TAKING WAYFINDING, WAY FURTHER

TAKING WAYFINDING, WAY FURTHER
Links Signs and Graphics looks beyond directory sign systems and finds its way to something bigger and brighter…

Practically every multi-storey building has one or more and, dependent upon whether it’s an architectural feature, or a forgotten non-public area, a stairwell can be a mixed experience for the foot-traffic that has to use it.

Clearly, pedestrian traffic moving through stairwells needs to know on what floor it finds itself and, possibly, what else it’ll find at that level, room numbers would be a good example. If such information is absent, time is wasted and safety too may be compromised.

For as long as the problem has existed, the solution that’s found it has been the systemised directory sign. These signs identify the floor number and the rooms available at a given level. They don’t contribute much to improving the ambience in what might be an overlooked part of an otherwise attractive building though and message legibility is sometimes seconded to the aesthetic.

It doesn’t have to be that way, as a recent installation for Liberty Living on behalf of a Blackpool based construction company by Links Signs and Graphics proves.

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Arrive and at a given floor and, thanks to Links’ work there’s no doubt where you are. The floor number dominates the landing area with a colourful rendering covering the entire wall ahead of the ascending staircase. Picked out within the floor-to-ceiling graphic is information detailing room numbers. As a wayfinding aid, Links Signs and Graphics’ installation is functional and effective. As a means of enhancing what might otherwise be a really dull area, it succeeds brilliantly too.

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Producing and installing the scheme was an involved process. The Links team produced graphics for about fifty six floors in total across a number of sites. Each involved a precision survey and reference to a supplied design. Wall preparation was needed ahead of installation.

The graphics are colourful and durable. The team used its Mimaki printer and a trusted pairing of Metamark MD5 and its matched matt-finished laminate to produce the job. Installation was performed according to a project schedule and the whole programme never missed a beat.

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Is it decor? Is it signing? The answer is an emphatic yes to both questions. It’s arguably a little more than both though. Links Signs and Graphics’ work takes the company to a market where it’s satisfying the need for what might be called functional decor. It’s new and it’s both bright and effective – Links Signs and Graphics is sure to find a ready audience for more.

Wondrously Welsh – Vital Signs Cardiff

WONDROUSLY WELSH
Is less really more? Vital Signs’ work for Wondrously Welsh makes a very compelling case that says it is…

It’s perhaps just as well that signs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and are of widely varying quality in terms of design and execution. How else would we have a basis for deciding that one sign among the many is really notable and a real exemplar of its type?

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One such sign is the work of Vital Signs of Bristol and Cardiff. Gareth Lewis started the company about ten years ago. He has deliberately managed it as a small concern, and, if his recent work for Wondrously Welsh is in any way an indicator, it’s a company that’s capable of producing works which position it at the top of its game.

Wondrously Welsh itself is to be found in the Morgan Arcade in Cardiff. It’s a shop and it can be thought of as a place where the products of Wales exist under one roof so creating a very convenient shopping experience for those seeking out those products. In keeping with other shops around it, Wondrously Welsh needed a projecting sign identifying the shop, and an identity continuation in the form of some applied window graphics.

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Vital Signs obliged.

Working with a supplied design basis, Vital Signs used its Roland VersaCAMM and Metamark materials to produce the graphics. Sat in a field of very near off-white on the projecting sign is a solitary representation of a daffodil depicted in very minimal terms with just a blush of colour contrasting with the off-white background.

Identifying the sign and the premises it graces, a simple flowing script, lacking any formality, picks out the words, “Wondrously Welsh.” Disposed on the sign in a balanced layout, the ensemble is a thing of real beauty. It does no more than the job it’s asked to do and it certainly does no less. It makes a powerful point for signing in general and that is that quality counts and that subtlety works brilliantly.

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Vital Signs used Metamark MD5 for the projecting sign’s graphics and the theme is continued on the shop’s windows. Again, it’s just the simplicity and quality that radiate through the Metamark satin laminate that protects the whole installation. The whole job transcends its purpose in saying much for the expertise of Vital Signs and it makes a point for beautiful sign design in general.

