Often, when people think about signs, they think about those that are found outside – either on a building or along the side of the road. Their main purpose is to direct visitors and customers to a business.
However, interior signs, such as office signs, are just as important to your business and can give your business some added benefits as well as address key challenges.
Indoor signs are key ways that your business can brand itself, as well as direct visitors around your office, provide a certain “feel” to the space, and can promote special events or special pricing. Let’s talk about the most common interior business signs that are important for offices as well as any business in another type of space such as a retail outlet or restaurant.
Using Signs To Make An Impression.
Lobby signs are also sometimes known as corporate identity signs or reception signs. These signs are usually found in the reception area and make the first impression on your customers when they walk into your business for the first time.
The lobby of any building, or office, is a high traffic area and a perfect place to proudly display the name and logo of your company, leaving a lasting first impression.
Reception signs are even more important in large office buildings that have multiple businesses located in them.
Due to the number of tenants in these types of buildings, they typically will not have any corporate identity sign on the exterior of the building. For this reason, the lobby of your business suite becomes the key place to brand and identify your business for customers and visitors looking to find you.
Since lobby signs are most often created using the business logo, they are key branding tools for your business. Be creative when designing it and let your imagination run wild. They can be crafted from a wide range and combination of materials and finished with unique and complementary textures and can work with any budget.
- For a very simple and budget-conscious option, vinyl decals can be applied directly to the wall, or can be placed on a backer and mounted using standoffs.
- To create something that truly catches the visitor’s eye, and stands out like a piece of art, consider using a complex structure using multiple layers of different media types. Some examples would be using routed PVC or acrylic to create logos or text (i.e. company name) and either stud-mounting them directly to the wall or using a backer and standoffs to set the sign off from the wall and give more depth and a three-dimensional look and feel.
- To bring even more attention to your brand, you might consider a lighted lobby sign that really helps visitors to notice and remember you. They can be either front-lit or back-lit to make them stand apart from the wall space. Today’s LED lights use minimal energy, so, these signs can be lit day and night to continue working for your business.
Other types of wall signs are what we call wall graphics, and are usually made of vinyl applied to either the whole wall or part of it. Walls, like windows and glass doors, are prime “real estate” for advertising your business. But, they don’t need to be limited to advertising the latest specials.
With today’s advances in materials and large format printing, we can create custom graphics to bring life any wall in your office.
- Are you looking for a custom wallpaper to match the décor in a special room?
- Maybe, you want to create a mural that tells a story or sets a particular mood, such as a beach scene for a seafood restaurant?
- How about decals that represent a special team to add personality to the room?
- How about graphics that represent your logo, but is just a bit different to add a bit of interest to a wall that will be seen by many.
We can create custom wall graphics that will make any room unique. Our team will work with you to understand what you are trying to accomplish and recommend the best material to give that wall an exceptional look.
Using Signs To Engage, Inform, and Promote
Wall graphics, in addition to other interior signs, can also be used to engage, inform and promote your business.
Recently we have seen an increase in the use of “word art”, where cut vinyl text is artistically arranged to add interest to the wall. Customers have used this technique to for inspiring quotes, as well as the company’s mission, vision and value statements.
As far as these statements, when they are visible around the office, they let both your employees, as well as your customers and visitors, know what your business is really all about. Sometimes these are used in conjunction with a lobby sign and sometimes they are just by themselves.
Informational signs, such as retractable banners, while more commonly used for trade shows, they can be placed in your office to provide an overview of the business or the products and services you offer. They don’t have to stay put away for the next show.
Other wall graphics might include posters in decorative frames. These can be changed often and can be used to promote things like specials, inform people of your products and services, or anything else you want to bring awareness to. The possibilities are limitless.
Finally, room signs can identify rooms that have specific uses such as conference rooms, break rooms, etc. These can be artistic or very plain or can follow brand standards if necessary. The key is they help people find their way through your office.
Using Signs For Compliance, Safety, and Wayfinding
Have you ever wandered into a business for a meeting and had trouble finding which room you were supposed to be in?
While most of the signs discussed so far are designed for branding as well as other ways to engage customers and promote your business, there are other interior signs that should not be forgotten. The purpose of these are more functional than aesthetic and focus on compliance, safety, and wayfinding. Let’s discuss these in a bit more detail:
Wayfinding: If you’ve ever found yourself in the situation mentioned above, you probably would have benefitted from one or more wayfinding signs. These can include signs that include arrows to show you the right direction, or they can be directories which include room or suite numbers. These signs are usually free-standing or mounted on a wall, and are centrally located so that all who might need them can find them.
Other wayfinding signs of a sort can be dimensional signs similar to lobby signs which indicate a department or specific office if a business has many departments in the same office building. They let a visitor know that they’ve reached the right department.
Safety: While many of the safety signs that indicate dangers of some sort are somewhat generic/standard, these signs can also be custom-created to meet the need of the business and made of a variety of materials, depending on the need, especially if that need is unique to your business.
Compliance: Having compliant ADA handicapped signs is a requirement as of 2012 for all new buildings or altered facilities. These signs indicate where permanent rooms are so that people with disabilities can adequately access your business.
ADA signs, as dictated by the Americans with Disabilities Act, must follow strict guidelines which make room identifiers more visible to people who have visual disabilities. These include standards for the text of signs which dictate the types of font, minimum sizes, and the weight of the letters.
Accompanying the text on these signs is Braille, and, for standard rooms such as bathrooms and staircases, there will be pictograms.
Both text and pictograms must be raised, making them tactile so that people can feel them if they are unable to see the information on them. These items must all contrast against the background of the sign – either light text & pictograms on a dark background or vice versa – to make them clearly visible to those who have seeing difficulties.
Even though there are these regulations, there is enough room for both creativity and branding to make these signs unique or blend with your business’ décor, while at the same time conforming to the guidelines.
Other Indoor Signs To Consider
Although most of the office signs we discussed are installed on walls, don’t forget your windows or other surfaces for additional possibilities.
Like walls, windows are additional “real estate” that give you additional areas to promote your brand or add interest to your business. For windows, there are a few options available, depending on the material you use. Some of these include:
- Frosted vinyl, which can be printed on, and allow for privacy when used on the glass “walls” or windows found within many of today’s contemporary offices.
- Perforated vinyl, such as those used on exterior windows and the windows of vehicles. These work well because they can provide a full-color graphic on one side, offering privacy, yet allowing those on the other side to still see through the window.
- Printed or colored cut vinyl can also be used on windows and glass doors to identify rooms or provide complete privacy.
Finally, the front surfaces of desks and podiums provide another opportunity for brand your business in a place that people don’t expect it to be. If you can get people to remember something that is different than expected, they will remember your brand.
Where do you start?
Being a custom sign company, we can customize your office signs to meet your needs, while keeping your branding standards. One benefit to all of the interior signs that we’ve discussed is that they do not require sign permits for installation. Therefore, the only limitation you have is your creativity as well as the particular circumstances the sign is calling for.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and let us see how we can bring our expertise to create custom interior signs.