Back Lit Illuminated Reception Sign at Boohoo Head Office

New Signage – 5 Reasons You Need a Site Survey

As a company that designs, manufactures and installs signage for clients in a wide range of sectors, we’re used to customers coming to us with well-considered concepts for their signs. While this is a great starting point, our experience and expertise help us to take this to the next level, making the designs more effective, overcoming practical problems, taking advantage of unseen opportunities, improving compliance and saving money. To achieve these things, however, it is important that we conduct a site survey. Here, we’ll explain why.

1.  Improve effectiveness

All signs have a job to do, whether that’s promoting your brand, helping people get from one place to another or communicating important messages. A good sign is one that does its job to maximum effect. Only by visiting a site can our designers understand the best place to locate a sign, the most appropriate type of sign which should be used and the features that a sign needs to have the greatest impact.

Designers will consider where people view the sign from and which angle, height and size will be most effective. They’ll look to see if illumination is beneficial and which materials are the most appropriate to use. They’ll also evaluate whether your concept for a design will work against the background of the place where it is to be installed, ensuring there are no ugly colour clashes or that the sign doesn’t blend in and become invisible.

2. Practical solutions

There are many practicalities which need to be considered when commissioning a sign and sign companies need to assess these before they can begin the design and manufacturing process.

With regards to the design, they will look at the most appropriate materials to ensure the sign has longevity. External signs, for example, need to be made from materials that will withstand weathering and which will be easy to clean. It’s not just the sign that needs consideration, its method of erection is equally important. It needs the right fixtures to ensure it goes in the most effective location and stays securely in place while still looking attractive.

Other practicalities can include ensuring the signage fits in with conservation area guidelines or meets planning permission. Many customers want LED illuminated signage and this means that a feasible electrical installation has to be part of the design process. Only by visiting the site can a designer see the requirements of the task and find practical solutions for them.

3. Unseen opportunities

A specialist sign designer has a wealth of understanding of the various types of sign available and how they can be put to good use. This means that they can often see opportunities for great signage that the site owners haven’t realised. You may see a window as something to look through, a designer may visualise the potential benefits of window graphics to advertise products or to improve the attractiveness of the building. What is a bare internal wall could be a highly visual display area. A roadside railing at the perimeter of your premises could be the best place to put a sign that will attract every passing vehicle. Even your own company van, with the right vehicle graphics, can provide you with eye-catching mobile advertising seen by thousands of potential customers.

Again, it is only through a site survey that these unseen opportunities can be discovered and pointed out to you.

4. Better compliance

Organisations of all kinds have to comply with the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996. These are detailed regulations covering a wide range of health and safety signage requirements, many of which are mandatory with others needed for specific purposes.

Signs must be legible and clear, identifying actions that are prohibited (e.g. no entry), safety procedures that must be adhered to (e.g. eye protection must be worn), give warning of hazards (e.g. slippery surface) and direct people towards fire exits, fire equipment and first-aid equipment.

These regulations not only stipulate which signs need to be displayed; they also state where they are to be located and how they should be maintained. In some circumstances, they also make it obligatory for signs to be illuminated, have back up power supplies and be accompanied by warning sounds. Failure to comply with the regulations puts employees, customers and other visitors at risk and can lead to prosecution.

While the ultimate responsibility for ensuring compliance lies with the organisation, a site visit from an experienced sign design company that supplies health and safety signage can ensure that the right signs are in the right place and identify any existing signs that need replacement.

5. Save money

While a sign should always be seen as an investment rather than an expense, there are ways to achieve your goals without going over budget. By visiting your site, a sign designer can often find a range of ways to keep your signage costs to a minimum. For example, they can find ways to maximise the lifespan of a sign, use a single, multi-directional sign rather than separate signs, look at less expensive solutions for fixings and installation and consider the use of less expensive materials. Even when it comes to lighting, they can suggest modern LED lights which are affordable to buy, have exceptional longevity and are low on power consumption.

Summing up

While it is always a good idea to have a concept in mind for your new signage, a site visit from an experienced sign company can be very beneficial. It can discover opportunities that you might not have considered, find practical solutions to the obstacles in your way, improve the effectiveness of your signage, ensure you comply with regulations and find ways to keep costs to a minimum.

