The ultimate signage typeface. A type family designed by Ralf Herrmann that sets a new standard for legibility in the context of signage and wayfinding. Wayfinding Sans is not just “yet another signage typeface”. This project is unique in many ways. Ralf Herrmann, the designer of Wayfinding Sans Pro, started this projects with extensive field studies, driving tens of thousands of miles to explore the legibilty of road signage typeface in dozens of countries around the world.
The results of these explorations along with an extensive study of relevant scientific legibilty research formed the theoretic framework for creating an “ultimate” signage typeface.
Superior legibility. Empirically proven. In an independent empirical study at the University of Applied Sciences “htw” in Berlin different typefaces where recently tested
when used on signs and Wayfinding Sans Pro (bold extended) was the winner in all conducted tests, being significantly more legible and therefore superior to all other styles of the tested typefaces—among them typical signage typefaces like Frutiger,
DIN 1451, Johnston Underground and Futura.
Wayfinding Sans Pro is versatile type family. It countains a large character set with over 800 glyphs per style, covering extended Latin, Greek and Cyrillic.
As a typeface specifically made for signage it contains a large set of arrows and the tabular lining figures which are set as default are suitable for typical signage uses—but old-style and proportional figures are available as well as OpenType features.
The typeface comes in two weights (regular and bold) and three widths (condensed, normal and extended). Please note, that in contrast to print fonts the extended fonts are actually the recommended styles for signage use.
Developed for recognizablility and distinguishability: To increase the possible viewing distance, the skeleton of the letters of a signage typeface need to be generic and familiar but also unmistakable. And this is exactly how Wayfinding Sans Pro was designed from the ground up.
Wayfinding Sans takes special care of letters which are easily misread. By making the differences of these letters more prominent, the legibility can be improved dramatically. For examples, have a look at the PDF type specimen.
Developed with an innovative design approach: The actual type design was done using a unique custom real-time simulation software, which could simulate difficult reading conditions (distance, fog, halation, positive/negative contrast) while the letters where actually designed.
Even though legibility studies are not uncommon, they usually just test existing typefaces and the results don’t really tell which design paramters were actually responsible for the results. But since the legibility simulation was an integral part of the development of Wayfinding Sans Pro, there was the possibility to optimize even the tiniest details of each letter for maximum legibility.
Being made specifically for wayfinding purposes, this type family does not compromise on any aspect of legibility—and yet, the typeface is a beautiful, clean and modern sans serif. With its broad language support and the large number of available styles it is perfectly suitable for any possible signage project anywhere on the world.
So Wayfinding Sans Pro is not only suitable for the legibility demands of road or airport signage. The type family is also a professional choice for signage systems for train stations, office buildings, schools and universities, malls, parking lots, parks, sport stadiums and so on.