n. The art and craft of providing signs and symbols that help travelers find their way from place to place.
Paul Arthur, 76, a graphic designer who pioneered the international language of pictographs — the language of vision, as he called it. He helped mastermind the PATH system of signs to guide people through the tangled skein of shopping tunnels beneath downtown Toronto, as well as signs at Toronto Zoo, including the big coloured feet painted on the ground. He coined the terms 'signage' and 'wayfinding'.
—“A look back at those who died,” The Toronto Star, December 29, 2001
This summer, the Grand Central Partnership and 34th Street Partnership have erected 76 'wayfinding' signs, 13 1/2 feet high, pointing the way to the Empire State Building, Grand Central Terminal, St. Patrick's Cathedral and other much-sought destinations.
—David W. Dunlap, “Street Furniture Designs Stuck in Gridlock,” The New York Times, August 09, 1998
1985 (earliest)
Hospitals often have labyrinthine circulation systems and confusing signage. Add to that the stress and confusion of people visiting the hospital and you have situations where people cannot find their way through buildings.
—“No More Mazes, Research about Design for Wayfinding in hospitals,” Progressive Architecture, January 01, 1985