If you are considering new signage for your organisation, why not get a free site survey from ESP Signs?

 

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Hotel Signage

Contemporary Trends in Hotel Signage and Wayfinding

As a leading designer and manufacturer of hospitality signs, we’ve seen a transformation in hotel signage over recent years. Innovations in computer design and manufacturing technologies, together with the development of new materials and LED illumination have raised expectations. Today, hotels want high-quality signs that promote the right brand image, have a strong visual impact and which communicate important messages effectively. Top of the list when it comes to making a choice are 3D built-up letters, illuminated LED signs and branded wayfinding signage systems.

Showing quality with 3D built-up letters

Quality is paramount for hotels; their success depends upon it. This includes everything from the standard of the accommodation, the range of facilities, the quality of its food and the level of service. When creating a quality hotel, first impressions count. Guests don’t want to be seen entering a hotel that doesn’t present itself well. So, aside from the impeccably neat exterior, one of the key features people will expect to see is a sign that exudes quality and hints at the exceptional experience that awaits them inside. A tired, shabby-looking sign isn’t going to have that effect – indeed, it may do just the opposite and drive customers away.

The current fashion for creating visually appealing, high-quality signs is to use 3D letters, alternatively known as built-up letters. These are signs of substance that give a hotel status and an air of exclusivity and prestige. Just like 2D flat cut letters, built up signs can be made from coloured acrylic or from metals such as titanium, stainless steel, copper and brass. Each of these is also available in a range of finishes, such as high gloss acrylic and polished or brushed metals. Perhaps more importantly, they can be created using the typeface of your choice and incorporate any other design feature you desire, such as a logo. This means it is possible to create a sign that presents your brand image just as you require and in any size you need. 3D signs can also be illuminated, a topic we’ll discuss in the next section.

Illuminated signage – a beacon, a presence and a warm welcome

Hotels operate 24 hours a day, which means you’ll have guests arriving at all hours. Good service starts by helping them to find you easily and one of the most effective ways to do this in the evening is to have an illuminated sign which can act as a beacon. Whether you are on a busy, city street or hidden away on a rural retreat, a lit-up sign can make life so much simpler and hassle-free for your guests.

LED lighting, which comes in a wide range of colours also makes it possible to create the warmest of welcomes. The colours and luminosity you choose for your illuminated sign can be used to create the most inviting of ambiences so that those arriving after long journeys, busy meetings or a night out begin to feel relaxed before they have even got through the door.

Illuminated signage also ensures that your hotel and branding have a continual presence, being highly visible to passers-by, including those at a distance. This can increase the attention people pay to your hotel so that when they need somewhere to stay in the future, they’ll remember your name and book a room.

Safe, power-efficient, long-lasting and virtually maintenance-free, LED devices can be incorporated into flat cut, built-up and fret cut signage. Available in a wide range of colours, they can present your brand image in spectacular style and in a way that is very eye-catching. They can even be animated or be programmed to change colours.

Branded wayfinding signage

Just as guests appreciate an external sign to help them locate the hotel, they also value signage that helps them find their way around once inside. During a stay, guests may need to find the reception, restaurants, spa facilities, the pool and gym, bars and conference rooms, as well as their room and those of their fellow travellers. This can be difficult, especially in large hotels where the various facilities are spread across numerous floors and where there is a complex layout with many long corridors.

To solve these problems, hotels are increasingly turning to wayfinding signage. A hotel wayfinding system offers a practical way to help guests and staff get to their desired location without getting lost on the way. It does this by displaying clear directions in a way that is easy to follow.

Getting the system to function correctly requires detailed planning and a comprehensive understanding of the way the hotel functions. Experienced signage makers will consider the traffic flow within the building and discover the places where guests need to make navigational decisions, such as in the lobby, at staircases and corridor junctions. It is then important to use the most effective sign type (e.g. wall signs and door signs) whilst ensuring their design fits in with the style and décor of the building. To be effective, this signage needs to be consistently designed so that guests can easily recognise a wayfinding sign.

Again, wayfinding signs can be made from a range of different materials and can incorporate different colours and typefaces. Many hotels are now including their logo on wayfinding signage as a way of extending the brand image throughout the entire hotel.

