Does it pay to have a professional prepare a Comprehensive Sign Program or just have your secretary type one out? Is there any benefit to doing it well as opposed to just getting it off of your lists of things you have to do as quickly and cheaply as possible?
Having been in the business for over 35 years, I have seen many sign programs from the sublime to the barely legible. Many were obviously done just well enough to get by and meet whatever was required by the city but no more. The result in many cases is a document that confuses the tenant, irritates the city planner and costs your management time, money and patience as they attempt to make the tenants understand it and have to fight to keep them from taking advantage of its inconsistencies. A bad one can make things worse rather than better. It can cost you far more that a properly prepared one would have in the first place!
“But” you may ask “How do I know that I’m getting a good one? What should I expect the sign expert I hire to do differently than just anyone can do? What features of the Comprehensive Sign Program itself should I be looking for to know its right?”
It’s All About Who You Hire.
More than anything else, the best Comprehensive Sign Programs begin with the person or company you hire. Developing Sign Programs requires experience and forward thinking. The professional you should be working with is one who understands the future issues you may face, such as:
- The future loss of sign options as City sign codes become more stringent.
- The possibility that you may want to subdivide spaces and will need sign allowances to cover that.
- Your need to draw in high profile tenants by providing adequate sign opportunities that have the flexibility to allow their trademark logos, fonts and colors.
- The desire to have the latest in technology that is the least invasive to your buildings and landscape.
We at Landmark have produced many Comprehensive Sign Programs and are aware of all of the issues and your needs so that we are able to anticipate and cover every potential problem.
You Need a True Professional.
Comprehensive Sign Programs also often need to go through a process that includes thorough research of city codes and possibilities, engaging and negotiating with city planners and attendance and representation of your interests before a Design or Architectural Review Board or City Council. You’ll need a company who can handle your project with professionalism and tact, with the right mix of assertiveness when necessary to protect your interests. You also need someone who can speak with understanding and knowledge with your architect, someone who knows the critical issues and problems that need to be worked out so that the beauty of your premises is maintained while making sure that your tenants will get adequate and effective signage.
At Landmark Signs, we have the experience and professionalism to deal appropriately with all the parties involved, whether they be City Planners, Board or Council Members, Architects, Property Owners and Tenants and others. We are respectful and considerate while courteously but insistently negotiating on your behalf to protect your interests. We keep you informed so that you are free to make the critical decisions if necessary, while supplying you with the detailed information so that you are fully informed of all the nuances of the issues that arise.
The Bottom Line – A Good Comprehensive Sign Program is Very Important.
As a long-time sign professional, I encourage you not to underestimate the value of a well prepared Comprehensive Sign Program. Done properly, it can make your job and that of your manager’s a lot easier in communicating and regulating your tenant sign issues. It can help you establish and maintain a good working relationship with your city’s officials and workers. It can protect your interests, helping you to attract and keep valuable and high profile tenants by making sure their sign marketing opportunities are sufficient and effective. And it can protect your facility’s structure and enhance it, with thoughtfully and creatively design sign solutions that are up-to-date in technology and forward thinking.
When hiring a company to do this service, be sure to check out the quality of their work. Talk to them about the issues you are concerned with and feel them out about whether or not they even understand the problems or have any real solutions for them. At times you may even ask a City Planner who they would recommend. At Landmark we have been recommended may times by city officials.
And don’t “cheap out”. Spending a fair amount will lead to lesser costs in the long run, with minimal work on the part of your employees and greatly reduced costs of repairs due to improper signage.
If you are in our service range of Southern or Central California, please call us and let us take care of this service for you. You’ll be glad you did!
John Myres, The Sign Expert.