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Throughout cities and downtowns, signs play a vital role in how residents and visitors interact with the space around them. Whether it’s a directional wayfinding sign, a storefront, or a sign identifying a building, signs contribute greatly to the downtown experience, playing an important role in the brand identity of cities, retailers, and institutions. Because of this the quality of signage has greatly improved over the last decade including design innovations (many intended to improve pedestrian safety). quality materials, and architectural integrations into buildings and landscapes.
Metro Sign & Awning has decades of experience working with cities on redevelopment projects and on the revitalization of downtown areas through signage and awnings. Investing in both the exterior and interior design of urban buildings can help revitalization and economic development efforts for cities large and small.
We know how tricky it can be to meet all the requirements and regulations that signage involves - and we have seen how flexible and reasonable sign regulations make it easier to deliver creative and aesthetically pleasing signs that meet clients' needs. When that's not the case, such as when requirements or regulations are outdated or otherwise seem at odds with good design intent, business or safety, informed discussions with local officials can result in variances, compromises, and most importantly, the best and most effective signage for everyone.
The earlier that a signage package is incorporated in the signage process, the faster potential problems can be identified and addressed. Many (most) regulations are valid, and good communication between principals, project managers, and municipal officials is the key to ensuring that the client gets the best signage, and that there are no last-minute surprises.
City planners often turn to resources offered by the American Planning Association (APA) to help them learn about various zoning issues, including how to regulate signs.
We prioritize project management that focuses on the details of the design and production of your signage project so you don’t have to. From the initial consultation to bringing your vision to life, Metro Sign & Awning has the bandwidth to handle every step of your project. Whether it’s the design of the signs, obtaining permits, ensuring regulations are met, or overseeing production and installation, project management is a vital part of the way we work.
We know how difficult it can be as a developer to manage several different projects at once. That's why at MSA, we provide project management solutions that result in a successful project completion and risk mitigation.
Our experienced Project Managers understand what's important to our clients (and their clients) at each stage in a development. From planning and concepting to fabricating, approvals and the installation process, Metro Sign & Awning Project Managers keep everything on track.
Our partners seem to value our experience, as evidenced by this testimonial we received from a Skansa Project Manager:
The project team we were assigned were all great to work with. The whole process, from submittal to install, was very fluid. There was an open communication between Metro, FMA and Skanska which, I believe, was a large contributor to the overall success of the project. In the field, your install crews were professional and came prepared to do the day’s tasks. They asked questions and ensured the signs were installed to suit the Designer’s intent. Overall, my experience with Metro has been very positive.
Thank you all for the hard work!
While we love hearing positive comments like this, we are not content to sit still, rather, we strive to improve our operations so our clients can continue to rely on us.
Over the past several months, we've been implementing more Lean principles and techniques into our process. We're seeing the benefits internally, and hearing from clients that they are seeing some too. Read more about our project management process here, or contact us to discuss your development projects and find out how we can work together to ensure your branding and identification signage is all you envision.
The result of a strong project-management solution is both successful project completion and risk mitigation.
Retractable screens and awnings are popular - inside and outside - for many academic and athletic buildings. The types and options for screens, panels and other functional signage continue to grow.
Besides the advertising boost an awning or enclosure provides, investing in an awning, canopy or other type of enclosure often means gaining several operational advantages that can help you grow your business, from reducing heating and cooling costs to enhancing guest experience.
"Just because your building’s ADA signs need to follow a comprehensive set of requirements, doesn’t mean they can’t reflect well on your brand. These ADA sign examples show you what we mean when we say clear, compliant ADA signage can make a beautiful addition to your building's interior design.
As more of our clients are working within the LEED certification requirements we find more jobs specify green materials and the experience of local suppliers.
What green building trends do you see emerging in 2018? We asked eight experts and came up with five green building trends.
Supplier Relationship Management is an increasingly important aspect of project management, as well as overall company management. How do you select from a variety of qualified suppliers? We look at the specs of each project to find the best supplier for the job - but there are many variables, including, sometimes, specifications stipulated by the customer. As in so many things, we've found good communication (with suppliers, partners, and of course, the client) is the key to success.
This definition explains the meaning of supplier relationship management (SRM), a comprehensive approach to managing an enterprise's interactions with the organizations that supply the goods and services it uses. SRM involves both strategy and software to achieve a competitive advantage.
This article is especially relevant as summer is the festival and concert season. But every day, all year, highly visible signage that communicates clearly is an important safety factor. This is true of both interior and exterior signage.
The article also points out a critical flaw in much design work: too often, products are designed based on computer and cost models but in they can fail to take into account human behavior and real-world conditions.
Computer models have improved the design process in many ways, but to achieve a successful end result - and to maximize ROI - designs must be reviewed for form, function, and the all-important human factor. Myriad details go into the architecture and design of new buildings and into redevelopment projects as well. While specifying hundreds (or thousands) of signs to deliver a complete signage pack can be tedious, we've had the good fortune to work with many thoughtful architects and developers who appreciate our thorough approach to ensure each sign is clearly helpful to humans, and also helps meet overall design goals.
"Provide highly visible signage at all points where occupants have a choice in direction.... Many architects follow long-standing best practices when designing commercial buildings. However, studies conducted in the wake of the 9/11 attacks revealed something disturbing: Best practices are based on computer modeling. And computer models are based on the assumption that people will behave in a logical, predictable manner in an emergency."
We've followed LEED and related architectural and design concepts for years, and always operated with a goal of finding the most efficient operational methods that are effective while having the lowest impact on natural and other resources. Expect to hear more from us on the subject in the coming months. In the meantime, we'd love to hear from our clients and partners, how are you working to make the most efficient use of time and materials?
Out of the estimated 6,633 LEED Platinum buildings in existence today (and undoubtedly many more to come), we've highlighted 10 notable buildings that achieved a LEED certification.
Plastics often get a bad rap, but many are environmentally friendly. High-density urethane (HDU) and expanded polystyrene (EPS) are prime examples. In fact, over a sign’s life cycle, some plastics are greener than wood. Because HDU and EPS suppliers know having minimal environmental impact is a competitive advantage, they manage their manufacturing processes to reduce waste. Also, many manufacturers use a high percentage of post-consumer recycled materials in their products.
Here's a Whopper of a sign story. In our experience, there are two key ideas to making your own signage story a shorter one.
Communication, well-coordinated planning throughout the design review process, and compromise when needed typically results in getting the right sign, the first time. The earlier that coordinated communication begins in the design review process, the better. This is why we like to be involved in the architectural design phase of a project, so we can help prevent a situation in which a new sign needs to be reworked, or replaced, so soon after its initial installation.
As the author also points out, sign aesthetics are important and sometimes, public opinion weighs in on a project when it is nearly completed. In such a case, of course, communication and compromise, again, are the keys to getting a resolution everyone can be happy with.
Experienced signage professionals understand that the size, material, and aesthetics of a sign are not the only things to be considered in a construction or develoment project. When the court of public opinion is in session, you want a signage partner who is skilled at communication and compromise, as well as versed in working with planning and zoning officials.
There’s a new Burger King going up in Golden Springs, Anniston’s over-the-mountain suburb. Everyone’s seen it. There’s a giant playground. There are trees and landscaping. The sign itself, however, makes for a Whopper of a story.
Designing, fabricating and installing 600+ wayfinding and ADA signs on a tight schedule is much easier when your partners are as professional as those at Skanska Group. Working with them on the South Boston Waterfront made the project that much more rewarding.
Retractable screens, unique seating areas and decorative or branded panels are just a few of the projects we’ve worked on recently that show how signage can go “above and beyond” what’s traditionally been considered its main role.