You have big plans for the exhibit at your next trade show, you’re hoping to install a wall graphic to catch people’s eyes and make them want to visit your business, or you’re trying to choose the best types of signs to use to promote your company’s upcoming sale. It’s just that the details of the project are getting in the way. You’re not sure where to start, what types of materials are appropriate to use, or how to use graphics to get your message across.
You are sure that using visuals and signage is what your brand needs to attract new customers or to move to the next phase of growth. You realize that great signage encourages about one-third of shoppers to stop in and check out a store they hadn’t visited before. You’ve heard that adding signs helps to increase sales by about 10%.
If you’re interested in using signage, graphics and other types of displays to boost your brand’s presence, attract more customers or shape your brand’s image and identity, you don’t have to do it alone. SpeedPro, your local sign company and visual communications expert, offers visual marketing and custom sign graphics consulting. A signage project consultant will help you pick the visual materials that are just right for your brand. We’ll evaluate the size of your project, your location and your needs to help you create a visual marketing strategy that pays off.
Learn more about project consultation and what’s involved in it.
What Is Project Consultation?
When you’re looking to start any project, whether it’s a project related to your business or a personal project, where do you start? You most likely look for information on whatever it is you’re about to do. You might turn to books written by an expert or find a person in your area who has experience with the topic. If you seek out the advice and opinion of a subject-matter expert, you’re seeking out a consultation. People who provide expert-level information on a subject, such as visual marketing or digital signage, are consultants.
A consultant can work with you and help you figure out what problems you’re facing when it comes to choosing signs or figuring out how to display your signs. They’ll give you an idea of the scope of the issue and help you see where you stand today. They’ll also help you determine where you want your business to be and what steps you need to take to get there.
Why Schedule a Project Consultation?
There are several cases when scheduling a project consultation makes sense for your business. The first case is if you have no idea how to move forward with your project. You might be at the very beginning, or you might have tried to get started only to have things not work out. For example, you might have ordered a bunch of signs, hung them up, then not seen the results you had hoped to get. The signs might have seemed like the right size on paper, but when they arrived, they ended up being too small.
Instead of accepting failure or assuming that you’ll never get your project off of the ground, you can schedule a consultation and get expert advice from a consultant. Often, a project consultation can be the thing that connects your brand to success.
In other cases, you might have a general idea of what to do, what types of signs you want, and how to achieve your particular goals. But you’re interested in learning as much as you can about ways to improve your project. There might be something you overlooked that a project consultant can point out to you. Working with a visual marketing consultant can help you reach your particular goals more quickly.
Another reason to schedule a project consultation is to take advantage of a system or method that has been shown to work. There is a fair amount of research about the benefits of signage and the best ways to display signs to get the results you’re seeking. A project consultant can use the available research to help you put together a signage strategy that will get results.
What Happens During Project Consultations?
During a project consultation, you should expect to talk about your project with a member of the SpeedPro team. We’ll talk about your goals for the project or your business in general. We’ll answer questions you have about signage and graphics and discuss your options. We might review local regulations concerning signage and consider how those regulations will affect you. If you’re putting together a display for a trade show, we’ll discuss any rules or requirements of the venue.
What Happens After a Project Consultation?
After the initial consultation, if you decide to move forward with SpeedPro, you can expect a few things. We might work with you to help you manage your project from start to finish, make product recommendations based on your needs and goals, and examine the site so we can make the best recommendations to you. Here’s what each component might look like and what you can expect.
1. Project Management
When you work on a project, such as creating signs to promote your brand’s upcoming annual sale or displays to use at a convention, you are working on something time-bound, not ongoing. Projects have distinct beginnings and ends. Project management is the process of using a variety of skills and tools to make sure anything that is part of the project fulfills the requirements of the project. It’s the role of a project manager to keep things on budget, on track and on time.
There are five steps involved in project management:
- Initiate the project: In the first step, you have an initial idea for your project, such as create a display for a trade show or develop a new mural. At this stage, you’ll have a general idea of the cost of the project, how long it will take and what you want to get out of it.
- Define and plan the project: If the project concept or idea gets the stamp of approval from the powers that be at your company, it can move on to the planning stage. You might meet with your project consultant at this point and get a better idea of the cost of the signage you’re interested in and how long it will take to create it. You’ll most likely divide up tasks and responsibilities at this point, too.
- Launch the project: Once you have a plan, you can launch the project. That might mean hiring someone to design the graphics for your signs, getting the signage printed and having the signs hung or installed in the appropriate locations.
