It’s not as simple as just “putting up a sign.” A successfully executed signage program is dependent on many critical factors, one of which is an analysis of the site. Following these six steps to site surveys is a good start to great signage.
- Check state, county, city and association codes and zoning laws to ensure sign compliance.
- Take photographs of the future location of the sign for onsite renderings and notations about any property issues that may affect the signs.
- Confirm property lines of the business for setbacks, easements, and sign location.
- Make sure the site plans match the actual site.
- Conduct an underground utilities location survey to identify hidden conduits, pipes, and power and communication lines that may affect sign foundation installation.
- Ensure the site conditions are appropriate and ready for sign installation.
Edwin Watts Golf Utilizes "One-Touch" Signage Program
Harbinger helps Edwin Watts Golf in times of crises, with an ongoing "one touch" program for exterior signage and by bringing ideas to the table. Below is an excerpt from the feature case study in Chain Store Age magazine's June 2011 issue:
“The prints — we call them window clings — were Harbinger’s idea,” [Therese] Grossman said. “They’re beautiful and very impactful for our customers.”
Grossman explained that Harbinger came up with the idea of the window prints.
“It proved an economical way for us to try something new while meeting budget,” she said. “One of the benefits for a very specialized retailer like us in working with Harbinger is that they have a very broad base of experience and of doing different things that they are able to share with us. They bring a lot of great ideas to the table.”
The world’s largest individual golf retailer, Edwin Watts Golf, trusts Harbinger with its national, multi-location signage program. For eight years, this successful partnership has grown along with both companies. Today, Harbinger manages Edwin Watts Golf’s signage program for more than 75 locations, including new, converted and updated locations.
“We have created a ‘one-touch’ program for Edwin Watts Golf. They contact the dedicated Harbinger project manager to initiate any required signage service and we seamlessly manage the surveys, permitting, fabrication, installation and servicing of any sign at all locations,” explained Steve Williams, president of Harbinger.
The signage program currently involves the logo and letters on the exterior of the locations, and decorative window and interior imaging solutions to maximize the brand at retail.
For color consistency in the green and white logo and lettering, Harbinger converted Edwin Watts Golf signs from paint to translucent vinyl films, all applied first surface for both cabinet and channel letter signs. To stay “green” in other ways, all new signs use LED illumination, reducing Edwin Watts Golf’s carbon footprint, saving the company up to 70 percent on sign operating costs, and providing more reliable, consistent luminosity.
To enhance Edwin Watts Golf’s brand and seasonal promotions, Harbinger provides full digital window prints in an array of motifs. The prints are created on a 3M medium-adhesive product that allows them to be removed without leaving an adhesive residue on the windows. Harbinger also is working with Edwin Watts Golf on virtually permanent interior prints that can be applied to both treated and untreated drywall substrates, and can be fully removed without leaving any adhesive residue.
“Edwin Watts is the most trusted retailer in golf because of our employees’ knowledge of the golf industry and their commitment to customer service,” said Therese Grossman, director of construction for Edwin Watts Golf. “We expect the same of our partners. Harbinger is exactly that in the sign industry -- trusted, knowledgeable and customer-centric.”
Harbinger, a national sign engineering and manufacturing firm, is introducing an online customer portal to better serve its multi-location clients. Through the portal, customers in the retail, convenience store, grocery and foodservice industries with multiple locations and simultaneous sign installation projects will have access to real-time project updates and status, among other features. The online portal is currently being tested and is scheduled to launch Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010.
Using a client login on Harbinger’s website, customers will have access to quotes, inventory, drawings of sign mock-ups and graphics, project and order history, invoices, and project status. As well, some multi-location clients may have access to customized approved-product catalogs, especially for those with franchises where it is important for the franchise owners to select from signage options that meet corporate brand standards.
“An increasing number of customers ask us to manage their signage installation or sign retrofitting programs nationwide. For example, we are retrofitting signage in more than 1,750 locations for one customer,” explained Steve Williams, president of Harbinger. “By investing in the technology to most efficiently manage these projects, Harbinger can continue to meet customer expectations while streamlining our internal processes.”
Harbinger will offer the service free to clients that meet certain criteria. The company expects the online portal will further streamline its internal processes by serving as a central location for project and customer information.
One of the most crucial elements of sign installation is not the sign (although that is crucial too) — it’s the permit. Every municipality and county has different signage guidelines and regulations. Therefore, a signage partner must have the experience and processes in place to navigate the complexities of permitting on your behalf.
Best practices include:
- Maintaining a library or database of the various regulations
- Assigning a specific project manager to oversee the entire process from permitting through sign installation
- Verifying regulations to ensure new laws or amendments are considered
- Gathering the application information and submitting appropriate paperwork; if several permits are needed within the same geographic area, applying for them all at once
- Presenting in front of design and/or review committees, if needed
Depending on the type of sign and the locality regulations, sign permits can take as little as one day to as long as six weeks to get processed and approved. A reliable sign partner also will help manage expectations and maintain an accurate project timeline to ensure installation deadlines are met.