April 28, 2009 11:41 ET

FASTSIGNS® News: Architectural Signage Is More Than Meets the Eye

CARROLLTON, TX--(Marketwire - April 28, 2009) - Enhancing a business' identity is an effective way to get customers to associate certain qualities with a company, its products and services. Architectural signs can greatly enhance the look and visual image of a property or business site. Incorporating simple sign components such as dimensional letters, a logo or adding colors and graphics can be the difference between attracting attention from potential customers or blending into the background, causing people to look the other way or pass you by. In today's economy, signs are a business' best ally to stand out.

"When you think of architectural signs, you typically think of the big 'monument' signs out in front of a business or other signs essentially indentifying a property," says Drue Townsend, senior vice president of marketing for FASTSIGNS International, Inc. "While this is part of architectural signage, there are many other facets of architectural signs and graphics."

Architectural signage encompasses exterior building signage, directional signs inside or outside a facility, tenant directories, interior plaques or lobby/business reception signs and Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant signage. When done correctly, architectural signs can become part of a building's experience and can even be perceived as an artistic addition rather than just for functional way finding. The materials used for these products are as varied as the signs themselves. Unique materials such as stainless steel, marble, aluminum, brass and stone can be used to create a visually stunning end product.

Many don't realize that ADA signage is part of the architectural signage category. Adopted in 1990 to mandate civil-rights protections and promote mobility for the handicapped, ADA signage has strict guidelines that must be followed in order to be in compliance. Businesses should be sure that the signs in their facilities meet these guidelines regarding character proportion and height; raised and Braille characters on signs; and proper signage placement, ensuring that the mounting location and height meet the code. More information and guidelines for ADA signage is available at

Consider these tips when making plans for architectural signage:

--  For maximum impact, architectural signage should be clean and simple.
    A clean, well-designed graphic will spark interest and encourage viewers to
    learn more about a business or facility.
--  The location of architectural signs needs to be carefully selected to
    maximize the visual impact of the signs, meet compliance requirements and
    ensure the signs are located in a safe position.
--  A thorough site inspection should take place prior to installation to
    ensure that the architectural signs won't interfere with underground cables
    or wires.
--  Take outdoor or frequent weather conditions into consideration when
    planning your signs. Some materials may not be suitable to certain extreme
    environmental elements such as wind, heat or rain.

FASTSIGNS® sign and graphics centers use innovation and technology to make the sign buying process fast and simple by offering consulting, design, production, file transfer, delivery and installation for a full range of custom sign and graphic products. Visit for more information.

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