The commercial development industry is booming in Houston, Texas. With new properties sprouting all over the city, the need for signage has grown exponentially. While there are plenty of commercial sign companies in Houston, developers should be wary of allowing more than one to work on their signs.
Only allowing one company to handle your signage may sound extreme, however, with over ten years of experience, we’ve seen how detrimental it can be to allow otherwise. Too often, developers give tenants freedom to pick their preferred sign vendor, and while this leniency attracts tenants it can be the root of problems down the road for the developer.
Having multiple trusted sign companies can be seen as something great, the reality is none of those companies have a full understanding of the property or signage. This is why every property needs one designated sign shop to turn to for all issues. Along with the obvious reward of only dealing with one group, there are plenty of more reasons why developers should give one company full jurisdiction of their project.
Recently, in the Greater Houston area, we’ve seen a rising trend in mixed-use office spaces. These new developments are opting out of what we traditionally picture as an office building, and are choosing to add retail stores, restaurants, and even event areas. In these new spaces, every business will have a unique brand, personality, and budget. If each business is allowed to choose a preferred vendor, the varying budgets alone will lead to several sign vendors working on one office space
Now, the world will not fall off its axis if this were to occur, however, every business’ signage would have significant differences at the end. A problem many sign clients have is their belief every sign shop will deliver the same product, however, this belief could not be more untrue. No two sign companies are exactly alike, from the materials they use, to the techniques they’ve developed, each have an unique way of working and operating. Those characteristics will impact how well a sign is built. To help illustrate the vast differences two sign companies can have, below is a picture of two channel letters.
At a glance, besides color, they appear identical, however, when taking a closer look, the differences become clear. The back of letter “1” displays ill-fitting pieces, while Humble Sign Co’s has a comfortable fit all around. Ill-fitting pieces indicate the effort fabrication put into building the letter and the quality of materials used. They’re the same letter in the same font, but under a microscope, they are entirely different.
Letter “1” has a chipped, glossy paint finish while Humble Sign Co has a matte, clean finish. Sign companies can fabricate the same letter for the same company and create two vastly different products. Signage is a major player when it comes to attracting customers and tenants, don’t risk the look of a building by allowing an array of sign companies to work on one development. Use one premier sign company for all signage, it will ensure the same quality of work and provide a cohesive look to a development.
If the game of telephone has taught us anything, it’s less is more. Fewer people ensures clearer communication. When various sign shops work on one piece of signage, the likelihood of frustration and confusion is exponentially multiplied.
If a development allows one sign company to fabricate a sign, one to install it, and another to service it, every company will prioritize the project differently resulting in a variation in the quality of work. Another downside to this arrangement is the low likelihood of all companies communicating with one another. Any complications one sign company faced may not be known to others since companies don’t usually collaborate on installs or services.
Disconnect is to be expected when working with numerous shops, however, the effects of this can be detrimental to a project. One wrong move could result in a project delay, something we’ve seen happen first hand. Reduce the chaos as much as possible by keeping one shop accountable for all your signage-it’s best practice to pick a sign company local to a development. This ensures accessibility to the property, and knowledge of the area.
A Knowledgeable Team
It’s a hassle to look for a sign company, so why look for more than one? Working with one team means having a catalog of information at your fingertips. Your team will have information on your project from start to finish, and a well informed sign team is priceless. Your team will be experts on your project, and will have records of the entire project.
At Humble Sign Co, we keep records of all surveys, paint samples, trips made, any complications, etc. We upload all this information online so we always have a digital copy. This helps us have a clear picture of what we’re dealing with when we’re needed in the future.
When finding the right sign company for your project, you should actively choose a company you would like to work with in the future. This mentality will aid you in your search. The right sign company should be capable of handling the entire project, this means design, fabrication, install, and servicing. This will allow developers one less thing to worry about and give the project a uniform, cohesive look.