Design, and good design at that, is said to be rooted in contrasts. That thought finds confirmation in Wondrously Welsh’s wondrously simple and effective signing. Great signs among others are distinguished as the sum of the parts working together. Vital Signs’ work for Wondrously Welsh, bound up as it is in a quality job realised with some Metamark materials, serves to make that point too.

Wonderful work, Vital Signs.

A FIRST CLASS JOB

A FIRST CLASS JOB

 

“A first class job is the combination of personal skill, the right materials and the best equipment.” The author of that sentiment,Morrells, has been manufacturing, and supplying to the trade, superior wood finishing products for many years. Its trade-counter brand will be known to professionals in the field – it’s “Sprayshop.”

 

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Morrells’ vehicle fleet is distinctively liveried thanks to Alan Taylor and his team at Hemel Hempstead based Artsigns. The design’s base is also used to brand roller shutters at Sprayshop’s branches around the UK. The company’s latest unit though didn’t have a roller shutter. Having surveyed the premises, Alan Taylor suggested, demonstrated a sample and then specified Metamark Clear Vision.

 

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Printed on Artsigns’ HP Lated printer and applied to the new trade-counter premises’ windows, the ClearVision Graphic clearly promotes the Sprayshop brand and maintains a clear view out, for those within. The client thinks it’s a first class job. That’ll be down to personal skills, the right materials and the best equipment.

A Great Day Out – With Signspeed

A GREAT DAY OUT WITH SIGNSPEED

Signspeed transforms an interior space with striking wall graphics and Metamark media…


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Whatever the weather, families in Wales, and from much further afield, have been heading to Wales’ biggest family adventure, Oakwood Theme Park.  There’s something for everyone and fun to be had whether it’s a family day out, an end of term school trip or a special occasion.

 

Pembrokeshire based Signspeed Limited has enjoyed a long-term relationship with Oakwood and has produced much of its signage. Signspeed recently refurbished an under-cover picnic area at the attraction. Picnic lodge to Alpine Chalet.

 

Graphics were produced in-house by Signspeed’s design team. Every detail is there from the log construction to the stone fireplace; comfy chair to a pair of skis, all resolved in top-quality print.

 

The Signspeed production team printed the graphics on Metamark MD5A using a Mimaki JV3 printer. The printed MD5A graphics were then laminated with Metamark’s MetaGuard 700 matt laminate.

 

Application to the prepared surface was made all the easier by the Metamark print media’s MetaScape air egress feature which doesn’t give trapped air a chance. Print quality is typical of Metamark MD-Class media in skilled hands. Colours pop, and every detail is resolved.

 

Thanks to Signspeed, Oakwood’s Alpine Picnic Chalet now has a colourful and enduring backdrop that will impress countless visitors intent on having a great day out. Pass the lemonade!

WRAPPED – BUT NOT IN NEWSPAPER

A superb wrap by Severn Signs will be turning heads this summer…

It’s been said often enough that wrapping, as a medium, is really only limited in its application by the extent of the imagination. A point that’s underscored by a novel wrap produce for Willow Catering by Gloucester based Severn Signs.

Severn Signs has been in business since 1990 and has always invested in state-of-the art technology to help it push its own creative boundaries and to better serve the needs of the diversified clientele it serves. The company is on of the largest independent sign and display manufacturer in Gloucestershire and it’s clients are drawn from both its local catchment and nationwide.

Responding to a brief from Willow Catering, Severn Signs’ Trevina Watts designed the livery reflecting a theme centred around beach huts. Most of the detail in the design is printed despite what the eye might fool the brain into thinking. Subtle shade and tone in the finished result create a convincing impression of physical construction detail and depth where there actually is none. The overall effect is highly impactful and very attractive. Contrasting with the print.

Photography: Alphabet Design, Liverpool

Photography: Alphabet Design, Liverpool

Above the printed elements of the wrap is a fascia panel alerting the population to the fact they’re looking at an enterprise selling fish and chips and not a row of beach huts. The sign’s background matter is printed to the same high standards as the body of the wrap. Contrasting with the printed background, lettering rendering the “Fish and Chips” lettering is constructed from Alucobond with a mirrored finish.

