Architectural Signage, Building Signs, Flags, Sign Design


In today’s world, physical branding and signage are crucial components of modern marketing. Potential clients and customers take note of the integrity of signage. Similar to the way the brain forms the first impression of a person, and that is why naming a building accordingly is extremely important. Doing this might seem arbitrary and trivial, but it is in fact an expression of our values and our culture. The name can shape how we think about a building, how we interact with it or care for it. It can be an important part of the design itself to communicate the building’s purpose. I think it is fundamental to consider the sign for a building, particularly when it intends to advertise that company’s brand. If not designed appropriately, the sign might not have the desired effect that our client is looking for, ultimately resulting in failure to meet our client’s need. Therefore, it is crucial for us as Designers to fully consider and maximise the clients brief and meet their aspirations.

Throughout my time studying Architecture, I picked up certain design principles which I believe I have been able to translate across into Graphic Design. These principles include; proportion, scale, colour and material pallets. Like Architecture, many of these basic design principles are fundamental to Graphic Design and how suitable a product can be depending on the client’s needs.

As a Graphic Designer with an Architectural background, what fascinates me the most is the names and initial design ideas that a client will bring to us on a daily basis, which most of the time has a direct impact on the structure and/or the building’s elevation. More often than not, a well designed sign can really alter and enhance the way a building is perceived. A well thought through sign can really engage with the target audience, given it is positioned appropriately in relation to the scale of the facade, allowing the building to have a personality and a unique visual identity compared to its neighbouring context.

During the three and a half years of the V&A Dundee’s construction, before the flags, window signage and banners were installed, the museum was given multiple names by children, students and the locals of Dundee. Names which related to the naked structure and appearance of the building. Unofficial given names by the public are often followed by a collective refusal to adopt the new name until a sign is introduced. Upon the building being constructed, the official signage and advertisement would then be manufactured by sign companies like ourselves. Ultimately, the main fascia sign, flags, banners and window signage are installed, resulting in the official name finally being established. And so the recognition of the name begins.

In essence, the basic principles of design, whether that be designing a building or a sign, are fundamental in dictating the final product. By applying these principles efficiently, we as a signage & design company will continue to have a positive impact on how buildings are perceived.