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5 Tips You Need to Know for Fantastic Wayfinding Signs!

STOP Sign DIrectionalIt’s been said that half the streets in Atlanta are named “Peachtree.”  While that’s a slight exaggeration, 71 roads in Metro Atlanta do include “Peachtree” somewhere in their name.  Think about it…  Peachtree Battle, Peachtree Walk, Peachtree Valley Road, Peachtree Industrial, Peachtree Parkway, South Old Peachtree – –  the list goes on and on.  While Atlanta natives quietly ponder how we ever managed without Google Maps and TomToms, imagine how visitors and newcomers cope with the confusing array of twisting, turning, name-changing drives and parkways, avenues and trails.

Before there were Garmins and Mapquest, before there were built-in navigation systems, there were outdoor wayfinding signs and directional signs.  Wayfinding and directional signs help get us to work, and they help us get home.  They are time savers and mistake-preventers.

For property managers – – from multi-family complexes to business parks and industrial parks – – effective and efficient outdoor directional signs, traffic control signs, and wayfinding signs are crucial.  Making sure that there is ease of entry and exit, that traffic flow is smooth and efficient, can make a world of difference in the perception of your property.  Nobody likes to waste time wondering which way to turn, or where they should park.  The challenge is finding the right balance between aesthetic value, functionality, and affordability.  We’re here to help.  Start with these “5 Tips You Need to Know for Fantastic Wayfinding Signs!”

 

Tip #1:  Walk the Property.  A sign company that wants to help you solve a problem will do this with you.  A sign company that wants to sell you a sign package, probably won’t.  Wayfinding Signs and Directional Signs should be available where people look for them.  Anticipate the need.

Tip #2:  Wayfinding Signs and Directional Signs should be easy to read.  Use legible fonts, and make the signs large enough that letter size isn’t an issue.  Use concise, simple content.  Maintain a good contrast between the background color and the color of the text.  Using two shades of neutral tones might be a great idea for the buildings on your property, it’s probably not a good idea for your signs.

Tip #3:  Anticipate the need to repair and replace your Directional Signs and Wayfinding Signs.  Your signs have lots of enemies…  Weed whackers damage the posts.  Bikes and cars run into them.  Signs are faded by the sun, rocks are thrown, paint is sprayed… the list is endless.  Minimize repair costs by building inexpensive “post boots” into the design – – they are functional and attractive.  Use a textured finish that will help hide blemishes.  Use metal or aluminum composite materials as backers to add strength and protection to engraved or sandblasted signs.  Avoid the use of costly foam sign materials such as HDU.  Protect your signs and with plantings such as Holly and Barberry.  For parking signs, position them far enough from the curb stops that they don’t become stop marks for vehicles.

Tip #4:  Use quality manufactured and safety signs where they make sense (See Tip #3 above).  It’s possible to design a Directional Sign and Wayfinding Sign package that incorporates economical metal traffic control sign blanks along with engraved directional signs and still achieve the desired level of curb appeal.   Use quality (minimum thickness .080 aluminum) engineer-grade reflective STOP signs, Speed Limit signs, Handicap Parking signs, and for any safety signs.

Tip #5:  Never skimp on the posts.  Pressure treated wood posts are much less expensive, but they are a temporary post.  A quality Directional Sign and Wayfinding Sign package will last a number of years.  Use aluminum tube posts (minimum 3” x 3”, with .125” wall) with a textured finish.  Insist the posts be set in concrete.  Consider you environment – – taller posts make sense where delivery and moving trucks are common.  For parking signs where the quantity of the signs makes it unfeasible to use aluminum tube posts, use galvanized metal – – they will cost a little more but won’t rust or fade like painted green metal posts.

Big Mouth Signs designs and installs quality Wayfinding and Directional Sign packages for property managers of multi-family and apartment complexes, office and business parks, and industrial complexes.  We’ll take the time to identify your needs, and we’ll provide solutions that make sense.  We’re located in Lilburn, GA and we’d love to help with your next sign project.