As one of the leading sign companies in Durham, NC, DesignElement has worked on many different commercial signage projects. While signage is an essential part of a building, it can often be neglected during the planning and design process for a commercial construction or renovation project.
A DesignElement team member explains the common approach to commercial signs, saying, “If you’re doing a major renovation of an office building, apartment park, industrial park, or even a ground-up development, the signage, in my experience, is always something that is addressed at the end of the process. You’re so focused on global design and number of units and square footage and building systems, signage oftentimes gets overlooked.”
Many times, architects opt to address signage at a later date instead of focusing on signage requirements upfront. A sign company like DesignElement provides a valuable service. The team knows the product, costs, and design principles and can help companies properly budget with a big-picture approach to signs in terms of the totality of the project. Outlining a correct rough budget during the pre-development phase is important not only to ensure proper signage but also to determine the scope and class of signage needed for the property’s market.
In addition, sign design is not only concerned with aesthetics but also with function, safety, and code issues — issues that must be dealt with sooner in the process than later. By adding skilled signage experts to the design team at the early stages of the process, companies can save time, effort, and expense.
The Pitfalls of Overlooking Commercial Signage
Often, signage is incorporated into the overall architecture or layout of a property. If the signs are not visible, in the appropriate location, and fulfilling their intended function, the situation can be costly and time-consuming for the company to remedy.
In addition, the project timeline can also be disrupted by waiting until the last minute to deal with signage considerations. Property managers may find themselves facing months of delay that impede the project schedule.
Failure to plan properly for the necessary commercial signs can have consequences ranging from inconvenient to disastrous. Having a professional sign company working side by side with the architect and other team members is essential to avoid unnecessary expenses that result from redesigns, rush orders, and delay.
The Commercial Sign Planning Process
Ideally, DesignElement should be involved at the very beginning of the project. If the signage team is involved at the onset before building begins, the collaboration and design process with the architect and the developer usually takes around four weeks. Four to six weeks are needed to finalize the signage design.
Next, the developer will indicate when enough space has been cleared out to begin placing certain signs. If exterior signage needs to be installed, DesignElement will start the sign permitting process, which generally lasts about three to four weeks. Furthermore, the sign needs to be manufactured. Manufacturing can add up to six weeks to the timeline, depending on the type of sign that needs to be created. These signage steps are executed concurrently with the construction of the build.
When commercial developers or property managers approach DesignElement for signage planning services, they can expect the process to follow six steps:
- Sign planning
- Sign design
- Sign revision
- Sign approval
- Sign manufacturing
- Sign installation
The Best Time to Hire a Sign Company
The ideal time for a company to bring in a signage team is during the architectural process when the buildings are being designed. Because signs frequently utilize the same materials and colors as the building itself, the sign designers will want to ensure that the signs are cohesive with and complementary to the architecture. DesignElement will work with the developers, general contractors, architects, and even landscape designers to identify the signage needs for the project. The team guides everyone through the material selection and the design process and then manages every aspect of the signage project from design to implementation to ensure that the signs satisfy the original vision. The process is time-intensive — around four to six months — so early involvement in the project is crucial. When companies take the extra step of bringing on a sign design team at the start of the process, they not only avoid significant headaches later on but they also protect the long term value of the project.
To learn more about commercial signage in Durham, NC, contact DesignElement by phone at (919) 383-5561.