Value-Engineering Your Sign Program

Design Your Commercial Sign System to Save You Money

CASE STUDY – Gate Petroleum Pylon Sign

When Gate Petroleum was planning the design of their new stores, they needed a sign system that matched their sleek new look without sacrificing their established brand identity. Harbinger and Gate have worked together for generations, so when the Gate executive team wanted some innovative new solutions, they came to Harbinger first.

Gate Signage Before & After

Gate sign program before and after the redesign.

Client Challenges:

  • Update the Gate Brand throughout the Sign Program without Reducing Familiarity
  • Match the Clean, Modern Look of the New Store Design
  • Make Signage More Energy Efficient
  • Reduce Maintenance Expenses

Drawings of the previous Gate Pylon Signs

Listening + Ideation

Harbinger Innovation Group’s Creative Director, Ed Busey, met with Gate’s architects at Ebert Norman Brady Architects to see the plans for the new stores. After studying the clean, contemporary designs and discussing the details of the project with principals at the architecture firm and the executive team at Gate Petroleum, Ed identified several ways the new sign program could build on the contemporary aesthetics while improving energy and maintenance efficiency.

“We realized this was more than just a chance to make something look better, we could really bring some value to this project for the client. And it would help us help them in the future. It would be cheaper and easier to design, build and replicate components.”Ed Busey, Creative Director

Identified Opportunities:

Refreshed Image
Develop a smart, contemporary and immediately recognizable design update that draws new interest in the established brand.

Brand Consistency
Gate’s sign program has historically had little consistency. With the opening of each store, a sign program was developed specific to that location. The net result of this was an inconsistent brand identity and an inefficient and expensive process every time changes were required. Each change request required surveying and research like a new custom sign order.

Simplified Program Management
Because of Harbinger’s experience with Gate, Ed was aware that when the company changed relationships with ancillary brands in their stores, these changes had to be approached as a new custom sign design every time, costing money and taking time.

Maintenance Cost Reduction
Gate requested a solution for their pylon signs that didn’t involve the exposed metal posts that had traditionally been used. These posts needed frequent sanding and re-painting from weather damage and didn’t match the new aesthetic.

Energy Efficiency
In order to make the investment in the new sign program as cost-effective as possible, Gate wanted to move away from expensive fluorescent illumination and utilize state-of-the-art LED lighting technology.

Value-engineered pylon sign drawing.

Harbinger’s Innovative Solutions

An Encased Pylon Sign
Drawing from the clean, bright and simple aesthetics of the new store designs, Harbinger proposed a single internal steel pole and footing with a durable exterior that protected the metal from exposure while giving the sign the modern, clean look their new aesthetic required. The use of a single pole and footer also reduced construction costs.

A Gate Modular Sign ComponentsStandardized Sign Program
In order to make the Gate sign program more manageable, Harbinger needed to be able to easily draw, permit, fabricate and install standard modular components to rapidly address changes and sign repairs when necessary.

The Sign Program:

  • Considered various sign sizes and elevations.
  • Utilized a standardized sizing system with easily replaceable modular components.

This way individual panels could be quickly and efficiently replaced. This also made electronics and interior elements accessible for repairs.

Smarter Lighting Systems
By replacing lamps and ballasts with smartly placed internal LED illumination, Gate’s signs would be more energy-efficient. Designing the sign with less illuminated negative space meant further reduction of energy consumption. The LEDs could be focused only on areas requiring illumination rather than illuminating empty space on a white sign.

The Outcome

A fresh, contemporary sign system founded on equal strengths of both form and function. Crisp clean lines, simplistic color scheme and uniform messaging create a tasteful update that customers can quickly locate and navigate to.
The new signage also reduces energy consumption, construction costs, and maintenance costs while extending the lifespan of the sign.

This case study only reflects the value engineering of the pylon sign program. Harbinger also provided a program for facade signage, canopy and parking LED lighting systems, perimeter lighting, monument signs, and interior signage.

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