18 Jan Hiring a Vancouver Sign Company. Part 2, 5 Step Assessment
Last month, in part 1 of this 2-part post, we described the due diligence you should consider if you are hiring a Vancouver sign maker. This month, we provide a 5-step checklist to help you assess the company. While two articles worth of tips may seem a lot of work for choosing a sign maker, it’s not. You can apply what you read quite quickly and if you do, you’re more likely to be satisfied with the company you choose.
While the length of time a sign company has been in business isn’t necessarily an indicator of quality of work or service, all other things being equal, experience and staying power in the competitive BC market does say something positive about the company. Have they just started, or perhaps been in business for a year or two but don’t seem to have much to back up their claims? For example, a fairly extensive gallery of completed signs?
Sandbox Signs + Graphics opened its doors in 1994 and has become a go-to sign company serving Vancouver and Lower Mainland businesses, non-profits and event organizers. Through more than 20 years in the sign business, we’ve accumulated considerable knowledge and there is no better teacher than experience. Regardless, we continue to strive to improve our sign products and customer service.
2) Sign Design Knowledge
Sign design knowledge means the depth of knowledge the Vancouver sign maker possesses. This sometimes goes hand-in-hand with the number of years they’ve been in business and the variety of signs they make. The longer they’ve been around and the wider variety of signs they create, the more familiar the sign company will be with best practices in modern construction and materials.
Beyond what experience teaches, a good sign maker understands principles of good design: from the quality of materials chosen, to graphic design concepts like white space, or achieving a pleasing negative space created by the shapes and text used in the sign design. Our goal is to create both an effective and pleasing design in all of our signage creations – no matter how large, small, simple or complex.
3) Marketing Knowledge
Signage isn’t just pretty graphics and text – it’s marketing! If you are purchasing a sign for business or an event, your sign company should have some knowledge of marketing. If you check our blog, or read posts such as “Wall Murals and Emotional Branding” or “Advertising Signage for Your Next Event“, you’ll notice that we think and read about signage and marketing practices. We use established best practices for our industry and sometimes reach outside of our industry and borrow marketing ideas from other forms of advertising.
4) Variety of Signs
When considering a sign company in Vancouver, read about the types of signs they make. If a company limits its services to one or two products – banners and window graphics for example – are they really a sign company? While there is nothing wrong if that’s all one needs, it can also be a hint at something else: lack of skill, lack of interest, or lack of success creating other types of signage. A narrow range also means a company will lack experience and skills that positively affect each job they do. While some may argue that companies such as this are “specializing” others would suggest that “signage” is the specialty.
At Sandbox, we find that techniques we learn to create one type of sign (banners for example) frequently apply to other forms of signage, such as sidewalk signs or wall murals. Technique and tricks we learn in one narrow corner of our discipline often work well for many other types of signage.
5) Evidence of Quality – A Sign Gallery
Finally, “the proof is in the pudding” as they say. If you visit a sign company website and there isn’t a photo gallery of their work, find out why. It may be a “sign” that the company doesn’t have anything they are proud enough to display. If there are just a handful of signs in the gallery, again, consider why. In most cases, if a Vancouver sign maker has signs to place in a gallery, they do!
Looking for Signs in Vancouver? Receive a Free Consultation
Contact Sandbox Signs for a free signage price quote. We’d be happy to discuss the options available and will help guide you to an effective sign choice.