Cleveland Clinic, Lutheran Hospital Wayfinding

Case Study

Maps, Nomenclature, Sign Systems

Lutheran Hospital is a Cleveland Clinic acute care facility in Ohio City with around-the-clock traffic and more than 200 beds.


With various expansions over the years—and an inclination to solve wayfinding problems by adding more signs—Lutheran Hospital had become a confusing place for patients and visitors to navigate. The renovation of its Emergency Room provided a chance to re-evaluate the efficiency of signage and the overall wayfinding strategy. Cleveland Clinic embraced this opportunity.

“The goal is, anyone walking into any Cleveland Clinic facility should recognize the building immediately as Cleveland Clinic through the signage and general layout of the area… The signage at Lutheran Hospital was inconsistent and it was not clear how to get from one place to another.”

Tom Federico,Lutheran Hospital

Lutheran Cleveland Clinic Guidelines


  • Guide Studio conducted an analysis of the existing signage and patient/visitor navigational experience. The result was a layered wayfinding strategy including standard nomenclature to address naming discrepancies.
  • A color-coded elevator-to- destination system was implemented to simplify signage and deliver information to visitors at the appropriate time to ease navigation. An accompanying directory acts as an extension of the sign family and reinforces the color-coded system.
  • Heads-up mapping at key decision points throughout the hospital gives visitors a “you are here” visual.
  • Signs included both English and Spanish to serve the large Spanish-speaking population in this area and further reduce the number of signs throughout the facility.

“Today, finding one’s way around Lutheran Hospital is much easier. Signage was reduced by approximately one-third, eliminating the visual clutter that caused confusion previously.”

Tom Federico, Lutheran Hospital

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Case Study

Cleveland Clinic, Lutheran Hospital Wayfinding

Lutheran Hospital is a Cleveland Clinic acute care facility in Ohio City with around-the-clock traffic and more than 200 beds. Read More