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6 Things to Consider When Upgrading Hotel Signs

Signage plays a crucial role in the hotel industry. Externally, it attracts new customers, helps you get found and promotes your brand. Internally, it shows visitors how to navigate your premises and assists in compliance with health and safety regulations. In this post, we’ll look at the main things you need to consider when developing a new hotel signs systems.

External hotel signs

Helping customers find you

Whether people are coming to stay at your hotel or just using its facilities, many of them will be unfamiliar with the area and won’t know where your hotel is or what it looks like. It doesn’t help that many hotels are not easy to spot from the road.

Good signage can help alleviate this problem. For those hotels with buildings situated away from the main road, perhaps having a long driveway, it may be possible to erect post, panel or monolith signs at the extremities of your premises which passing traffic can see. Besides displaying your name, these signs can also give directions, for example, ‘turn left next exit’.

For those on busy streets, clearly visible signs can be the easiest way to ensure customers can find you. Often, signs that protrude at right angles from the front of a building (e.g. traditional pub signs) are the easiest to see by those travelling up and down a street.

Being easier to find improves customer satisfaction and helps those attending conferences, weddings and other events to get their quicker. This, in turn, means plans go to schedule for the organisers and improves the chances of them booking your hotel for future events.

Attracting new customers

While many people book hotels or their services in advance, there are always those who are looking for things at the last minute. If bad weather disrupts travel, for example, there may be numerous people looking for somewhere to stay at short notice. If your hotel is well-signed it’s just as easy for these customers to find you as it is for those who have pre-booked.

It’s not just hotels rooms that passers-by may want, either. Hungry travellers may notice you have a restaurant, those who work nearby may discover you have gym facilities that are conveniently located for them. With good signage on the exterior of your premises, you have a much better chance of attracting new customers to your business.

Improving brand identity

Branding plays a crucial role in the hotel industry. Whether you’re quaint country, chic boutique, standard business or billionaire-class, creating the right image is essential if you are going to attract your target clientele. Designing the right sign enables customers to understand what kind of service and accommodation they can expect from you.

Ideally, your signage needs to match the style and theme of your hotel. A super-sophisticated sign outside a business standard hotel, for example, might attract clients who had different expectations to those which were on offer. A boutique hotel, on the other hand, might not attract the right customers unless the sign has connotations of sophistication.

Staying compliant with regulations

Another factor you need to consider when designing your external hotel signs is that they comply with regulations. You may find, for example, that your local council has restrictions on where signs can be placed, how big they can be and the types of materials which can be used. This is especially important where hotels are listed buildings or located in conservation areas or areas of outstanding beauty. There may also be controls over sign lighting. Some councils may limit the use of lighted signs in built-up residential districts or to avoid light pollution in rural areas.

Before designing your external signage, it is always advisable to check with your council’s planning team to make sure that you don’t need planning permission or have other local regulations that need to be complied with.

Internal hotel signs

Helping customers find their way around

Wayfinding signage is key to improving the customer experience. In particular, it needs to clearly identify the various places in the hotel and show people where to find them. For example, as soon as a visitor enters your building, the reception needs to be obviously signposted and labelled. Here are some of the things you need to consider:

  • Wayfinding signs are needed at key intersections, in lift lobbies and at the bottom of staircases. If possible use directional symbols, such as arrows.
  • Wayfinding signs should be used for all facilities: reception, hotel rooms, restaurants, spa, gym, conference suites, toilets, etc.
  • Each room or facility should be clearly signed with its number or name.
  • Long corridors should have signs halfway down to reassure visitors they are still on the right path.
  • Sign designs should be consistent throughout the premises.
  1. Improving health and safety

Hotels have a duty of care for all their staff and visitors and good signage can play a vital role in keeping people safe and helping you comply with health and safety regulations. In particular, you will need to clearly display signs which show where emergency exits are located and which help people follow the most appropriate pathway out of the building.

While wayfinding signage is best displayed in a way which matches the branding of the hotel, health and safety signs should be those which everyone knows and understands. Many of these use symbols and this makes them ideal if you have visitors from other countries who do not speak English fluently.


Designing the correct signage for your brand and location brings many benefits to hotels and their clientele. It helps customers find you, attracts passing trade, improves your brand identity and creates a better user experience inside your premises. At the same time, well-designed signs help you stay compliant with local regulations and make your hotel safer for staff and visitors.

If you are considering upgrading your hotel signage, visit our Restaurant and Hotels Signs page.

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