Wayfinding and signage design is crucial for many industries and is only becoming more prominent as more and more firms and organizations are recognizing the power that it has. Signage design not only boosts your visibility and makes for a more pleasant visitor experience, but it is also part of your branding strategy.
As it is so important, it is something that requires professionals. Without their knowledge and insight, it is almost impossible to design a system that is both creative and functional. For this reason, it is highly suggested that you work with a signage design company.
To help you find the right one for your upcoming project, read on for the essential things to look for when hiring a wayfinding and signage design company.
1. A comprehensive approach
The most important thing to look for when hiring a wayfinding and signage design company is that they offer a comprehensive approach to your project. Signage design is not only an exercise or experiment in visual style; it must also be about the development of ideas for discovering new and appropriate solutions within the limits of certain constraints.
You want to work with a wayfinding and signage design company that develops designs and specifications that are ideal for tendering, fabrication, and installation and that enable you to maintain flexibility and choice at all times. This is key if you are going to retain ownership of key elements such as signage designs and specifications.
The only way to develop functional, attractive, and cost-effective signage is through careful planning and ensuring that the design development is based on a deep understanding of the project in every aspect. Therefore, it is essential that your chosen signage design company is thorough in creating a solution that is tailored to your specific style, budget, and overall needs.
2. A highly experienced team
You want the wayfinding and signage design company’s team to be filled with highly skilled and creative individuals with a range of backgrounds in areas such as architecture, media and graphics design, industrial design, fine arts, environmental design, engineering, and urban planning.
Additionally, the team should also be organized so that you know who is responsible for what with regards to your project. Developing clearly defined roles means that each member’s expertise can shine through, and the core groups of individuals can coordinate and interface with each other more efficiently.
Good organization demonstrates that the signage design company knows how to work with the architectural or client team properly, and will make coordinating presentations and work processes much more seamless. Ideally, the signage design company that you choose will have an in-house job tracking system to which each team member reports, thereby ensuring that the project’s requirements are met.
3. A relevant portfolio
At the end of the day, it can be the most organized and thorough wayfinding and signage design company in the world, but if they don’t have the right signage portfolio for your type of project, then they are the wrong choice for you. For this reason, it is crucial that you spend time looking through a company’s portfolio to get an idea of the past projects they have worked on and the type of firms they usually work with.
For example, you might want a design company that specializes in mall signage design, park signage design, or hotel signage design. Alternatively, you may want a company that offers consulting services such as wayfinding experience workshops, signage master plans, and interactive wayfinding tools.
Whatever it is that you need, make sure you are choosing a signage design company that has a relevant portfolio that demonstrates that they are the right ones to take on your project.
4. A selection of stellar reviews
Last but not least, you only want to work with a wayfinding and signage design company if they have a selection of stellar reviews from previous clients. Reading these reviews will not only help you to verify the projects they have worked on, but it will also give you more insight into what the project experience was like for the client.
Pay attention to any recurring issues that are mentioned, as well as any stand-out praise. This will enable you to see more clearly what the firm specializes in and where their talents really shine. Look for statements about deliverables, efficiency, and customer service – these are all highly important should you choose to work with the design company.
Don’t be afraid to ask for more reviews before you make a decision – the design firm should (hopefully) be proud of what others have said about their work. After all, their track record of accomplishments will attest to their commitment, mission, and goals as well as to their considerable experience designing for relevant companies.
Do you have any wayfinding and signage design needs this year? Are you thinking of working with professional signage and wayfinding consultants in Dubai? Let us know your thoughts, observations, and any relevant experiences in the comments below!
Zak Zakaria is a Waymaker at dezigntechnic in Dubai who also previously worked as the company’s Graphic Designer and Art Director. Zak is a creative with work experience in multiple multinational agencies such as JWT and Saatchi & Saatchi. Signage design is a family business, making Zak’s personal experience with signage his longest professional commitment.