Conclusion

Hotel signage has moved forward considerably in recent years with an increased emphasis on branding and 24-hour visibility. Establishments want external signs that symbolise, in a glance, the quality of the hotel and its service and make potential guests think, ‘I want to stay there’. To achieve this, the trend has been to use 3D built-up lettering illuminated with LED lighting. Internally, the focus has been on making it easier for guests to find their way around and branded wayfinding systems have become the solution of choice.

For more information, visit our Restaurant and Hotel Signage page.

 

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Flat Cut Lettering – A Sign of the Times

If you’re looking for a sign that has a genuine impact and presents your business as contemporary and relevant, then flat cut lettering is certainly an option to be considered. Using a combination of modern materials, the latest design tools and state of the art manufacturing equipment, flat cut lettering can be created in almost any design. Here, we’ll take a close look at why they have become one of the most popular choices for businesses.

Spoiled for choice

Combining high-quality computer design with laser cutting technology means that you can have whatever choice you want when it comes to the design of your flat cut signage. Regardless of whether your chosen typeface is simple or complex, it can be created with precision in any size you require.

Indeed, your sign can contain much more than just lettering. You can add all kinds of embellishments from your corporate logo to various other cut-out shapes. You can have flat cut fish for fish and chip shops, flowers for florists and lamps for light shops.

Wide range of materials

Your choice of letters, shapes and logos can be manufactured using a wide range of quality materials. Acrylic is the most popular choice because it comes in many different colours. However, aluminium and aluminium composite are also much sought after because their wonderful mirrored or brushed finishes have such a visual impact. Acrylic signs can also have a number of finishing options, such as plain colour, matt and high gloss. When you consider all the possible font, colour, material and finish combinations, the possibilities of flat cut signage are almost endless.

Layer it up

Another design possibility with flat cut lettering is that you can apply a layer of vinyl on top of it. The benefit of this is that vinyl can be printed on. This means you can add high-quality detailing to your letters, including computer graphics and even photographic images. This can be used for clever designs that make your sign look like it has been cut out of a giant photograph. A cheese manufacturer, for example, could have lettering that looks like its actually made out of cheese while a travel agent can have letters using the image of a tropical beach.

Illumination

There are various ways to illuminate a sign made from flat cut letters and these can create various visual effects. Whatever your choice, the impact will be stunning. Even during daylight, illuminated signs have been shown to attract the human eye, however, at night, they can make your business stand out like a beacon. Although you might consider this is something only needed for businesses that open in the evening, like restaurants, it is actually beneficial for any kind of business. Even those that operate 9 to 5 will, during the winter months, find that it goes dark during opening hours. A lit sign also operates as an advertisement even when your business is closed, reminding those that pass by that you are there.

With modern LED lighting, you can choose from a wide selection of light colours for your sign and be confident that LED lights are inexpensive to run, easy to maintain and last for up to 50,000 hours – that’s 25 times more than an incandescent bulb.

The go-anywhere sign

One of the great things about flat cut signs is that you can put them anywhere. They can be installed onto all kinds of surfaces, including brickwork, stone, timber and the corrugated surfaces of modern industrial units. What’s more, they are ideal for both internal and external use.

And with there being no limit to the size in which they can be manufactured, you can make the most of your available wall space in order to have your desired impact.

An affordable option

Many would consider such intricately designed, quality finished signs to be expensive to purchase. While they certainly look like they cost a small fortune, they are, in fact, very affordable. The reason for this is that the technology involved in the design and manufacture of these signs has significantly brought down the cost of making them.

Versatile uses

This type of signage has proved useful for a wide range of applications. Its incredible versatility means it has been used by all kinds of businesses and for many different purposes. These include exhibitions, hotel signage, internal displays, monolith signs, reception signs, shop fronts and more.

Conclusion

The endless possibilities that cut out signs present, together with their easy installation and affordability, have made them one of the most popular choices for UK businesses. Whether used inside or out, they project real presence and have instant customer appeal.

If you are looking for cut our lettering or signage check out our Flat Cut Letters page.

 

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Flat Cut Letters at Castle Hills Primary School

6 Things to Consider When Upgrading Hotel Signs

Signage plays a crucial role in the hotel industry. Externally, it attracts new customers, helps you get found and promotes your brand. Internally, it shows visitors how to navigate your premises and assists in compliance with health and safety regulations. In this post, we’ll look at the main things you need to consider when developing a new hotel signs systems.