- Monitor the project: As things go along, someone, usually the project manager, will keep an eye on the proceedings to ensure that costs aren’t creeping up, that items are being completed on time and that there aren’t any significant issues. If there are concerns, the project manager will work with other parties to figure out how to solve the problems.
- Close the project: At the end of the project, it’s time to take a step back and evaluate it and its outcome. Did it deliver the results you wanted? Did things go smoothly, or were there more issues than anticipated? What did you learn and how can you use that information the next time you need signage?
2. Site Survey
When you work with a signage project consultant, don’t be surprised if they want to visit your business or the site where you’ll be using the signs to conduct a site survey.
What Is a Site Survey?
A site survey is an examination of a particular area to gather information about it. While examining the site, your project consultant is likely to note:
- Whether it is indoors or outdoors
- How much space is available
- Whether there are any obstructions or obstacles in that could keep the signs from being visible, such as trees or signage from other companies
- What the light is like in the area
- What materials are nearby — for example, whether the ground is paved or soil
Since conditions can change throughout the day or over several days, the person performing the site survey will likely visit multiple times, at different times and in different conditions. They might evaluate the location in the early morning, the middle of the afternoon and in the evening. They might visit when it’s sunny outside and when it’s raining. The goal is to get a complete picture of the conditions of the location so they can recommend that most appropriate signage for your business.
3. Product Recommendations
The third component of a project consultation is product recommendations. After listening to your needs and goals, hearing the definition and plan for the project, and visiting the site, a consultant is likely to recommend the best type of sign for your needs.
What Type of Sign Should My Business Use?
When recommending signs to you, a project consultant will most likely have the following in mind:
- The amount of space available: How much room you have will determine whether you can have an enormous sign or will need something more modestly sized.
- The type of wall or mounting materials: The consultant will recommend signage based on what areas you have available for displaying it. If you have a lot of windows on your building, they might recommend window graphics, for example.
- The weather conditions: Signs that live outdoors will usually need to be made of weather-resistant material, such as vinyl or coroplast. Signs for indoor-use only can be made of more delicate materials, such as foamboard.
- Your budget: How much your company can afford to spend on signage will also play a role in determining which types of signs will work best. If you have a substantial budget, you might be able to afford higher-end materials compared to a business with a smaller budget.
- The information you want to share: What you want to say with the sign also plays a role in determining what type of sign you end up with, its shape and the materials you choose. If you want to convey a lot of information, you might need a reasonably large sign.
How to Choose Appropriate Business Signage
Choosing the right business signage is a crucial part of your brand’s visual communications and visual marketing strategy. Picking the best sign goes beyond choosing the right materials and size. You also want to consider what the sign says and how it says it. Another thing to think about is how well the sign aligns with your brand’s identity and overall messaging. Here are just a few things a consultant might ask you to consider:
- Contrast: Ideally, the information on your sign will seem to “pop” out of it. Choosing colors that are high contrast, such as black lettering on a white background, will make it easier for people to figure out what your sign says.
- Readability: The size of your sign and the size of the information on it influence readability. A small sign is easily overlooked while a massive sign might be too difficult to take in. The typeface you use on the sign also plays a role in determining its readability. It’s better to choose one font you like and stick with it rather than use two or more.
- Placement: Where you place the sign determines who can see it. If you’re trying to get the attention of passengers on a train or in a car who drive by your building, you might consider hanging a sign from the roof. If you’re interested in bringing in foot traffic, an a-frame sign placed by the door of your store might be sufficient.
- Lighting: You want people to see your sign, so the lighting options available also play a part when it comes to choosing appropriate signage. If you want your sign to be visible in a variety of lighting conditions, such as in the dark or the middle of a sunny day, you might consider a digital sign. The lighting conditions can also determine whether you need to invest in accessories such as LED lighting to make your sign visible at all times.
Contact SpeedPro for Help With Visual Marketing Strategy and Project Consultation
If you’ve got a big idea for your brand’s visual communications strategy, but you aren’t sure how to go about bringing that plan to life, SpeedPro can help. Whether you’re looking for office signage, need assistance putting together a compelling trade show exhibition, or want to use signage to enhance your environment, our teams can work with you, assess your needs, review your space and recommend products and signs to use to create the biggest impact.
Find the SpeedPro studio nearest you today to schedule a consultation and to get started turning your ideas into reality.