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Signage for Your Local and Distant Facilities

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ap associated press sign

Serving Global Real Estate, Facilities and Office Managers

"While you're contemplating how your new sign will look — we’re contemplating how new your sign will look 10 years from now"

Attribute #6 — Signs that Work

Signs that Work

A Sign that Works fulfills aesthetic, functional and practical considerations.

You want your sign to offer all three. Each role is further defined:

  1. Aesthetic
    • Attain the look that conveys who you are and that appears at home in your facility.
      • Consistent with your brand and your profession.
      • Tailored to fit.
      • Coordinate with your surroundings.
  2. Functional
    • A message that is visible, legible and understood supports the primary reason for getting a sign.
      • Full time visibility is preferred, not part time.
      • Visible and legible from all practical angles of approach.
      • Legible with attention paid to proximity near and far.
  3. Practical
    • Peace of mind and lasting appearance enhance joy of ownership.
      • Feasible
      • Secure
      • Durable
      • Affordable
      • Safe
      • User friendly
      • Low maintenance
      • In accord with local and federal law

Techsign consultation helps sign buyers and sign specifiers

Signs that Work are made before they are manufactured. Addressing aesthetic, functional and practical concerns involve planning that lead to optimal choices.

The thinking is analogous to getting dressed for the day. Monitoring the weather, we select attire for practicality and aesthetics. From that, a shortlist of contenders emerge from our wardrobe.

The same goes for dressing your message. Except that we monitor:

  • The facility’s emerging predisposition for signs - both positive and negative.
  • Thresholds we should not surpass, inherent in:
    • Fonts and logos at the full size they are required to be.
    • Materials and sign-making techniques.
  • Preservation of beneficial features.
  • Whether roots of problems are fixed or variable.

It takes proactive effort to spot and vanquish challenges to best laid plans. Complications can lay in wait: non-ideal conditions, emerging contradictions and incompatibilities.

It helps to look beyond our monitors and samples to discover any negative cause and effect. Drawings and samples convey intentions up to a point. But there’s nothing as beneficial as seeing actual samples under actual conditions.

  • A sample that looked great during presentation might not look as great in the spot where the sign goes.
  • Drawings can make a sign look better than it will when it materializes.

Your signage specifications (specs) can serve as your last line of defense. A modification to specs can circumvent feature loss when non-ideal conditions cannot be altered to your project's benefit.

Feature Loss Example

Legibility, a sign's job #1, can be diminished when it is assumed and not verified.

Signs illustrating this were discovered out in the field. Projects in this range had to have gone through an approvals process in order to get green lit. In each case, a minor change in specs would have bypassed counterproductive results.

  • Camouflage Effect
  • Murky Effect
  • Chameleon Effect
  • Shadow Confusion Effect
  • Shadow Obstruction Effect
  • Low-Contrast Effect
  • Submerging Effect

Camouflage Effect

camouflage effect lettering

Camouflage can unintentionally appear when mirror-polished letters are in the vicinity of complicated scenery.

Legibility in this case is directionally dependent. The sign approached from another direction might be more easily seen and read. One suggested specification change would have been to swap finishes among the letters and the background. It would be easier to read, but lettering would still need to be picked out from the busy background.

 

Murky Effect

murky metal letters

3 problems keep this sign in the dark, leading to visibility and legibility issues.

1.) The kind of lighting is insufficient. Here it acts as spotlight, only illuminating what is in direct alignment with a lamp. 2.) Light's immediate falloff reveals the metal's angle of reflectance that bounces ceiling darkness toward camera position. 3.) The tone-on-tone finishing lacks the contrast that could have mitigated problems 1 and 2.

 

Chameleon Effect

chameleon effect lettering

Barely seen lettering in this case unintentionally mimics a chameleon, whose body adopts the same color as the background it's resting upon.

This is hard to find and read. The numbers were located in a uniformly shaded spot. That is its downfall. Sun and shadow define incised lettering — at least for portions of daylight viewing when the sun is out and in the right spot.

 

Shadow Confusion Effect

Shadow confusion lettering

Strong sun casts dark shadows. This adds uninvited message confusion for a portion of sunny days.

In exterior applications, lettering on stilts inadvertently make for part-time legibility. This kind of arrangement is best seen on overcast days. On sunny days, this is what you get. Stood-out lettering looks nice, but there's a practical limit to the length of hardware.

 

Shadow Obstruction Effect

Shadow obstruction lettering

Shadow fills negative space surrounding deep letters. If those letters are dark, it makes for a blob of illegibility.

This condition is legible part-time. Shadow dominates the empty space between and within lettering. This is a case in which a lighter color letter would have been legible, regardless the shadow.

 

Low-Contrast Effect

low contrast effect

This is a 2018 branding initiative that is in stark need of contrast.

A most illegible result. Camera position is pulled back to where the message should be clearly visible during a fast-moving approach. The fact that it's a hospital is not readily apparent, as is the second line of text almost impossible to discern. Sunlight behind the sign casting shadow on the face worsens the problem.

 

Submerging Effect

submerging effect

Gradually changing tones of reflective metal could coincide with background tonality as it does here.

Reading is hampered both night and day with this result; night being worse. The metal's natural inclination to convey a variety of tones is what sinks this sign.

 

Get a sign that works, versus just getting a sign.

If you wait too long to address signs, you’ll inevitably lack the time to ensure your signs will work. Give us a ring and let's make it work.

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Signs that Work

9 Attributes

1) — Communication.

Your sign works when it is Visible, Legible, Understood.

The primary goal of a sign is communication. Clear graphics are only one part of the equation. The other part concerns proactive measures to counteract detriments that will obscure your message or conceal your sign where it is situated.

  • Full time visibility is preferred, not part time.
  • Visible and legible from any and all practical angles of approach.
  • Legible with attention paid to proximity near and far.

2) — Consistent with your Brand and Profession.

Layout and materials dress your message and reinforce your market position.

3) — Tailored to Fit.

Your sign works when it occupies just the right amount of space.

4) — Coordinate with your Surroundings.

Your sign works when it looks like it belongs.

5) — Planned for Feasibility.

Your sign works when its content and attachment is furnished in compatible specifications.

Materials have limitations, as do sign-making techniques, as do installation substrates. A feasible project considers all variables, leading to a specification compromise that is your curated short list from which to choose.

6) — Planned for Durability.

Your sign works when it goes the distance.

Each sign should be suitably equipped to help counter conditions to which it will be exposed. It includes attachment, weathering, and proximity to the public.

7) — Planned for Affordability.

When budgets are low, get there with lower cost material and methods delivering maximum benefit emphasizing style and communication.

8.) — Planned for Safety.

Your sign works when it's build and attachment reduce liability.

9.) — In accord with Local and Federal Law.

Your sign works when it conforms to prevailing rules and laws.

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