One of the legacies of the Coronavirus pandemic looks certain to be an increase in remote working.
Millions of us have been forced to do our 9-5 from study’s, bedrooms and conservatories for the best part of a year. While that’s not been without teething problems – “you’re on mute” becoming one of the most uttered phrases globally - most have proven their ability to do so effectively.
That said, there will always be room for the workplace, for which there is no real substitute.
The office is the beating heart of a business and the place in which culture and identity are fostered.
Virtual meetings are part and parcel of the digital age, but most clients still prefer to do things face-to-face. No system updates from Zoom or Skype are likely to change that anytime soon.
That the importance of the office remains undiminished means business owners have a duty to make theirs the best it possibly can be. Introducing impactful signage can help with this.
Erecting a simple sign in your entranceway and nothing else is short-sighted in the extreme and likely to inspire neither employees nor customers. If that describes the limit of your ambitions, it’s time to think bigger…
1 External Signage
Beginning with the external signs themselves, which are of course vitally important.
It’s these designs which are intended to catch the eye, and both entice and welcome visitors into the premises. For this reason, they need to be impactful… to an extent. A garish visual may help to draw a crowd but not necessarily the right kind.
Most companies will simply share their logo here – which is fine – but ask yourself whether that’s a good enough introduction? What differentiates this from your competitors? Showing some ambition and adopting dimensional lettering and/or backlighting might give you the edge.
Given this kind of signage will be placed outside, thought should be given to the material onto which it will be printed. Durable substrates with weather proofing qualities – namely the likes of Aluminium, Dibond and Vinyl – are proven to last the course.
And there is nothing to say it’s a sign and nothing else! Established businesses and start-ups alike are known to display building banners in their stead. Typically printed onto Vinyl, these often afford more space for straplines and promotions.
2 Reception Signs
First impressions count and having entered your premises newcomers will be forming an instant opinion. Lobby signs are a nice way to build recognition and trust from the outset. If nothing else they’re an opportunity to display your professionalism right from the off.
Again, these can be rout cut and mounted in complex shapes and sizes. HDU sign block is a particularly good option for this.
Illumination also works well for those operating late into the night, showing yours is a 24-hour operation.
3 Directional Signs
Directional signage is a nice touch, and something greatly appreciated by visitors and new starters alike.
Again, there are a great many options available to you here. We’ve had great success using engraving to point out meeting rooms, cafeterias and exits. Signs of this kind can be engraved onto natural and synthetic materials with relative ease.
The size of your working environment may determine whether or not directions are necessary but they’re now commonplace in the likes of supermarkets, leisure centres, restaurants and more. Take inspiration from them all.
4 Name Plates
Personalised name plates are another variety of sign that helps bring familiarity. We’ve all paced hallways filled with office doors labelled ‘Managing Director’, ‘CEO’ etc but there is no rule saying recognition should be reserved for the bigwigs.
Issuing anyone stationed at a desk with a customised name plate is a way to bring professionalism without breaking the bank. It makes sense to standardise these across the company, but you can print them onto plastic or metal substrates.
This kind of ‘sign’ is also recommended if yours is an office in a block overflowing with them. A simple plate in reception simply highlighting your name and floor level makes sense.
5 Wall Signs
Wall signs are typically much bigger than your average equivalent and ordinarily made up of high-quality images showcasing your work or history. Traditional businesses are known to include pictures of the building at the time of their establishment in a nod to their longevity.
Yet signs can give way to graphic installations (digitally printed wallpaper) or even foamed PVC wall boards printed in full, vibrant colour.
It’s a different kind of artwork that can capture the imagination and stick in the memory.
If yours is a successful company, why not shout about it? There is no shame in displaying your achievements by way of an Honours Wall.
Whether you opt for the traditional wood look or a modern clear vinyl style, it serves to share the victories of both individuals and the collective. Not only will this reinforce your credentials to those considering your service but boost morale at the same time.
Smaller, individual recognition can also be created in the form of plaques. These make for good desk decoration.
Wall mounted vinyl lettering, complete with a gloss or matt finish, is a great way to share inspirational quotes or mission statements for the business as a whole.
This kind of signage is modern and a great way to remind visitors and staff of what you stand for. The office should be a place employees are proud to work in and a reminder of what you’re there to achieve will help with that.
8 Point of Sale
Depending on your industry, you may look to market your services in your place of work itself. If that’s the case Point of Sale is an effective kind of signage.
High quality display stands – composed of anything from polycarbonate to environmentally friendly cardboard – can help you convert business on the spot.
POS can be hung, free standing or illuminated and printed in sheet material as wide as 2000mm. Its yet another chance to showcase your creativity and promote a product offering in a visually striking way. POS isn’t limited to supermarkets alone…
9 Health and Safety
Finally, the cleanliness and safety of offices has never been more important. The Coronavirus may eventually be supressed, but anxiety born from it will take far longer to subside.
Erecting signage that details social distancing measures is advisable for any businesses hope to re-open its doors in 2021. Beyond that there will still be a need for signs highlighting Danger, No Unauthorised Access, Hearing Protection Must Be Worn and the like.
These are ordinarily created on Vinyl but may be digitally printed onto Correx, Dibond or Foamex also.
Whether interior design is a priority or not, this kind of signage is essential.
Printed signage can help transform your place of work for the better. Given you can pretty much adopt any material, cut to any size, allows you to get creative, canvassing the opinions of those who populate the building itself.
Recent events mean we’ll all appreciate the office that bit more moving forward and look for ways to unlock its potential.