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A sign catalog is a collection of sign offerings that can be easily adapted for your project. There are several scales of sign catalogs and useful applications. Although sign catalogs are often a great tool, they must be used correctly. Therefore, you must consider factors such as how to approach your signage needs, what is the required scope of work, plan for the future, and ultimately use the sign catalog in the most productive way possible.

Sign catalogs give you key perspective into the pricing for your entire sign package. Requesting a sign catalog and showing the construction drawings to a variety of vendors will allow you to compare their pricing and margin breakdowns. Important information to identify between companies includes the type and pricing differences of materials, the manufacturing process, differences in expectation of quality, bonding capabilities, and product turnaround time. These considerations and more impact your needs on a daily changing basis. This can bring light on how realistic and honest the internal project manufacturer was when establishing how the sign should be constructed. A catalog is a high-performance solution to choose and leverage pricing quickly, so you can get to market faster and reap returns on your investment.

It is important to customize the sign catalog according to the complexity of the customer’s plans. This delivery of signs can be broken down into varying levels of development. In our role as customers’ signage advisors, we need to recognize their needs and tailor how we communicate our solutions. For example, a customer may ask for a catalog when they actually need an organizational source of signs – which contains much more detailed planning than a standard catalog. Thinking in terms of scale of a project, we can consider the stages of these informative tools to be ordered by 1. Catalog, 2. System, and 3. Program.

Catalog

A company at a single location will require a predictable amount of signage. If the company does not foresee an expansion, they are able to pick out structures for a one-time purchase. Choosing signs from a catalog for a smaller business can still be varied, but the need to brand all the signage materials is less important than installing signage to move business along. Budget and scheduling constraints are usually at the front of the customer’s mind.

This process can also be referred to as a project, as the scope of work is more specific. Considering an audience in close proximity to the business more clearly defines the customers’ signage needs, simplifies manufacturing, and accelerates product installation.

System

As a business grows, it may consider new kinds of business additions and improvements. This necessitates flexibility in our sign package: as business operations expand, custom signage better reinforces the brand’s personality and values. Developing a signage system strengthens the specifications of a company while showing adaptability, expanding services and audiences to shape the brand’s reputation.

Program

A signage program is best utilized by a large company with multiple locations – most often by national chains. A sign program acts as a catalog for new locations that may have different design and manufacturing needs than previous locations. They have hundreds of branded, standardized signs that are made for services and locations that might not exist yet.

When thinking about what information a catalog should provide, we must be cognizant of the ways our business can grow and change, what our audience might need, and what can naturally affect the interpretation of information through signage. Reflect on your business, and consider these aspects:

Scalability

As your business adapts to better cater to your audience’s needs, your signage should have the capacity to change along with them. Having an expanding audience will increase the need for more information, direction, warning, and identification.

Flexibility

Signage must be cohesive, but flexible enough that it can adapt to stay relevant in various locations. This will maintain your branding efforts while using the same design in multiple ways.

Sustainability

In a space where tenants can be entering and leaving, sustainability is critical to the longevity of your signage. Having easily replicable elements helps with manufacturing costs and maintaining a cohesive branded message. This is less wasteful to the environment and to the customer’s budget.

Responsiveness

Signage must be capable of supporting a dynamic atmosphere. The physical environment of your brand may need to change – along with changing customer preferences – and a fully fleshed-out sign catalog will have foreseen potential challenges and equip you with the tools to manage these changes.

Our experienced team can help you identify what you would need in your project and raise questions that you have not considered yet. We can help develop your own catalog or program for your project, depending on what your vision is for your business. Whether you foresee needing a catalog, system, or a program, all of these levels have an expectation of performance and definition that ensures the product you purchased fits your needs.