Case Study: Designing and Implementing Signage for Aged Care

At The Creative Printer, we’re committed to creating welcoming, safe and easy-to-navigate spaces that feel homely for those living there or visiting. There are a number of ways we can make a space a safer and more dementia-friendly environment, including using signage solutions, memory doors and personalised prints.

One of the best ways we can show you how we work with our clients, is to share examples through some high-level case. You’ll be able to see the steps we take, the solutions we use and the results you can expect from partnering with us.

The Creative Printer Case Study

This client was an aged care residence that needed help with signage and creating a relaxing and secure environment for their residents. They came to us after they noticed that both residents and visitors were having trouble navigating the environment. They were using exit doors instead of following corridors and in some cases needed to be diverted to make the space safer and easier to navigate. The care staff also wanted to make certain areas more welcoming and less clinical for residents and their families.

door mural decal

Our Initial Thoughts

What the client was expressing to us is a common problem that we see a lot. These residences are often providing healthcare which can naturally make them more clinical. Whilst that’s the first priority, they also need to be somewhere that people feel at home or find it easy to visit. With well-thought-out signage solutions, warm colours and welcoming designs, we could transform this aged care residence into a more practical yet homely space.

Our first thought was to add clear signage which would help people to navigate the space better. We thought about colours, icons and fonts to make them appropriate and stand out in the residence. We also knew that we had to address the issue of the exit doors as this could potentially lead to problems with exit-seeking behavior from some residents. It was important to use door diversions as, from our experience, we have found that by applying an attractive print away from the exit door on the surrounding walls for instance, you can gently guide a person’s attention away from the door.

The Process for Signage Solutions

1. Going to the Facility

The first step for our team was to go out to the residence and meet with the manager and a dementia consultant. They took us around the site, and we identified the best places for wayfinding signage, door murals and door diversions. We then used a map of the aged care facility to get a better understanding of how residents were currently moving around the space and how it could be improved. We discussed signage solutions from every angle and how they would be perceived coming from all directions. 

Together we identified key areas that were being overlooked and were difficult to navigate (such as towards the reception and exit) and took the client through the various solutions on offer. We made them aware of how they could customise the signage solutions by adding brand colours, specific icons and arrows and making them repositionable if needed.

2. Sending Out Proofs

Like any commercial printing or signage job, an important part of the process is sending out proofs for approval. We do this so that the client can cast a final eye over the sign designs and ensure they’re fit for purpose. They can double-check that everything is correct and make any last-minute alterations if needed, before we send them off to print.

3. Printing and Installation

Once the signs were fully approved, we could send them off for printing. In the case of this client, their maintenance team followed our installation guide and applied the wayfinding signs themselves.

custom wayfinding signage

In the image above, you can see how adding the multi-directional wayfinding signage has improved the space and made it easier to navigate. 

The Process for Door Diversions and Decals

1. Assessing the area

When it comes to door decals and diversions, it’s important we assess how residents and visitors interact with the current door in place and what needs to be changed. We therefore, again, went out to the aged care residence to discuss the concerns that they had with their exit doors and the solutions we could offer.

We took pictures from different angles, as well as measurements, in order to work out some options as to what would suit the space best, all the while making sure our solution would be safe and create a warm and homely environment. At this stage of the process, it’s important to make the client aware of all the possibilities on offer, including different images and customisable options.

2. Sending Out Proofs

As is the case with the signage solutions, we also send out proofs of prints and door diversions for managers to visualise and approve. If there are any amendments that need to be made, or the client has any questions, these can be addressed at this stage.

3. Printing and Installation

After approval (including scaling up images and ensuring the correct perspective), we print the wall art and door murals. These are then either applied by maintenance staff or professionally installed by our team of experts to ensure they are seamlessly applied to the surface in the correct position.

From the pictures shown below, you can see the difference that effective door diversions and decals can make in an aged care setting. They remove some of the clinical atmosphere which can make a healthcare setting less homely as well as adding bright and welcoming colours that make it easier to navigate.

 door diversion

Ready to Transform Your Aged Care Setting?

There are so many benefits for residents, staff and visitors when a residence is easy to navigate, friendly and safe for all. It can help to improve productivity, create a warmer atmosphere and aid those living with dementia to have more independence.

If you’d like to know the difference great signage solutions, door decals and wall prints can make to your residence, or if you have further questions about the process, get in touch with the team at The Creative Printer. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have and advise on the best steps forward for your space.