Recognizing Donors in Healthcare Environments with Clear and Concise Signage

News & Insights

Whether it’s in a large hospital or a small community clinic, the goal of a healthcare signage program is to guide and reassure patients and visitors as they navigate a complex facility, and ease what might otherwise be a stressful experience. The design of healthcare wayfinding systems must be kept simple and straightforward.

Layered into hospital signage is the recognition of donors who contribute their money, time, research and other resources to the healthcare organization. These are incredibly important partners, without whom the organization might not exist, so recognizing them in visible ways is equally important. Consider: The Roy and Patricia Disney Family Cancer Center at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center; or The Judy and Bernard Briskin Center for Clinical Research at City of Hope. These are lengthy designations, so at first glance it might seem that adding donor names will add clutter and confusion to signage whose primary role is to give clear instructions. But it doesn’t have to. By creating a hierarchy and distinguishing primary vs. secondary information, donors can get the recognition they deserve at the same time that patients and visitors are thoughtfully guided through a healthcare environment.


Single word surnames—such as Disney or Briskin in the examples above—can become landmarks and serve as wayfinding names. This approach not only gives donors even greater prominence as their names become the primary identifiers of buildings and spaces, but it also simplifies the navigation for patients and visitors. “DISNEY” could be displayed in big, bold letters designed with high-contrast colors and materials that stand out against their background. The full-length name of the donor and the space or service they’ve funded could then be included in smaller, more subtle fonts below, providing secondary details without cluttering the primary display.


Patients and their caregivers, vendors and other visitors can be instructed to check in at the Disney building, which is clearly marked with straightforward signage. Single words and symbols, presented clearly and used consistently, then guide people along the relevant path to their destination. The donor is recognized, boldly, and the guest is reassured that their experience matters by ensuring focus on their access to care.

→ For more information about signage and wayfinding systems in healthcare environments, click to download our 4-page Guide to Planning a New Healthcare Wayfinding Program, or contact us here. We’d love to work with you.