Posted on Monday, November 14th, 2016
So you’re working away on a design for a great-looking sign. Naturally, most of the attention goes into the layout of the sign face itself. The customer is even more caught up in the sign face—usually how to squeeze in more words, make the copy larger and fill up “wasted space.” It’s easy to overlook how the posts or mountings that hold that sign face can dramatically improve its appearance and effectiveness.
Taking advantage of the mounting to make a sign more effective is a great way to help your customer get additional value from their sign—while also generating additional profits for your sign business. It helps customers see they’ve come to the right place because you’re showing them how to get more for their money. Aaron Taylor, Brix Design Inc., Pensacola, Florida, discovered this years ago and has been using this approach ever since.
“People seem to seldom think about dressing up the posts,” Aaron says. “But the mounting is an important part of the whole package. We prefer to approach the whole project as a design—the face, the posts, the brackets. It can really add a lot to the impact of the sign.”
Want to take better advantage of posts and mountings? These four points not only help with that, but also give you key points to help you sell customers on making the additional investment to ratchet up the value of their new sign.
Set your sign apart from the rest. An interesting post or mounting adds appeal. And that’s really what you’re shooting for on a permanent sign—you want the overall sign to draw the viewer’s eye. In a world full of signs on skimpy posts in mountings, your sign immediately scores points with the viewer because it’s visually more interesting. It’s unique. Big, sturdy mountings tell the viewer that this sign is different and it is important.
Make the posts match the scale of the sign. “A lot of signs look like lollipops—a big sign face on one or two little sticks,” Aaron says. “The sign post should be in scale with the sign face. Just as you wouldn’t hang a 12-by-20-in. shingle sign on a massive 15-in. square post, a couple of standard 4-by-4-in. posts are certainly not in scale with a 4-x-8-ft. sign face. It may be acceptable on a temporary real estate sign, but it doesn’t do a thing for a permanent sign.”
Stretch your imagination. There are a lot of ways to use the mounting to add impact to a sign. Think outside the box. Flip through a few copies of SignCraft to get some fresh ideas. Try multiple posts, posts that are built out, posts with built-up bases, fluted panels, cool post caps, decorative trim and effects on the posts.
Who says posts have to be straight and square? For Toad Hall, Aaron designed whimsical post covers that make the sign fun to look at. “We made PVC board post wraps that hide the 4×4 square aluminum tubing that supports the sign. We cut the front and back of each post on the CNC router and milled a small rabbet in the edge so that the side panels would snap in. We glued those in with PVC cement.”
Add impact without adding square footage to the permit. Many communities don’t consider the posts or mountings in the allowable square footage for the permit. Increasing the size of the posts in mountings can make your sign appear more grandiose and have more impact. It can help you grab the attention of viewers. This means you can create a sign with a lot more visual power and still be within the ordinance requirements.