This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
the signage system. Each of the merits discussion here. PERFORMANCE REQUIREMNETS Signs usually must be designed to meet specific performance requirements. The good designer will determine how a system is to perform within given space relationships. The sign system may function entirely on its own merit, or it may be supplemented by staff personnel at major decision-making locations such as the main lobby and reception areas. Sign devices may become decorative amenities to be featured within the environment, or they may be subtle and low-key elements of major importance. Super-graphics may be considered in certain areas simply as an art form, or as a functional graphic device presented in large scale for emphasis of context. Certainly a combination of the two is feasible. These are only several performance considerations that should be addressed prior to the development of the signage system. The designer must evaluate the needs of the client, the unique traffic flow requirements and mounting restrictions dictated by the structure, and the basic performance requirements desired of the signing devices to be utilized. USAGE CONSIDERATIONS The general nature of the building complex often defines how signs are to be used. They may be given an appearance of being fixed and an integral part of the architecture by appropriate selection of materials, colors and mountings, or they may appear changeable and temporary should need so dictate. Some signage requires constant change to properly relate information to people or people to facility, while most sign devices are considered permanent fixtures within a given space. The designer is responsible for determining how signs are to be used most effectively and at the same time, for enhancing the environment. DURABILITY REQUIREMENTS Prior to the selection of materials for a signing system, durability requirements must be considered. The vast assortment of materials available for signs covers a wide spectrum of durability from soft plastics to metals. The sign copy and background material should be evaluated both individually and jointly when considering durability requirements. VANDALISM CONSIDERATIONS Signs located in controlled spaces are often free from destructive vandalism; however, in many instances vandalism becomes rampant and uncontrolled. There are no materials that may accurately be labeled “vandal proof”. However, some materials are
more vandal-resistant than others. Where vandalism is of prime importance, only materials and graphic techniques engineered to resist destruction should be considered.
FLEXIBILITY TO ACCOMMODATE CHANGES AND ADDITIONS Modern architectural structures are designed to accommodate inner special changes to meet tenant needs. Partition systems, pre-hung door units, room dividers, and modular furniture have ensured ease of change in office-scapes. The sign system may also require alterations to preserve continuity. Changes and additions to a sign system should be considered by the designer prior to the selection of materials, graphic techniques and mounting methods to be used. READABILITY FACTORS Sign readability is determined by the letter style selected, size of copy, interletter spacing, copy position and angle of observance. LETTER STYLE Letter styles are classified as sanserif and serif. Sansrif letters, such as Helvetica, are more contemporary than serif letters, such as Clarendon. Each letter style has its own unique personality and flavor. Printers carry alphabets in most letter styles, including lowercase letters as well as uppercase. Test results indicate that messages starting with an initial uppercase letter and followed by lowercase characters are more recognizable than messages formed with uppercase characters only. Lowercase letters have more “personality” because their shape is varied by ascenders and decenders, resulting in characteristic word forms that are much easier to recognize than all uppercase word forms. Also people are more accustomed to reading text in upper and lowercase than in all upper case. The proper selection of a particular alphabet should be carefully considered, not only from a legibility point of view, but also from a “personality” standpoint. The letter style should make a concise and meaningful impression in the environment it serves. READABILITY Readability is directly related to the size of the copy. Visibility studies indicate that 1-inch-high Helvetica Medium,for example, is readable from a distance of 40 feet. Using this as a measure for comparison, 1-inch-high Clarendon style would be readable fro somewhat a lesser distance, approximately 25 feet. The distance visibility per 1-inch height may be used as a guideline to determine distance readability for larger letters; that is 2-inch-high Helvetica Medium will be readable at 80 feet, and 3-inch at 120 feet. This
direct proportion may be helpful for determining copy (text) sizes for signs used in pedestrian situations. However, the direct proportion may not hold true for vehicular traffic applications where many other factors are involved. The designer must exercise caution after selecting the alphabet and copy size to make certain the lettering will fit properly on the sign background. The sign size should be determined using the longest line of copy and maximum number of copy lines that may be required.
