When consumers see a building under construction, typically, everyone is waiting to see the sign to know what business is coming soon. Signage installation is an exciting milestone for the client and the marketplace. In today’s fast-paced environment, while the signage is critical, it often can be an afterthought due to all of the other moving parts of facility construction. Today’s topic focuses on the impact of including signage at the beginning of the process.
A recent example comes from a client who sought to make a more significant branding impact through a larger sign on the exterior of their building. The entire renovation was completed to create more space for new signage only to discover a city code specified signage could not be installed above their roofline. The city denied permits and would not approve a variance to the code. This was a costly addition that failed to meet their branding objective.
Obtaining signage approval varies within municipalities and creates an unknown factor for the timeline for signage installation. Working with a turn-key signage partner who handles the entire scope of a project can be of significant value and their expertise can assist in making recommendations to obtain approval. This could include leveraging previous experiences to gain approval or as simple as the way the package is presented to the city.
Proper planning can create significant value, minimize rushed decision making, and can even impact selecting the ideal business location. Often signage is critical to a business's brand and even its business model. As a result, it is essential to review the code and municipality restrictions before approving the location.
Tips to an efficient implementation:
- Does the city have restrictive codes that prohibit your signage/branding program?
- Are you able to redesign your standards to meet business objectives?
- Have you allowed enough time in your planning to maximize your program?
If there are concerns, it may be worth reviewing how close the next jurisdiction is and seeing if more possibilities align, but the bottom line is to include signage discussion early on and review local codes before breaking ground or expanding.