Global Street Design Guide

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Table of Contents

Global Street Design Guide


Wayfinding systems should encourage walking and transit usage by providing multimodal information and adopting the pedestrian perspective. Wayfinding works with other visual cues to help people orient themselves and provide confidence in navigating the geography of a city. Wayfinding can increase people’s comfort in choosing to walk when they understand a destination proximity.

Quality wayfinding systems should indicate walking and cycling time with 5- and 10-minute walking distances.



Locate wayfinding elements near key destinations with high pedestrian volumes, such as transit stops, parks, public facilities, and markets.


Scale wayfinding elements to the human body, eye, and height, including adults, children, and people using wheelchairs. Font type and size should be simple and big enough to be read by people with low vision or who are visually impaired. Maps and signs should include braille characters, especially at key destinations and areas with high pedestrian volumes.

Use clear visual language, graphic standards, and maps that can be universally understood. Inclusive signage and wayfinding should inform all type of users, from residents and workers to visitors and tourists.


Legible London is a wayfinding system designed and implemented to help pedestrians find their way around London. The maps display journey times by showing 15-minute and 5-minute walking circles and uses heads-up maps oriented in the direction the user is facing. At stations, signage is integrated with station signs to minimize street furniture clutter. Transport for London (TFL) is prototyping the integration of touch-screen digital technology to include interactive maps and other real-time information services.

The program works with boroughs, Business Improvement Districts, and other organizations to expand the program further. TFL worked with a range of organizations representing disability groups to ensure that the Legible London design is inclusive, providing the number of steps, pavement widths, and pedestrian crossings.

Launched in 2006, Legible London currently has 1,300 signs. Research shows that nine out of ten people were keen to stop and read for directions.

London, United Kingdom

Adapted by Global Street Design Guide published by Island Press.