LETTERS AND LINE SPACING Interletter spacing and interline spacing of copy greatly affect the overall readability of a sign. Message legibility and ease of recognition are increased when proper visual relationships are established between individual characters, words, and lines of copy. Copy with spacing too tight becomes very difficult to read; copy with too open spacing tends to break the message down into fragments. Proper spacing depends largely on the distance from which the message is to be read. Messages to be read at close distances should employ tighter spacing than messages that will be read at greater distances. Spacing is also affected by the angle at which the message is to be viewed: greater angles of observance require wider interletter spacing to prevent the characters of the message from appearing to run together. COPY POSITION The position of copy on the sign background influences the overall readability. Signs on which copy occupy most of the background are not as readable as signs that have sufficient background material surrounding the copy to form a visual barrier separating the message from the environment. Emphasis should be placed on selecting an appropriate sign size to best accommodate the sign message. There are nine basic copy placement positions to be considered in determining the important relationship of copy to sign background. There are: upper left, upper centered, upper right, centered left, centered, centered right, lower left, lower centered, and lower right. Traditionally, the most popular placement selections have been the centered and upper left positions. COLOR Color of copy and sign background greatly affect readability. Strong contrasting colors are more readable than less dramatic color
combinations. White copy on black background offers the greatest contrast and readability. Color also influences the apparent relationship between the copy size and the background. For example, white copy on black field appears larger than black copy on a white field, although letter height, size, and copy position remain the same in both examples. Color in a signage system should also relate harmoniously with the pallet of colors selected for the building and its environment. The designer may choose to select colors that blend with the environment or vibrant primary colors that accent the sign system and perhaps contrast with the architectural color scheme. VIEWING ANGLE The angle of observance is influential in the design of a signage system, since it affects interletter spacing and overall readability. Normally, interior signs are viewed chiefly from a straight-on position; however, exterior signs are frequently see from more than one angle. Signs to be read from vehicles moving at varying speeds with different angles of observance may require a compromise in letter spacing to best communicate the message.
MULTILINGUAL NEEDS The jet age is a contributing factor in bringing people together from all over the world to visit and transact business. Transportation terminals and public facilities that maybe used by visitors unaccustomed to reading English should employ sign systems that bridge any visual communication gap. Multilingual messages in English and the dominant foreign languages used by visitors may be combined and presented on one sign background. However, sign design and graphic formats become very critical to prevent confusion. A more popular solution involves the use of pictorial symbols as word substitutes. Pictographic signs are bold, recognizable images not bound by language barriers. REGULATORY CONSIDERATIONS The designer should become aware of regulations governing signs. Federal regulations concerning safety signs are enumerated in Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) publications. American National Standards Institute (ANSI) publishes standards concerning signage for the physically handicapped. Underwriters’ laboratory (UL) issues standards applicable to illuminated signs. State and local codes contain regulatory information concerning sign sizes, mounting locations and heights, quantities of signs allowable in various zoning area, and other restrictions related to
exterior signs. These rules, and those of other regulatory bodies, should be taken under advertisement prior to completing a comprehensive signage program. NEED FOR ILLUMINATION Many signs are required to relate their messages after dark as well as during natural daylight. The careful designer will determine which signs require artificial illumination and decide on the method of illumination. Signs can be externally illuminated by readily available stock fixtures produced by many manufacturers, or they can be internally illuminated. Fluorescent lighting is the most common source of internal illumination, although metal arc lamps, incandescent lamps and neon are frequently employed. NEED FOR A GRAPHICS MANUAL Many signage programs are developed for institutions that have a continuing need not only to maintain, but also to augment or change, their signage systems. The preparation of signage manual containing all the information required to create additional signs or components would benefit the client and ensure continuity in the system as changes and additions are made, the designer should determine this potential need and include the manual with other documents developed for the signage program. SIGN TYPES CATEGORIZED BY FUNTION Signage systems should be logically broken down into various types of signs to be utilized on a particular project. Many categories of sign types may be developed but one of the most conclusive listing is based o function. The following discussion of signage system components, including sign requirements for specific applications, covers these functions.
