Sign & Digital Graphics

May '17

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • May 2017 • 87 some photos of the customer's competi- tion's signs. No matter what type of sign it is, if they have a local competitor grab a photo of that sign with the absolute best resolution and composition you can muster. If no competition, take photos of other signs that might be similar to something that will meet your client's needs. Make the photos look really good! Put these photos all together on a presentation page. Label each photo and indicate approximate size for each sign. This sets the stage for getting the cus- tomer to pay attention to what's at stake. Yes, this is a big deal. This is much more than a sign, it's their company shield, their image within the community, their identity. This step kind of forces them to start thinking about that which they said they could not visualize. • Do your research on the company It's colors, logos, applications of those logos, other existing signage, advertising, their web site, building architecture, etc. By incorporating some of these elements into the design you increase your chances of impressing the customer. At this point you have already created three or four concepts or ideas to show them. If you want this process to work properly, you must develop a plan on how to present the concepts so that the customer follows you like the caboose to your train of thought. Start out by showing them the con- cepts and explain briefly how you came up with each idea, and why the shapes you chose will help the sign satisfy their needs for the new sign. Be clear as to why you chose your design features and have the answers prepared as to why you and your salesperson think the designs hold their own merit. If they mention budget, be prepared to explain how value engineering can sometimes make it possible to stay within budget. Make sure you keep pushing for the end result: design approval. After they discuss with you their likes and dislikes they may or may not settle on a design shape. They may find favor with your concepts as a whole, but not any one design inspired them. At this point, you may think, "Oh well, back to the drawing board." And that is where some design- ers and salespeople make a big mistake. Simply going back and trying some more ideas can be a big waste of time. You must find out from the customer what it is that they don't like about the designs. More importantly, you must find out what it is about each design they like. Once you can get them to tell you what they do like about all three designs, you can then create a new design that contains all of those elements they said they like. Be sure to also include two more slightly different options that you will only show if they don't like the main design. We don't want to confuse the matter, but being prepared with two more concepts will come in handy if you have missed the mark and they don't like the hybrid-combination sign you created. It will keep the process rolling. I have watched customers go from being completely clueless as to what they want or needed, to being excited about their new design. Do a favor for your cus- tomer, your salesperson and yourself and practice your skills for guiding the customer into making the decision that's best for them, and their family. SDG Presenting simplified options allow you to narrow down the cus- tomers likes and dislikes before a lot of time is invested. Gray scale also eliminates the need to explain away colors they may not want. Color presentations can then follow the gray scale art with a much better range of color options that the client will be more likely to favor.

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