Sign & Digital Graphics

November '17

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • November 2017 • 57 tive experience for the viewer." Takeform does this by designing exterior wayfinding signs to fit with the environment and the customer's identity, reflecting a building's architecture or a company logo, Brown says. "It's more aesthetically pleasing," Brown says. "The whole idea is to tie everything together." Another factor in sign placement is a customer's need for modularity, espe- cially for organizations that undergo constant change, such as colleges, uni- versities and hospitals, Freeman says. "Offering a signage system that can be easily updated is a strong selling point for these types of clients," Freeman says, recommending avoiding flush face signs with routed copy that does not lend well to alterations. "Signs with removable panels and vinyl copy are more economi- cally sound design options." The Sign's Material Decisions about the use of materi- als also help with determining a sign's design. Most exterior wayfinding signs are made out of painted aluminum or alumi- num composite material, both durable, affordable materials, Brown says. "Aluminum is very affordable. It's very easy to work with," Brown says. The material is lightweight, does not rust, is easy to bend and fabricate, and can hold paint well, Brown says. ACM comes in diverse colors and patterns, and the finish is part of the material, as opposed to aluminum, which has to be painted, he says. ACM is graffiti resistant, easy to clean and resistant to scratching, Brown says. Freeman recommends using an automotive-grade polyurethane paint for long-lasting sign finishes and adding a clear coat to further extend the lon- gevity of the finish. If eco-solvent inkjet printed graphics are used, they should have an ultraviolet protective laminate to protect against the elements, he says. For cut vinyl graphics, he recommends using high-performance rated materials. "You need to be able to see them at night," Brown says, adding that the signs could be illuminated internally or exter- nally with lights pointing toward them or by using reflective vinyl. Signs made out of plastic can dete- riorate, and over time metal can rust, Whited says. "If this is a permanent exterior solu- tion, the dealer will want to sell alumi- num, not steel, for durability and lifes- pan," Whited says. As a final consideration, signs should be raised above the ground in areas that get snow or have lawns that need mow- ing, Brown says. "The most important thing with exterior wayfinding is getting the person where they need to go in the most clear, concise way possible, and that pretty much sums up wayfinding," Brown says. As such, signage is needed for both the exterior and interior environments, Whited says. "You have to carry from the exterior to the interior the same wayfinding phi- losophy to guide visitors to where they need to go," Whited says. "The message has to be consistent from the exterior to the interior to provide a good experience for someone coming to that place." SDG Allegheny Health Network Urgent Care. (Photo courtesy Howard Industries) (Above) A non-illuminated directional post and panel at the Perry Point VA Medical Center. (Photo courtesy of Takeform) (Left) An "employee of the month" sign at Coleman Homes, based in Meridian, Idaho. The sign recognizes employees commit- ted to the organization's customer service efforts for the reserved parking space. The name on the sign is held on by stand-offs and can be changed easily. (Photo courtesy of SignPro Systems)

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