Leisure & Hospitality: How Signage Enhances the Customer Experience

.

leisure_and_hosp_banner.jfif

The leisure and hospitality sector is one of the largest industries in the UK. It covers a wide array of businesses and venues, from restaurants and bars to tourism, sports centres and casinos.

One of the hardest challenges in the sector is keeping up with, and responding to ever-changing consumer preferences. Today, these preferences are shaped by the continuous evolution of technology and a shift towards personalisation and inclusivity.

Now, leisure and hospitality no longer just offer services - they offer experiences.

So, where does signage come in?

In the leisure and hospitality industry, first impressions are everything - and signage plays a huge part in this. Signage is not only decorative but is a functional component that enhances the communication, navigation, and comfort of a customer’s journey.

From greeting the customer, providing navigational guidance, and creating a cohesive branded environment, signage plays a vital role in seeing the customer through their journey from start to finish.

Brand Storytelling

And what’s a journey without a story? Effective signage uses design elements and textual cues to create a cohesive and compelling brand narrative. A well-designed story will be threaded throughout each touchpoint of the customer journey, from the entrance sign to the interior wayfinding.

.

1718026608322.jfif

A visitor, customer, or worker within a venue will need to feel inspired and connected with the surroundings.

A great example of this is Astley's award-winning work at Anglo-Saxon Museum and Whisky Distillery for Ad Gefrin. The main objective of the signage and ambient graphics was to complement the architecture and represent the history of the venue and brand. This was achieved through a variety of exterior, interior, and wayfinding elements made from a combination of timber and stone.

.

1718020774466.jfif

.

1717769915786.jfif

The intricate Celtic design was woven throughout each signage element and reflected the brand's rich heritage throughout the whole customer experience, from the Ad Gefrin roundel mounted on the external wall as a focal point to the museum to the wayfinding totems.

This inspires curiosity in not only the natural surroundings but also the cultural background of the visitor centre itself.

.

1717770462714.jfif

Wayfinding & Accessibility

Hotels, casinos, leisure centres and more all face a similar challenge within their spaces – indoor navigation. Alleviating wayfinding anxiety throughout these environments is key in creating a comfortable and positive customer experience, and can be done so through effective and considerate wayfinding signage.

Strategic placement is fundamental to creating a seamless journey throughout a venue. Intuitive wayfinding signage should be placed at regular intervals and should show clear, concise directions that simplify complex areas.


.

1718009363339.jfif

Not only should effective wayfinding help to navigate a space but it should also reinforce a brand’s visual identity. Using consistent colours, logos, fonts and design helps to strengthen a brand’s presence and make wayfinding elements easily recognisable to the customer.

Braille and tactile signage are also crucial in creating an environment that is comfortable and accessible to everyone. Featuring raised braille text, symbols, and high-contrast colours, this inclusive signage allows maps and wayfinding assets to be understood by colour and touch.

.

1718184558113.jfif

Technology Integration

With the rapid development of technology, customer experiences are expected to be faster, easier, and more personalised.

Mobile technology is now elevating the wayfinding experience within the sector, with spaces such as hotels and museums using mobile apps to bridge the gap between physical and digital wayfinding. These mobile apps can offer real-time navigational assistance and a wealth of supplementary information that enhances the overall customer experience.

As well as mobile apps, digital signage can also act as key components throughout venues, allowing for instant information updates and personalised content.

At Astley, we appreciate these ever-changing developments and are proud to be able to support customers with digital signage solutions. From outdoor totems to window displays and interactive touchscreens, we can offer digital hardware that is ideal for a variety of environments.

.

And so...

Like in any other industry, customer needs and expectations are continuously changing in the leisure and hospitality sector.

From accessible signage to seamless wayfinding schemes and immersive brand storytelling, there are so many elements that can contribute to the overall customer experience. What's important is not to underestimate the power of signage and how it can heavily influence a branded environment by the way we choose to, or choose not to, use it.

At Astley, our vast experience in multiple sectors means that we offer expert levels of consultancy on how to create these unique and highly bespoke spaces.

Fully supported by in-house design, prototyping, surveying and auditing, mixed media workshops, fabrication, digital print and vinyl application services and all backed by industry accreditations, the resource and capacity we offer for branding projects of all sizes is unrivalled.

For more information and support with your own branded environments, contact enquires@astley-uk.com or visit our website www.astley-uk.com

Visit our Linkedin to subscribe to our monthly newsletter here.