A quick Question


Greetings all, I am a believer in you don't know something, ask someone smarter than you. In this case, it would be you! My question is this-

Where exactly does exterior signage come into a project?

Is it with the owner or through the architect? As you can guess, I sell/design signage. I do not want to bother the wrong people!

Thanks for your help.


Sep 17, 14 1:52 pm

doesn't hurt to talk to architects.  they're usually involved with projects that need signs, and can pass your info on to the owner.  sometimes you guys need to coordinate with electrical and structural, or otherwise make sure you're signs have something to stick to without falling down, early on in the design process. 

from my experience, signs are contracted directly with the owner instead of the architect or contractor, and you guys come in after the project is more or less finished.

also, there are lots of billboard type signs that go up during the project, advertising who the architect is, who the contractor is, maybe something with a rendering of what the building is going to look like.  a lot of this is through the contractor, but architects sometimes play a role.

Sep 17, 14 2:40 pm  · 

Most signage is commissioned and paid for by the tenants with specific requirements (sizes, attachments, colors, etc.) dictated by the owner in the lease conditions.  Ideally the owner would have coordinated these items with the architect prior to leasing spaces and constructing the building.  

If an architect does not address signage locations/sizes in some way shape or form, the owner/tenants will totally fuck up a building with shitty/unplanned signage.  

Sep 17, 14 3:05 pm  · 

I had a lot of my stuff fucked-up with owner & tenant signs, even when I planned places for them someone would come along with their “standard” sign that never fit.

I once did a shopping center and created a rendering - deciding the only signs would be my signs that just said “Drugstore” “Phone Store” etc to keep it clean, man that went over like a ton of bricks because I learned that signs are a business identity and were needed to be specific and many had corporate requirements. Went to just requiring that they be individual raised backlit letters with logos or brand logo’s limited to small attachments that were internally lighted like a box sign but in the shape of the logo like a raised letter. It worked but nobody liked spending the money….if an architect doesn’t get involved and write a sign code for an owner to include with his leases – its box sign city.

Way-Finding and graphic design are areas that should be included in architectural practice to control these things.

Sep 17, 14 4:30 pm  · 
Non Sequitur

^Carrera, I've got a similar issue at the moment. We have a large building downtown with strict rules about our signage. We had expensive back-lighted aluminium signs fabricated with the idea that any future tenant would cut out their logo leaving all signs similar... then, some big-chain coffee joint is just about to place cheap vinyl stickers over the aluminium like they are immune to the urban review panel's rulings. Whe are still battering this one out but we've won on 2 other signs... fingers crossed this one fails to go up.

Sep 17, 14 5:02 pm  · 


Signs seem to be the one area where nobody gives a shit...sign ordinances?  Who gives a crap....not the city cause they don't want to get tied up in some lawsuit with starbucks that has more money that jebus.  

Sep 17, 14 6:30 pm  · 

Buildings are signs.

Sep 17, 14 6:33 pm  · 

Pentagram Design does a good job with this kind of stuff.

Sep 17, 14 6:36 pm  · 

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