A Healthy Sign: Use Cases for Medical GraphicsSEPTEMBER 5, 2023| DillonShane
Just as heartwarming television and radio commercials can affect consumers’ feelings about healthcare brands, large-format and other medical signage can inspire trust, ensure safety, and promote loyalty. Hospitals, medical offices, clinics, and other facilities are often a warren of corridors and waiting rooms. Sterile white walls, a symbol of cleanliness, can often feel cold and clinical. Alternatively, colorful murals, inspirational messages, graphics, and signage can help visitors and employees feel calm and nurtured even during high-stress visits.
A Breadth of Purposes
Signage can serve many purposes in healthcare settings, offering crucial information and creating an immersive setting with environmental graphics.
Promoting your facility is a necessary part of running a hospital, clinic, or medical practice. Let patients know about the services you provide, spotlight your staff, or promote events and offerings such as seasonal flu shots. Don’t forget about outdoor advertising opportunities; on buildings and properties this can range from signs and flags about blood drives and screening sessions; on the road this might include vehicle wraps to get your brand and message out into the community.
Hospitals can be massive, requiring patients to navigate a labyrinth of hallways that all look alike. Wayfinding signs create an environment that’s as supportive and stress-free as possible. Wayfinding and directional signage should be clear and easy to understand. Creativity is great, but clarity is typically the priority when it comes to directions. You also need to ensure that everything is ADA-compliant to provide an accessible means for navigation.
Warnings and Restrictions
For patients, these types of signs are used to flag areas that may be exposed to radiation or biohazards. Warning and restricted-area signs provide patients with information about health and safety risks – and by clearly providing that information, they can also help prevent litigation. Similarly, for medical staff, these color-based signs are critical for quickly directing personnel at a glance.
Numerous studies verify the positive psychological effects of graphics, whether in corporate, school, or medical environments. At hospitals, these can communicate to patients and staff that they are in a place that cares about their well-being. Environmental graphics often bring nature indoors with beautiful scenes of forests, parks, and beaches. Uplifting messages might include brand slogans and inspirational quotes. Bright colors and creative artwork go a long way toward this, especially in places like children’s wards and long-term care departments.
Types of Signage
Along with wayfinding signage, some of the more common types include:
- Wall murals: Go big with soothing or fun imagery that brightens up an entire wall. This works very well for reception areas or other waiting spaces, transforming a blank wall into a story-driven scene, an awe-inspiring setting like underwater or outer space, or even cartoon characters for children. Custom murals can also serve as office signs to advertise private practices for doctors, dentists, chiropractors, therapists, etc.
- Window graphics: It’s clear that window graphics can offer flexible benefits and can be easily changed. You can improve the look of the building from the outside while still letting light enter the building. Use one-way window graphics that appear as solid signs on the outside, but that allow people to see through it from the inside. Window graphics can also create partial or total privacy with frosted screens.
- Elevator wraps: Even the act of getting on an elevator can be stressful in medical settings. Put visitors at ease with elevator wraps that incorporate visual themes of health, happiness, or humor.
- Outdoor signage: Directional signs are as important outside as they are inside, guiding patients to and from parking structures and around large campuses. Banners and signs, which can be effectively used inside lobbies and reception areas, are ideal for outdoor promotions of time-limited events (e.g., vaccine availability) while multi-story buildings can be draped with giant banners with a facility’s name, logo, and message.
- Vehicle wraps: For healthcare businesses with their own vans or cars, vehicle wraps can offer a mobile platform for free advertising.