EXTERIOR SIGNS Exterior sign system components are normally viewed from vehicles or by pedestrians who have parked their vehicles and are walking toward their destination. PRIMARY IDENTIFICATION All architectural projects require some form of identification that is both easily readable and recognizable. A person’s first association with a building is the identifying device selected to “label” the structure. The importance of the first impression created by this device should be recognized. A sign that produces an image in keeping with the environment it serves reflects the quality of the people associated with that environment. Major corporations spend large sums of money on corporate identity programs to ensure the
visual image presented to the public best reflects corporate philosophy and product desirability. Equal emphasis should be placed upon the image presented by the device employed to identify an architectural structure. SECONDARY IDENTIFICATION Many complexes containing more than one basic structure require secondary identification signs to properly identify the various elements within the complex. A system approach to design will provide continuity in the relationship of primary to secondary identification signs. VEHICULAR ADVANCE NOTICE A system of road signs suitably located in advance of decision making points will allow vehicular traffic to execute the proper decisions smoothly and safely at appropriate times. VEHICULAR DIRECTIONAL Intersections and parking facility entrances are major decision making locations requiring directional devices to guide drivers toward their destination. TRAFFIC REGULATORY AND CONTROL Vehicular traffic can be systematically controlled by employing signing devices. Traffic codes are usually clear as to what signs are required, where they are to be located and the height at which they are to be mounted. Usually colors, sizes, and shapes are standardized by the traffic authorities. Stop, yield and speed limit speed limit signs are representative of this classification of signs. INSTRUCTIONAL Frequently, signs are required to instruct vehicular and pedestrian traffic. These notices must be properly installed in carefully selected locations to be effective. Examples include parking procedures, delivery and service directions and the like. INFORMATIONAL Signs are required to present information that is both relevant and to the location and important to the viewer. This information may pertain to parking rates, hours of operation, and security, or it may relate to items of interest within the environment. DECORATIVE Decorative graphics may be employed to enhance the beauty or décor of a particular area; form color and design may be utilized to create interest and to become features of the exterior landscape. INTERIOR SIGNS
Interior sign system components should assist visitors to travel from the building entrances throughout the complex until they reach their desired destination. IDENTIFICATION Multiple-occupancy buildings require tenant identification; frequently, buildings with only one tenant will also utilize identification in the main lobby or reception areas to reinforce the corporate signature. Criteria for multiple-tenant signage are very important and should be included in lease documents to provide for visual continuity and architectural harmony. When individuals are allowed to implement their own desires concerning signage, each will attempt to outdo the other, resulting in clutter, confusion and visual pollution. Signs that are too big, too gaudy, too competitive, and poorly conceived and executed will become commonplace unless controls on tenant identification are established and enforced. PRIMARY DIRECTORY Information relevant to one’s location within a complex should be clearly enumerated on the primary directory, usually located in a very visible area of the main lobby. Alphabetized listings of tenants, departments and individuals should be concise and should designate the floor and room numbers. Such directories may be flush or recessed wall mounts, horizontal projected wall mounts or pedestal or kiosk mounts, and internally illuminated or not, depending upon the ambient lighting conditions. ELEVATOR LOBBY FLOOR DIRECTORY High-rise structures require well-positioned signage that not only identifies each individual floor, but also serves as a secondary directory system for that floor. Frequently, the floor identification, directory, and corridor directional signage maybe included in one device. When a visitor exits from an elevator on a chosen floor, a sign showing the floor number and also the direction of the office or room number sought is both helpful and reassuring. PICTORIAL “YOU ARE HERE” INDICATORS Pictorial schematic maps may become an integral part of directory systems, or they may be utilized separately as visual aids in depicting one’s intended passage through a complex. Hospitals, sports complexes and transportation centers are good examples of structure that may require pictorial maps to supplement word messages. Caution will be exercised by the expert designer to keep the pictorial map simple and correctly oriented in the building according to where the viewer is standing and to evaluate the need of color-coding as part of the visual aid. Too frequently designers employ a complicated color-coded system that becomes very confusing to the viewer and, infact, compromises the effectiveness
