COVID Signage: The good, the bad, & the ugly

Article | 09.15.2020

Chances are, if you entered a grocery store, gas station, restaurant or any place of business in the past six months you have experienced the many forms of makeshift signage and wayfinding placed on the walls, floors and countertop surfaces due to COVID-19. When the pandemic struck, businesses and governments were doing the best they could and finding the easiest solutions for signage. Many times, this consisted of businesses scrambling to keep operations moving while also adhering to the strict social distancing requirements established by the CDC and local governments. Oftentimes, it meant creating and implementing signage as quickly as possible. 

How can you display all the correct required signage while having it be visually appealing? How do you cost effectively develop all the required signage? How do you do it quickly and stay up to date with the most current executive orders? All very tough questions to answer in these times. This is where the team of experts at Wightman can help. The Wightman Interior Design Team can help you navigate your way through the signage challenge all are facing in 2020.

We have all seen it – the brightly colored tape slapped on the floors delineating the six-foot separation requirement. As much of an eye-sore the colored duct tape is, it worked as intended. The downside to tape is that it is temporary and depending on the high usage of the space and how much foot traffic is trekking over the top of it on a daily basis, it will not hold up and in turn requires frequent replacement.

How do you overcome that challenge? Wightman Senior Interior Designer, Casey Bourdo shared, “Floor signage seems to be an excellent way to organize consumers that is less obtrusive but practical. Clearly identifying and marking areas of high traffic helps to raise awareness and serves as subtle reminders to follow the recommended set traffic patterns by officials.”

“To dress up floor decals, many manufacturers can offer custom branding of the final product either with company colors or logos. The decals can easily be installed or removed on most floor surfaces, which offers the greatest flexibility for ease of maintenance and unpredictability,” added Bourdo.

“It is important to utilize signage that encourages hand washing, germ prevention, directional wayfinding, and wellness to make people aware and help prevent the spread of the disease,” shared Wightman’s Interior Design Associate, Sara Kotanko.

“A quick internet search offers up a large variety of signage and graphic distributers that offer help in customizing graphics to fit your needs. Most have locations or at least representatives nearby to help navigate the requirements and options and if not, chances are you have a local print shop that specializes in graphics that would be of assistance,” added Kotanko.

The CDC website is a great resource and offers pre-designed signage and posters covering everything from “wash your hands” to “practice social distancing” reminders that are free for download. Following are links to resources for signage:

As time continues to pass and germ prevention signage begins to look like the norm, business are starting to implement signage of higher standards, still temporary in many cases, but with better quality graphics and solutions that are easier on the eye, easily integrated into the overall design of the space and solutions that have multiple uses – communicating changes and regulations while also branding the business. Here are a few sources that can help you with these needs.

Free Resources

Have no clue where to start? Do not want to lose your company branding in everything? Need help to tackle this challenging signage task? Let the Wightman Interiors Team help you with your signage needs. Contact us today. We can help you comply with the requirements while staying true to who you are as a business.