April '22

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G R A PH I C S - PR O.C O M 2 0 2 2 A P R I L G R A P H I C S P R O 2 3 can be suggested, let alone designed for presentation to the client. Keep in mind that this is your client, the same client that you have personally stayed late to meet their last-minute deadlines, so that they never have a reason to look elsewhere for the items you provide them. You do not want to screw this up. If this sounds anywhere close to your scenario, stick around to learn the ba- sics of providing your client with a set of electric channel letters and the details you should look at gathering as part of the process. You've probably guessed it, I'm back on my soapbox about learning (in detail) the restrictions, options, opportunities, and desires of the following: • Your clients' ego or obligation to meet a certain expectation • e landlord or building owner • e city or county • e engineer and/or architectural approval committee ese four topics must also mesh with: • What job must the sign perform? • e limitations of the materials used • e distance it's being viewed from • Outside inuencers — neighbors/ architectural committees e only way to obtain these details is to ask questions, along with old-fashioned investigative research to dig up what is needed for starting the project out with the highest potential for success. GETTING STARTED What is the need or what is the problem that needs to be solved? I hope I haven't lost anyone with this rst question, because it's the one question that I see overlooked more than nding out the budget. Yes, the client may ask if you make "signs that are individual metal letters that light up inside," but that in no way indicates why they need them, or what the role of the channel letters is for their business, at that location, for their indus- try, for matching their identity or brand. Let's suppose we have a project where the client asks for "new signs" for the shopping center that he is responsible for manag- ing. During the initial meeting, the client mentions, "Just come up with an idea that graphically ties in all of the signs we need, in our colors." Well, that is a nice statement for your client to make, and it sounds like it might be information that the designer needs to know, but for a designer, it says absolutely nothing. at statement actually carries the same wealth of information as the statement, "I want my signs to be read- able" or "I want my signs to be within my budget." is is the rst chance for the salesperson to either ask more probing questions or carry on with their sales call. Are you (the owner of the sign shop) the salesperson? Are you seeing any similarities in you or your salesperson's approach to selling an electric sign and the possible struggles you may have had with the design approval process? Stop for a minute and think about the big picture of this channel letter project. e landlord is asking for this, not the tenants. at means you already have the agreement of every tenant in the shopping center — by way of the request of the land- lord. So, it's already become a huge job with 10 tenants in this local strip mall and at this point, you need to nd out who the decision maker is that you need to impress. Creating a strip mall logo without knowing if they have one already, or even want one is an in- vitation to a big waste of time. If you ask, and they are open to it, run with it.

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