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.
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.