The effect the whole wrap achieves is clearly a high impact for the business it represents. More than that though, the highly informed design evokes days at the seaside, summer sun and, of course, a raging appetite for a large portion of cod and chips – plenty of vinegar please.

MetaWrap MD-X was used for the parts of the wrap where surfaces were challenging and Metamark MD5 features on the flat panel work. Despite using two media, colour matching is flawless and application highly skilled. The materials used are from the Metamark MD-Class portfolio and therefore expressly designed for digital print. The media deliver consistent results across batches and within rolls.

In terms of getting attention the wrap really delivers. It is both highly individual and memorable. It does a great job for Willow Catering but also makes a point that modern materials and digital printing technology respond well to creative talent and practical skills. On this occasion, all have delivered an exemplary result.

FAST WRAP

FAST WRAP

Metamark MD-X Turns Heads in the VW Racing Cup…

Transforming a lime-green Scirocco into something that looks like it’s breaking the speed limit even without its wheels turning is a bit of a stretch, but it’s exactly what Nathan Nicholls and the team at Rage Displays signed up for. The car in question is owned and raced by Simon Deaton in the VW Racing Cup.

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Nathan and his company, Definitive, set out with the objective of making the vehicle look like it was draped in a single piece of material. That meant a lot of effort at the design stage to ensure that details worked at panel edges and curve junctions. The time was well invested though and the application achieves its goals.

If the brief represented a bit of a stretch, so did the application. Thankfully the challenge was faced and overcome by Metamark’s MetaWrap MD-X and its mechanically matched laminate. The well proven wrap-masters’ ensemble was expertly printed on an Epson GS6000 and the colourful results are exactly what a lime-green vehicle needs to obscure its true colours.

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The actual application is a credit to the team and the design has made it off the screen and onto the highly dimensional VW just as its designer intended. Guess which car now looks the most distinctive on the VW Racing Cup Grid?

The MD-X experience was a good one for the application team and they’re obviously confident of the skills that turned the vehicle into a vehicle capable of turning heads.

If you have a vehicle that’s just asking to be turning into an exercise in high-performance design, you know where to start looking.

ON THE ROAD TO LE MANS

ON THE ROAD TO LE MANS

A couple of sensational liveries by Elite Signs go down well in France…

Bridgend-based Elite Signs, recently relocated to larger premises, has recently completed an amazing mobile homage to Le Mans racing in the head-turning shape of two clearly notable vehicle liveries for a couple of race enthusiasts’ vehicles.

The job came to Simon James and the team at Elite, thanks to the company having undertaken work on the car previously. Both vehicles featured were treated like real celebrities on the way across France to the race.

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The Jaguar is a real exemplar of what’s possible with the right materials and talent. Starting with nothing more than a low-res photograph of the subject for reference, Simon James carefully created the design, mindful of the need to manage the subsequent application, and also created reference drawings that were approved.

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The livery was colour-matched to original references and then printed on MetaWrap MD-X – reproduction and colour fidelity, all agreed, was perfect. Elite’s application team, Barrie and Nicky, then applied the printed and laminated MD-X livery components to the car.

The ‘Jag presents a challenging application surface to say the least. MD-X and the Elite team sailed through the job perfectly though and the work looks sensational.

Silver metallic Jaguar devices were cut and applied over the wrapped and laminated MetaWrap MD-X completing the main livery elements. Metamark MD5 was printed and applied for the decal components so completing an eye-catching ensemble that the customer is nothing short of delighted with.

Le Mans and the Gulf Porsche are practically synonymous and wonderfully evoked in the other half of the liveried duo. A VW “Camper” may not start with the promise of being the most appropriate canvas for a 917 homage but it really works brilliantly.

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A combination of Metamark M7 and Metamark MD5 gets the treatment done this time and, short of sprouting a 917-style long tail, the VW carries the act off like the class act it is.

Once on the road, the pair attract the attention of everyone they pass and request for photographs come thick and fast. The liveries make the point that there’s value in wrapped vehicles beyond advertising for advertising’s sake and that the medium is accessible to all.

Elite Signs and the team are as please with the works as the customer and are happy to entertain enquires from anyone with similar idea – JPS FI Styled Mini, anyone?