Main signage

The main signage at the front of your building is very important. It is the first thing that people see when arriving to access your services and facilities.

On this sign, you need to identify clearly the name of your building or surgery. This sign also needs to inform the general public that an NHS service is being offered. You can find details of signage suppliers here.

There are guidelines regarding signage design, layout and colour. However, we understand the need for flexibility when it comes to the manufacture of your sign and the materials that you use, plus any additional information that you may want to include.

For this reason, the following options are available to you:

  • Adding an address line.
  • Producing your sign as a chrome plaque, rather than a standard painted sign.
  • Adding a wooden plaque behind a wall-mounted sign.
  • Using alternative materials for signage construction when local planning restrictions apply – in these instances, you must always reproduce the NHS logo in NHS Blue (Pantone® 300) or black, using the correct layout and positioning (see below).

Please note: for information on signs carrying opening hours and the names of practice partners, go to our patient information section.

Design style

 

Category A: using the NHS identity only

For general practices using the NHS identity only (category A), you should use the following design style for your main signage:

 

Applying the NHS logo to signage

When applying the NHS logo to your signage, you should follow the visual examples set out here.

 

Positioning 

You should position the NHS logo in the bottom right-hand corner of your sign, and make sure that you observe the exclusion zone.

Using the NHS identity only

 

 

Category B: using the NHS identity with your own identity

If you want to use the NHS identity alongside your own identity (category B), you can follow one of two design routes.

 

Route 1

This shows how your sign will look with your own surgery identity and the NHS identity:

 

Route 2

If you don’t want to replace your existing sign, this shows how you can add a small sign containing the NHS identity to your existing sign:

 

Applying the NHS logo to signage

When applying the NHS logo to your signage, you should follow the visual examples set out here.

 

Positioning

You should position the NHS logo in the bottom right-hand corner of your sign, and make sure that you observe the exclusion zone.

Using the NHS identity with your own identity

 

 

Category C: using your primary care trust identity only

If you are managed by your primary care trust, you will need to apply their PCT logotype to your signage and follow the example set out below:

 

Positioning

You should position the PCT logotype in the top right-hand corner of your sign, and make sure that you observe the exclusion zone.

Using your primary care trust identity only

Chrome plaque signs

If your building is listed, in a conservation area or subject to planning restrictions, you may choose to produce your sign as a chrome plaque. This plaque would be placed by your front door.

You can use any chrome sign with or without a wooden base. The following examples show small chrome plaques with a wooden base (examples 1 and 2) and without (example 3).

Chrome plaque signs

Internal signage

Internal signage is also important. It provides directions within your building, and it lets people know when they have reached the room or department they are looking for.

If you are producing internal signs yourself, and not using an external supplier, you might find the following information useful:

  • Use a clear, bold typeface such as Frutiger or Arial.
  • Do not use all upper case type, as this is more difficult to read.
  • Do not use italics.
  • Use contrasting backgrounds and type – preferably NHS Blue type on a white background.
  • Try to keep signs at eye level – not too high, not too low.
  • You do not need to use the NHS logo on internal signs.

 

When creating your internal signage, you should also keep accessibility issues in mind. Use symbols to help people with visual impairments find their way around. Access and safety signs may also be necessary to help people with physical impairments or disabilities.

For further guidance in this area, please refer to Wayfinding: guidance for healthcare facilities by Colette Miller and David Lewis for NHS Estates. This publication should be available in your trust library. Otherwise it is available at www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Lettersandcirculars/
Miscellaneousletters/DH_4018381

You can order a copy from The Stationery Office on 0870 600 5522 (quote ISBN 0-11-322140).

Internal signage

Last updated: 04/06/10