How to Choose Types and Styles of Modern Office Signs

Published: 16th January 2012
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From the need for businesses to look their most professional in front of clients, employees and shareholders to the need for complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), understanding both the types and styles of signs becomes important when planning your office design.

All offices should strive for a unique, yet consistent look throughout. This applies just as much to office name plates as it does to waiting room signs. Whether your office is a part of a business, hospital, church, law firm or a government agency, having a standardized office layout adds professionalism and instant credibility throughout the entire environment.

The types of signs to consider include the following:

- Conference room signs that are customizable

- Sliding door signs with in/out or occupied/available messages

- Signs using a brushed metal style for office doors

- Co-pay & waiting room signs for medical offices

- Signs for registration, check in and cell phone non grata

- Interchangeable signs for windows, inserts and name plates

- Name plates, hangers and signs for cubicles

- Policy signage

- Name plates for reception areas

- Doors signs for employees with in/out sliders, name and title

- Fully ADA compliant grade 2 Braille signs

- Signs for school and university interior offices

- Board room and personalized executive door signs

- Customizable engraved signs

- Signs made of vinyl with fleet graphics

- Customizable directional signs

The styles of office signs worth considering involve:

- Brushed metal colours such as gold, silver, copper and white

- Engravings in almost every colour

- Frames in almost every colour

- Font text in almost every colour

- Text that can be personalized for room numbers, directories, names and titles

- Signage in Braille

- Custom artwork such as business logos

- Mounting methods like 2-sided foam tape, Velcro, screws, fangs, glass tape and clear tape

In addition, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires certain signs to conform to certain standards under the law for accessibility purposes. These include signs for:

- Entrances and exits

- Restrooms

- Policy reminders

- Directions and stairways

- Fire and other hazards

- Telephones

- Braille access

As you can see, trying to coordinate and standardize a layout across the entire office can be very challenging. But the benefit of a good first impression makes the effort worth it.

Choosing the type and style of office signs for your organization is not just about choosing materials, colours and textures. It is also about sending a message to the reader of the sign which has both an explicit as well as an implicit component. Many people often deny it, but appearance has a very real effect on the influence level that your message has on the people reading it.

A simple example of this might be looking for a lawyer to represent your business in an expensive legal action. Let’s say you visit two different lawyers at two different legal offices. The first one has their name, title and company name on their office door and the second lawyer has nothing whatsoever on their door. Other than that, the offices of the two lawyers are identical. What would that tell you about the first lawyer? What about the second one?

You see, we make decisions based on incomplete information all the time. Appearances help us deal with those situations. We simply pick the solution that looks the most successful when there is no other information to base our decision on. Again, we like to ignore the fact we rely so much on what we often consider to be superfluous factors such as appearance. But we actually rely on it quite a bit. Success in business often requires us to understand and accept this as a fact of life.

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