of the system. PRIMARY DIRETIONAL The maze that often results from interior corridor layouts creates many decision-making points for a visitor. Primary directional signs may be ceiling- mounted, wall-mounted or floor mounted as kiosktype units in open areas. Areas with heavy pedestrian traffic should have directional signs located so that people do not obstruct the line of sight to the sign device. Normally, ceiling-suspended or kiosktype units are the best choice to enhance visibility. SECONDARY DIRECTIONAL Directional signs should be considered in locations where traffic flow and corridor layouts do not demand primary directional devices but do require some guidance for directional control corridors within suites of offices and corridors that change direction should be considered as decision-making points that may require a secondary directional signage device. AREA IDENTIFICATION Specific areas within a complex should be properly identified. These areas may be tenant spaces, divisions, or departments. When occurring along main corridors, they are usually designated by wall, door or transon-mounted devices. Ceiling-suspended signs are a good solution in open office spaces. ROOM IDENTIFICATION Wall or door mounted room identification signs are required to “label” the function of a particular room. Work functions are properly identified within tenant areas, while services and maintenance functions should be suitably designated in most situations. DESK IDENTIFICATION Reception areas may require a sign device located on a desk or counter to identify a particular service or individual rendering assistance to visitors. Such signs maybe permanently affixed or removable, and may provide for changeable name inserts. PERSONNEL IDENTIFICATION Persons rendering a service to the public, such as nurses, maintenance personnel, and food services personnel, generally are identified by name badges or pins. REGULATORY AND CONTROL SIGNS Signs that authorize or prohibit certain functions are required, frequently by law or code, to inform people using the facility.
Examples include signs for the handicapped and signs relevant to no smoking areas, elevator capacities, “no entry” areas, fire control and “authorized personnel only” areas. These signs are usually mounted on doors or their adjacent walls; they may employ colors that deviate from the standard color used in the comprehensive signage system to emphasize a dangerous situation or the need for caution.
EXITS Exit signs are required by codes to designate exits effectively in times of emergency. Supplemental devices are used to give additional information pertaining to a particular exit such as “Emergency Exit Only” and “Alarm Sounds When Door Is Opened”. OSHA- approved exit signs are standards items manufactured by many lighting companies and are generally provided by the electrical contractor. INFORMATION EXHIBIT CASES Notices, posters, attractions and promotional pieces should be contained within an appropriately designed case to control the display of this type of information. Standard units featuring vinylcovered cork panels housed within extruded aluminum frames with lockable doors are available from many directory manufacturers. DECORATIVE FEATURES Decorative designs may be reproduced on walls as interior features. Reproduction processes include appliqués, painting, and screenprinting on location; or like wall- coverings, may be considered. Doors may also receive super graphic treatments in which copy may become an integral part of the design. DEDICATORY PLAQUES Building dedication plaques should be carefully conceived and implemented, using materials that reflect favorably upon the talents involved in the realization of the project. Historically, these plaques have been bronze or aluminum castings. However, modern technology has provided photographic methods and photochemical processes which offer the designer a freedom of size format letterform, ad color not available in casting operation. DONOR RECOGNITION Buildings constructed in part by contributions from donors require special recognition for the donors. Hospitals, performing arts centers and service institutions rely on gifts to assist in financing buildings, additions and furnishings and usually stipulate that donors will be remembered and recognized in some prestigious
location in the building. The designer is responsible for establishing controls and developing a system that fulfills promises made by those soliciting funds, while allowing flexibility to expand the system as future needs may dictate. Location selection is very important in the overall effectiveness of donor recognition signage. MECHANICAL, INSTRUMENTATION AND CONTROL SYSTEM MARKINGS Many industrial and mechanical installations require equipment, control and pipe markings to meet codes, assist maintenance and service personnel, and ensure safety. Often, these locations are not public spaces, and require an industrial rather than an architectural approach to signage. Elevator floor-indicator panels, however, should receive special attention and be considered in a comprehensive signage program.
