A guide to ordering the perfect sign

If you work in the signage industry, you’ll be all too familiar with how it works when ordering a sign. Somebody emails over a request, another individual responds with a question…back and forth it goes and before you know it, hours have been spent from both ends discussing the simplest of details.

Working for a trade-only supplier, I want to help you understand what is needed and guide you through the ordering process when creating the perfect sign, hopefully helping to remove any future problems, mistakes and frustrations.

The question then; how do you go about ordering the perfect sign?

1. A visual always helps! We live in a visual world and the signage industry is all about image and perception. You’re creating something which is a representation of one’s business and brand. A sign can only be created if an idea is down on paper, or in today’s world, your PC.

2. Yes, file type is important! So important that I might waffle on about this point, bear with me, it’s all relevant. The amount of times I’ve been sent a pencil sketch, a JPEG or a google image saying, “I want something like that”. It can’t be helped sometimes, you can only work with what you’ve got, and in all honesty, not everyone knows what it is they want, they’re perhaps looking for assistance. But that’s another subject so I won’t digress this time around.

AI, EPS and PDF formats, they’re all file types which contain vectors. What’s a vector? It’s a mathematical representation of a visual and can be edited and resized when needed, without affecting the quality. These file types are perfect when planning projects and the flexibility of the files allows for amends when required.

3. The specifics, they count for everything! I’m sorry if I’m teaching you how to suck eggs, but as with anything, the more information provided then the quicker and more efficient we can be in creating a visualisation of your signage request. Standard requirements include material type; do you want a sign made from aluminium, aluminium composite, acrylic, foamex?

What illumination effect would you like; face illuminated, halo illumination or both etc. etc.? Measurements? 50mm deep tray, 900mm high letter. What’s the pantone colour reference? I’d assume a specific brand colour is required and it can’t just be any old red or blue.

4. Proof and proof again! We’ve a comprehensive proofing system designed to minimise potential errors or delays. Once created to spec, we’ll send you an ‘Artwork Proof’ document which provides you with a visual mock-up of your order, technical details and a check-list to ensure all is ok. Give it a thorough check, a thumbs up and we’re good to go.

5. Job done, we’ll do the rest!

Did you know we have a dedicated website for signage? Visit www.smith-signdisplay.co.uk. We’re also very social, find us on Twitter @Smith1832.

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