External hotel signs

Helping customers find you

Whether people are coming to stay at your hotel or just using its facilities, many of them will be unfamiliar with the area and won’t know where your hotel is or what it looks like. It doesn’t help that many hotels are not easy to spot from the road.

Good signage can help alleviate this problem. For those hotels with buildings situated away from the main road, perhaps having a long driveway, it may be possible to erect post, panel or monolith signs at the extremities of your premises which passing traffic can see. Besides displaying your name, these signs can also give directions, for example, ‘turn left next exit’.

For those on busy streets, clearly visible signs can be the easiest way to ensure customers can find you. Often, signs that protrude at right angles from the front of a building (e.g. traditional pub signs) are the easiest to see by those travelling up and down a street.

Being easier to find improves customer satisfaction and helps those attending conferences, weddings and other events to get their quicker. This, in turn, means plans go to schedule for the organisers and improves the chances of them booking your hotel for future events.

Attracting new customers

While many people book hotels or their services in advance, there are always those who are looking for things at the last minute. If bad weather disrupts travel, for example, there may be numerous people looking for somewhere to stay at short notice. If your hotel is well-signed it’s just as easy for these customers to find you as it is for those who have pre-booked.

It’s not just hotels rooms that passers-by may want, either. Hungry travellers may notice you have a restaurant, those who work nearby may discover you have gym facilities that are conveniently located for them. With good signage on the exterior of your premises, you have a much better chance of attracting new customers to your business.

Improving brand identity

Branding plays a crucial role in the hotel industry. Whether you’re quaint country, chic boutique, standard business or billionaire-class, creating the right image is essential if you are going to attract your target clientele. Designing the right sign enables customers to understand what kind of service and accommodation they can expect from you.

Ideally, your signage needs to match the style and theme of your hotel. A super-sophisticated sign outside a business standard hotel, for example, might attract clients who had different expectations to those which were on offer. A boutique hotel, on the other hand, might not attract the right customers unless the sign has connotations of sophistication.

Staying compliant with regulations

Another factor you need to consider when designing your external hotel signs is that they comply with regulations. You may find, for example, that your local council has restrictions on where signs can be placed, how big they can be and the types of materials which can be used. This is especially important where hotels are listed buildings or located in conservation areas or areas of outstanding beauty. There may also be controls over sign lighting. Some councils may limit the use of lighted signs in built-up residential districts or to avoid light pollution in rural areas.

Before designing your external signage, it is always advisable to check with your council’s planning team to make sure that you don’t need planning permission or have other local regulations that need to be complied with.

Internal hotel signs

Helping customers find their way around

Wayfinding signage is key to improving the customer experience. In particular, it needs to clearly identify the various places in the hotel and show people where to find them. For example, as soon as a visitor enters your building, the reception needs to be obviously signposted and labelled. Here are some of the things you need to consider:

  • Wayfinding signs are needed at key intersections, in lift lobbies and at the bottom of staircases. If possible use directional symbols, such as arrows.
  • Wayfinding signs should be used for all facilities: reception, hotel rooms, restaurants, spa, gym, conference suites, toilets, etc.
  • Each room or facility should be clearly signed with its number or name.
  • Long corridors should have signs halfway down to reassure visitors they are still on the right path.
  • Sign designs should be consistent throughout the premises.
  1. Improving health and safety

Hotels have a duty of care for all their staff and visitors and good signage can play a vital role in keeping people safe and helping you comply with health and safety regulations. In particular, you will need to clearly display signs which show where emergency exits are located and which help people follow the most appropriate pathway out of the building.

While wayfinding signage is best displayed in a way which matches the branding of the hotel, health and safety signs should be those which everyone knows and understands. Many of these use symbols and this makes them ideal if you have visitors from other countries who do not speak English fluently.

Conclusion

Designing the correct signage for your brand and location brings many benefits to hotels and their clientele. It helps customers find you, attracts passing trade, improves your brand identity and creates a better user experience inside your premises. At the same time, well-designed signs help you stay compliant with local regulations and make your hotel safer for staff and visitors.

If you are considering upgrading your hotel signage, visit our Restaurant and Hotels Signs page.

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