Ah, the new year. A time for self-improvement, lofty business goals, and 30-day trial passes at your neighborhood gym. Whatever your modus operandi may be when you open up your blank calendar, January brings all of us a renewed sense of optimism that this year may be the best one yet. In the interior signage industry, the anticipation is equally high. Today, we’ll explore 3 trends that I’m anticipating 2018 will bring when it comes to interior office signs.
#1: The Convergence of Design and Environment.
(photo via Office Sign Company)
I was having a conversation with a couple gentlemen from a local architecture firm the other day – an architect/designer and a construction manager. I asked them “what’s the most important factor you consider when it comes to new signage?” The CM was quick to identify the nuts and bolts – a sign needs to be durable, correct, and installed the right way. I nodded in agreement. Then, the architect spoke up about the importance of the design of the sign, and how it fits within the environment of an office. Bingo.
As the entire scope of the product market advances, across every industry we are seeing a quasi-Renaissance take place in the field of product design. It’s past the point of making functional products; if your product doesn’t do what its supposed to, your business is obsolete. In our sign industry, if a company can’t create ADA Signs that pass regulatory codes and stay on the wall, they probably won’t be operating their business too much longer. Word-of-mouth, online reviews, and more are all combining to hold businesses accountable of making sure their product serves its need. So instead, businesses in our industry are turning their focus on the overall aesthetic of their sign design and how to customize/personalize signs to fit with the environment they’ll be installed in.
Matching of wood tones, printing of imagery, keeping fonts aligned with brand books, turning internal graphic design ideas into working products, and increasing the amount of personalization options (everything from color to text layout) are some of the small ways that you’ll see great design and environment converge in the sign industry. You wouldn’t hang a steampunk-styled poster in your office that’s filled with floral imagery and succulent plants, would you? Similarly, why mute your brand by hanging a boring sign in your one-of-a-kind office. Expect to see more interior designers dip their toes in the sign world, and more purchasing agents from businesses begin to open up their billfolds to have unique and well-executed design in their sign schedules.
#2: An Insurmountable Amount of Mounting Options.
(photo via Office Sign Company)
How’s that for an alliterative subheading? As offices continue to have more creative looks, sign companies must also advance in their ability to provide creative mounting solutions. The one-size-fits-all method of installation will leave your clients hanging high and dry, as the range of office interiors continues to broaden. As interior designers and architects get more creative, office sign companies must follow suit. Expect to see unique brackets, stand-offs, frames, spacers, and more to be on the rise, as the classic tapes and screws collect dust on the hardware store shelves.
When I was first looking for my post-college apartment, I morphed into a stereotypical millennial. “It needs brick walls, lofted ceilings, and exposed piping.” Now, as a member of the sign industry, the adoration I once felt for the rough surface of a brick wall has diminished into a slight distaste, knowing the challenge it will pose to get traditional signage mounted on these surfaces. The fact that so many offices are now being characterized by their brick walls, reclaimed wood accents, and clay tiles simply forces us sign folk to be more creative with our installation methods. In 2018, I can safely predict that we will see an influx of new bracketing and mounting options to ensure that any sign can be hung from any surface.
#3: More grains.
(photo via Woodland Manufacturing)
And I ain’t talkin’ oats and barley. Gear up to see an increase in wood and metal products, as business personnel left and right fall in love with the industrial look of grains in their signage. No grain, no gain. Speaking on behalf of our company, we saw a huge rise in the amount of printing we’ve done on wood substrates. In 2016, we introduced our first ever wood product – it sold, sparingly. In 2017, we found a reliable reclaimed wood vendor and started stocking more wood planks for our clientele. In 2018, “Printed Wood Signs” are already some of our highest selling products, and our UV-printer has never been busier. In addition, we’ve been taking on more custom metal work, with individuals wanting to see their lettering removed from sheets of aluminum, logo etched into sheets of steel, and imagery printed on panels of polymetal.
It’s all in the grain. The rugged appearance of wood grains running through your corporate office, and brushed metal strokes on your signs, appliances, and artwork helps depict an image of strength and classicism in your professional space that will impress clients and employees, alike. Though this trend has been steadily rising over the years, 2018 will be the year in which this takes off and it becomes more commonplace to see engraved wood in offices than it is to see engraved plastic. Prep your local lumberyards.
Written by: Jack Yakowicz
Marketing Manager at Office Sign Company
Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org