Sign & Digital Graphics

June '18

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26 • June 2018 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S RUNNING THE BUSINESS Building Impressions with Cerebral Signage Applying design thinking to signs Scott Franko owns Franko Design Concepts and Consulting. He formerly owned and operated a multi-division sign, graphics and custom fabrication business. You can locate and contact him online at www. and extend a brand beyond the standard or traditional uses of branding. When expressed visually through signs and graphics, I describe them as cerebral signage. The word cerebral is an interesting word to ascribe to this process of design thought and encompasses what it means to fully use your brain intelligently, analytically, smartly, and cre- atively. It's using the right and left brain equally, together. The right side of the brain is said to be associated with creativity and emotion. The left side is related to logic and linear thinking. One side is smart. The other crafty. As a designer, and sign-guy, I work in the world of branding. As a business owner, I consult other businesses. I'm continually using the full spectrum of my experiences that blend both sides of my brain to bring solutions to my clients. What I have found to be very true in many cases is that the best results have come about when both the right and the left sides of the brain are blended and contribute equally to arriving at successful solutions. I call this the convergence of the cerebral with the creative, where the two streams come together and meet to become more forceful or powerful, like a river. This is what design thought provides in the creative process. When design thought is applied and expressed through signs and graphics that are aligned with intellectual messages, the goals of the message are brought to life. There are plenty of profitable project opportunities to pro- vide cerebral signage. I've provided a variety of them throughout my career. One of the first steps to attain an opportunity is to attract one. Marketing and reputation help. Building a portfolio to show past projects helps. Once you complete some projects successfully, word of mouth will tend to bring a next one. Smart people at smart companies come up with some really smart ideas and they want to work with a smart branding provider. So align yourself smartly. There are plenty of reactive signs and graphics providers around who wait for the phone to ring, then respond with a basic sign or graphic. Be different. Be smart. Be proactive. Design smart and produce smart signs and displays. Be more than just a sign company. Be a branding expert who provides smart solutions to a variety of needs. Nurture the relationship, and in time you'll be producing A friend of mine recently sent me an article from Harvard Business Review titled "Plan a Better Meeting with Design Thinking" by Maya Bernstein and Rae Ringel. In short, they demonstrate how "design thinking" applied to meetings can make them more efficient and effective. By taking the time to plan, brand, then design the key points properly, a meeting can generate more energy, enthusiasm, engagement and empathy with the attendees. In turn, there is a better chance of successful outcomes. In other words, the reason for the meeting is made clearer, the objectives better understood, and there is increased pro- ductivity. This results in infusing creativity with the meeting's agenda and information. Visually, the use of signs and graphics can enhance the environment and enforce the key elements of the meeting's purpose. The blending of intelligence and imagination with creativ- ity is not a new concept. The theory of creation by Intelligent Design, for instance, is entirely based on it. Smart design wrapped around intellectual data and concepts can expand B Y S C O T T F R A N K O Building Your Impressions

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