When Covid-19 started to affect the UK, businesses had to change the way they operated in order to comply with social distancing guidelines. Signage played a big part in helping businesses to adjust their working practices and convey vital information to employees, visitors, and customers. In this article, we will explore the different types of signage that were used by businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic, and how they helped those businesses adjust to the ‘new normal’.
One of the most immediately noticeable and iconic types of signage used by businesses during the pandemic was social distancing signage. This type of informational and wayfinding signage helped remind customers and employees to maintain a safe distance from each other and helped reinforce social distancing rules. Social distancing signage is still used in a variety of different settings, including shops, restaurants, offices, and factories – one of the most visible reminders of the living and working conditions of the pandemic still used today.
Another type of signage that was widely used by businesses during the pandemic was bespoke wayfinding signage. In normal times, directional signage helps customers and employees navigate around business premises and can be used to direct people to specific locations such as exits, toilets, and treatment rooms.
During the pandemic, wayfinding signage was also employed to control the flow of people in busy areas to avoid overcrowding, e.g., by helping people queue up safely at business premises while maintaining a safe distance from others. Wayfinding signage was also deployed to identify specific Covid-related services, such as the hundreds of temporary testing and vaccination centres that sprung up across the country – with all the associated logistics and accessibility infrastructure that came with them.
From the onset of the lockdowns until the final lifting of restrictions in July 2021 – and continuing into the present for many healthcare providers – businesses were forced into the informal position of healthcare educators, ensuring that service users were aware of and adhered to government public health advice and restrictions. Regulatory and safety signage reminds customers and employees of the regulations and best practices that need to be followed to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 – such as reminders to keep windows open or throw away any used tissues, wash their hands regularly, and wear face masks when required.
A more recent development that was utilised by some businesses during the pandemic is LED display signage. This type of signage uses LED technology to display messages or images, which can be changed quickly and easily – providing information about up-to-date social distancing or hygiene rules, as well as special offers or promotions.
Digital indoor and outdoor signage proved invaluable to many businesses during the lockdowns themselves and the ensuing period of social control and restrictions. This type of signage uses LCD or plasma screen displays to show images or videos and can be updated regularly using software such as PowerPoint or Photoshop. Businesses that already used digital touchscreens and signage assets at the onset of the pandemic were able to update their dynamic content to supply Covid-relevant information alongside branding and marketing content.
The final type of advanced signage worth mentioning is contactless check ins and service kiosks – which became commonplace in GP surgeries, hospitals, hotels, and local authority buildings, as well as many restaurants and stores. These usually consist of touch screen displays that allow customers or employees to perform various tasks without coming into physical contact or transmission distance with anyone else while accessing services.
A variety of different static and digital signage solutions were used by businesses to help people operate more safely and efficiently during the pandemic and continue to have useful applications now that the ‘new normal’ is just an unpleasant memory.
To find out more about our bespoke business signage solutions and the potential applications for your business, please call 01527 578533 today.