Preserving historic signage and striving to remember signs of the past are important goals to those who understand that signage is art. Much like a photograph, signs of all types, Monument Signs, Channel Letter Signs or ADA Signs, are a snap shot that represent what was going on in the world at the time that sign was built. It is a reflection of a city’s culture, look, and even its priorities. That’s why we at Landmark Signs were excited by the website,vernaculartypography.com, a website that notes that “all over the world, there are cities and towns that retain their rich traditions of vernacular signage.” One of their goals is to find images of these historic signs and preserve their legacy on their website. This ensures that in the case of the removal of these signs, they can still be remembered and cherished for the moment in time the sign captured.
Check out some of the signs they have found. Here are a few of our favorites.
There are many different types of signage. Some signs, like Channel Letter Signs or 3D Signs, serve to tell a customer exactly where a business is located. Others, like Monument Signs are meant to let clients know about a company’s location when a business is located in a center with many other businesses. Gold Leaf Signs can be multi-functional, but generally are chosen by company’s who want to reflect class and elegance. ADA Signs and Directional Signs are meant to direct customers to a business and help them get around once they are inside.
With so many sign options, it can be difficult to determine which sign would be the best fit for a company. Sometimes, companies need more than one sign type. But which ones? And why? What sign type will make the most sense for my company while also sending a message that accurately represents who we are and what we do? At Landmark Signs, it is part of our job to make sure that you have these questions answered. With over 35 years of sign expertise, we take the time to get to individually know each company we work with to make sure the sign choices they make are the right ones. While we look forward to this one-on-one consultation, we also decided to begin a blog series that will give companies looking for signage an idea of what might be best for their company.
This week we are starting out with ADA Signs.
Why ADA Signs?
ADA Signs are the types of signs that are chosen to meet very specific needs. Many buildings are required by Federal and State laws to have ADA Signs. Even if laws do not require a building to have ADA Signs, it is important to take care of the needs of the clients entering your buildings. And making a business more navigable for customers who are disabled shows those customers that you care about them.
What are the Design Options?
ADA Signs can be made of a variety of materials. This includes various types of medals, woods, plastics, and even more. Not only that but the color options for this material and the lettering is numerous.
Did you know?
Many people assume that ADA Signs have to look a certain way that is the law requires. What this typically translates to in people’s minds is boring and inspirational. It’s true that there are several aspects of the ADA Sign look that are required and cannot be changed. For examples the braille must be in a certain place on the sign. But what many people do not realize is that many of these aspects are customizable. Color, letter, sizes, and symbols are just a few of the qualities that can be designed to reflect what is unique about your company.
In the sign industry, sometimes a client comes to us with the desire to do something out of the ordinary that is also cost-effective and long-lasting. For a sign to be unique, affordable, and durable it takes a bit of ingenuity and creativity. That is exactly what the Sign Specialists Corporation project did with the solar energy Monument Sign they designed. As sales executive Sean Baldwin said, “I was looking at design elements that provided more of a ‘green’ feel, so I pitched the idea of an illuminated sign made with aluminum and glass, and fueled entirely by solar power.” (sdmag.com)
As we have learned in the past few series of blog, a sign company saying they can create a sign powered by the sun, is much different than actually being able to complete this project. Seeing a sign through from the conceptualization process all the way to the installation phase is what sets sign companies apart.
It was important that this Solar powered Monument Sign be lit up at night, especially since during the winter hours it gets dark when businesses are still open and potential customers are commuting back home. Sign illumination is extremely important. So it needed to be a sign that could gather enough energy from the sun in the day to shine brightly in the night. In order to make sure of this, Jeff Sherman, the VP of Operations, understood that “we would need about 205 watts for five hours of lighting and we had to find the right LEDs that we could would work with and give us the deep illumination that was needed. Then the next step was to figure out all the wiring that would be involved. It was an education for us every step of the process. There was no blueprint how to do this” (sdmag.com).
What is so exciting about signage is that there are many times customers come with exciting ideas that they want us to make happen. These are opportunities for those in the sign industry to do something innovative, and to really get there hands in there and create. Which, is one of the reasons Landmark Signs went into the sign business in the first place and why we love what we do. Signage is so much more than just nuts and bolts, it is truly works of art that are being fashioned. And while we want out masterpieces to reflect well on ourselves, the point of signage is for us in the sign industry to create displays from behind the curtains, while the clients we work for take in the applause and shine.
For the latest featured design project, Benco Dental, we worked on designing two Channel Letter Signs and replacing an existing Monument Sign. When faced with the challenge of designing a sign to replace an old one, it takes a unique approach. Instead of starting out with a blank slate, we, at Landmark Signs, have to take what is already there and make it better, making sure that it reflects what our clients are asking of us and also utilizing the structure of the sign that was previously there. So check it out. This was our design: