinding elements – such as directional and informational signage - must be in place. Someone arriving at the front entrance to a building and not having access to directories, directional signage, etc. would have little hope of finding a person or office located on the 22nd Floor.

Identification Signage Gallery

A Few More Examples of Identification Signage

Identification signage or Identifier signs may be required to provide direction either inside or on the outside of a building or facility. Typical examples of each type could include:



Department Name;

Municipal Address

Room Name &/or Number

Building or Company Name

Employee Name &/or Function;

Government or Company Branch

Some Considerations in Specifying Identification Signage

As we said earlier, identifier signs are one of the four principle sign types found in a wayfinding system. Because of that, because identifier signs operate as part of a system, consideration should be given to how to integrate them or make them consistent with the other sign types in the system such as directional and informational signs. What does that mean exactly? Well, for example, if the directional signs guiding the visitor towards the Administration Office have “Administration” shown or highlighted in blue, when the visitor arrives at “Administration” the corresponding identifier signage should be consistent in colour (or other key visual queues such as text style, etc.) so that the person easily recognizes that they have arrived where they wanted to be. This presenting of information in such a way that is obvious or intuitive is an important strategy in making visitors – or staff or residents, for that matter – both more self-sufficient and at the same time less stressed about their ability to navigate their way to the person or services they need.

Another important consideration in specifying identifier signs is whether their text or content is permanent or changeable. Take room numbers as an example: while room / suite numbers themselves usually don’t change over time and so can be considered as a ‘permanent’ sign, some related aspects of signage, such as the name or title of the room’s occupant, are more likely to need updating from time to time. When this combination of ‘permanent’ and ‘changeable’ elements occurs, it may be dealt with either by specifying one sign for the room / suite number and another to identify the occupant or function, or by selecting an option that has both a permanent & changeable component on the same sign.

And finally, a last-but-not-least consideration would be to select signage that relates appropriately in style and materials to the building’s interior finishes. In general, the more neutral the signage, the better, letting other architectural or design elements ‘speak’ more loudly.

Our Identification Signage Products

Sometimes it’s not easy to know what just you need or what will integrate best with what you might already have. Please feel free to call us to discuss your requirements or to get quotations on projects of any size. To consider the possibilities for changeable sign products see Switch, Tablet and Magpi. For permanent signs see Shapes.

I welcome the opportunity to share our expertise and experience with you on current projects. Please contact me directly for RFP/RFQ, Tenders and Proposals.

Bill Whiteley, AOCAD
Industrial Designer

Tel: 519.428.5385 ~ Fax: 519.428.5286 ~ Toll Free: 1.866.666.5385 ~