April '22

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1 0 4 G R A P H I C S P R O A P R I L 2 0 2 2 G R A PH I C S - PR O.C O M ELECTRIC SIGNAGE continued from page 25 them to "hire" you, so the new owners are introduced to you in the most posi- tive light possible. Playing these new cards right could end up with an even bigger sale in the end. Asking the right questions reveals little tidbits like this that can save you time or set the stage for an even larger project with the new owners. GET THE ANSWERS YOURSELF Performing certain tasks can verify details that your customer may not be aware of. Spending time to properly survey a site can be your best insurance policy for a smooth sailing project. SITE SURVEY I can say that nothing insures a successful job like a well-done presale sign survey. Details are key, and without putting a tape measure on everything, you are ba- sically guessing. A good survey will save you from a second or third visit to obtain details like sign band height and wall con- struction. DESIGN You now know the manager has some spe- cic ideas, and that means you can address the western design idea and the conserva- tive approach so that you have the manager excited about your presentation and ideas. Why wouldn't he be? You are providing ideas that he thinks will work so that he has a ghting chance to convince the ap- proval committee to look at his western ideas, and not the boring conservative idea. CITY OR COUNTY SIGN CODE RESTRICTIONS Who knows, right? If your client has looked at the code (100% doubtful), great. If not, then it's up to you to nd out what is allowed or not allowed. Can signs ex- tend above the roof line? How is the square footage measured (4-side, 6-side, 8-side box), are raceways or wireways required and why are they required? Channel letter drawing proposals have been created by simply matching the let- ter height of the existing letter sets, only to nd out the city government imposed a historic relevance designation to the building, which now no longer allows internally illuminated letters, only ex- ternally illuminated at cut out dimen- sional letters. So, moving forward, as each tenant leaves, the new tenant signs must conform. Yeah, that kind of ruins your day when you show up at the permit desk with the client's deposit and signed agreement in hand. Now, you look like a dummy, and you have to undo all of your work and start from scratch. e most common response you will hear when stu like this happens: "Oh, yeah, I remember hearing about that new city ordinance that went into eect last year, I just didn't think it had anything to do with my signs." Doing your homework up front will save you hours of embarrassing redraws. Nothing can be built or installed unless it's been approved by the city or county and a permit has been issued. is ap- plies to 99% of most commercial sign situations. INSTALL LOCATION CONDITIONS - PER THE SIGN SURVEY Next, you need to know what the build- ing sign band restrictions are for installing electric channel letters. If you've ever been sent to a job site without having all the information, then you can relate to why it's important to open up the access panel and look behind the sign band wall to de- termine what is back there, and how the channel letters are to be mounted. Focus on the ne art of taking measurements, capturing clear photos, and relaying easy to understand information such as "do the existing signs have raceways, and why or why not?" Perhaps the wall is made of 11" thick preformed concrete? at would certainly force the use of a raceway. If you are not sure as to why, then it's time to look more into the scope and re- strictions of electric sign installation. (Pro tip: Raceways are used when limited num- bers of sign band or wall penetrations are desired for mounting the letters. A raceway only needs one power-pass through hole, and 4 to 6 wall anchors. Remote wired channel letters (no raceway) have four-plus mounting anchors, plus the electric pass through on every letter). ARTWORK FOR THE SHOPPING CENTER Here is where you can add a little pizzaz to your presentation by asking about their current logo or working for the strip mall. If they don't have one, it's your lucky day to sell them a logo design along with the sign package. Creating a strip mall logo without knowing if they have one already, or even want one is an invitation to a big waste of time. If you ask, and they are open, run with it. TENANT ARTWORK If we are looking at changing every tenant's sign, you need to obtain artwork for each business. If you are not up to speed on raster versus vector artwork, it's highly advisable that you grasp the dierences so you know what you are receiving from your client, and whether or not it's usable for signage. A VIEW FROM THE CHEAP SEATS Professional independent designers are presented design projects from a vari- ety of sign companies, so they typically take a hands-on approach to requesting the required information whereas an in- house designer may not have that ability to insist on more information. ey may be required to simply do their best with the info provided. Independent design- ers typically won't work on a project until they are condent they understand all the wants, wishes, options and restrictions of the project. Hiring one of these designers

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