CONCEPTUAL DESIGN OF THE SIGN FACE Emphasis will not be placed on the graphic design of each sign required in a comprehensive signage program. However, the following considerations will help to ensure continuity, correctness, and aesthetic acceptability. ALPHABET SELECTION An alphabet must be carefully chosen that best exemplify the graphic image to be portrayed to the public without compromising legibility and performance requirements. More than one alphabet may be selected should need dictate. However, good design practices should be maintained in choosing the family of alphabets to be employed. INTERLETTER, WORD AND LINE SPACING Each alphabet has its own “personality” and visual impact; therefore, spacing between characters, words, and lines of copy must be carefully developed to give the best legibility and visual harmony possible. ARROW SELECTION Directional arrows should be designed to reflect the “personality” of the letterform selected. Stroke width and size relationships are important considerations. COPY DETERMINATION The message for each sign should be accurately determined and the copy condensed to the fewest words that will still relay the desired message. Wordy signs are frequently misread or not read at all. The message should be conise, clear and informative. COPY PLACEMENT FORMAT
The placement of copy on a sign face may take one of the nine basic positions or a custom format for special situations. SIZE DETERMINATION OF THE SIGN FACE After the copy for each sign is in final form, the sign with the greatest amount of copy is selected from each of the sign types utilized and the desired copy height is determined for each type. The height should be based upon the distance from which the sign will be read and the graphic design portrayed. Using this letter height, the message should be laid out with photographic type or transfer lettering to scale, incorporating the copy placement and spacing requirements. The most pleasing shape and size for the message to be contained are then determined, realizing that this particular layout is for the maximum copy required for that particular sign type. A shape and size format should be chosen that works well as a module that can be proportioned and become applicable to the entire family of sign types. While this may be ideal, frequently the proportional system is not applicable. An example of each sign type should be drawn to scale and fully dimensioned to serve as a production guide for signs within that type.
COLOR SELECTIONS Selection is then made of the copy and background colors that offer good contrast and harmoniously blend with the prominent colors in the environment. It is also wise to consider any corporate color required by the client. SIGNAGE SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT CHECKLIST The completed sign schedule, location plans scaled drawings of typical examples from each sign type, construction or assembly details or both, mounting details, and specifications from the documents required to bid comprehensively or to negotiate signage projects. Well-prepared documents prevent individual interpretation by vendors and result in comparable bids. The following systematic approach to the design and development of a comprehensive signage program will serve as a guideline to problem solving employing the concepts contained in this chapter. This checklist may be expanded or condensed to meet individual project parameters. The basic systematic thought process, however, is applicable to all projects. 1. a. b. c. Develop the signage system design criteria based on: Performance requirements Usage considerations Durability requirements
d. e. f. g. h. i.
Vandalism considerations Flexibility to accommodate changes and additions Readability factors Multilingual needs Regulatory considerations Need for illumination j. Need for graphics manual for ongoing implementation and system maintenance
Study the traffic flow patterns, determine all sign locations and draw the location symbols on the site and floor plans. Evaluate and select the sign types required from the following list, categorized by function, that meet the design criteria: a. Exterior sign types: Type A – Primary identification Type B – Secondary identification Type C – Vehicular advance notice Type D – Vehicular directional Type E – Traffic regulatory and control Type F – Instructional Type G – Informational Type H – Decorative b. Interior sign types: Type I – Primary identification Type J – Primary directory Type K – Elevator lobby floor directories Type L – Pictorial “You Are Here” indicators Type M – Primary directional Type N – Secondary directional Type O – Area identification Type P – Room identification Type Q – Desk identification Type R – Personnel identification Type S – Regulatory and control Type T – Exit Type U – Information exhibit cases Type W – Dedicatory Type X – Donor recognition Type Y – Mechanical, instrumentation and control system markings Type Z – Other (to be specified by designer) Select the best signing devices for each sign type designated above from the following lexicon of signage system components that most effectively satisfy the design criteria established: a. Elevated pylons b. Monolithic sign structures
c. d. e. f. g. h. i. j. 5.
Panel and post assemblies Illuminated sign cabinets Directory and informational systems Die-cut pressure sensitive lettering Dimensional graphics Plaque signage Environmental graphics Other (to be defined by the designer)
Conceptually design the sign face for each sign type selected indicating: a. Alphabet selection b. Interletter, word and line spacing c. Arrow selection d. Copy determination e. Copy placement format f. Size determination of copy and sign face g. Color selection Complete the location plans by filing in the symbol indicating sign number and type. Prepare scaled drawings of typical examples from each sign type. Prepare the detailed sign schedule. Prepare typical construction and assembly details, mounting details, and engineering drawings for wind loading, foundations and illumination. Prepare detailed specifications for all materials, techniques and components required in the system.
6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.