Sign Design – A 5 Step Plan

Stocksigns has been manufacturing signs for more than fifty years and in that time we have been able to advise our customers on the principles of sign design. Now the range of signage applications, together with the ever growing list of materials and manufacturing techniques available, means there are an infinate number of design factors to take into consideration. Rather than going into design elements in terms of colours and fonts, here are some simple steps that can be taken to help you with sign design and choice.

These steps can be divided into;

  • Step 1 Signage function
  • Step 2 Sign Check List
  • Step 3 Do’s and Don’ts
  • Step 4 Legislative requirements
  • Step 5 Environmental considerations

Step 1 Signage Functions.

What do you want your sign or signage to do? The types of sign function can be broadly devided into.

  • Information
  • Directional
  • Brand/Corporate Image
  • Company Culture/mission statements
  • Health & safety
  • Motivational
  • Advertising

Part of the design of your sign will depend on its intended use and function, but don’t forget a sign can be designed to carry out more than one job. Your directional and wayfinding signs can also carry your logo and be designed using your company colours and fonts, helping to build  corporate brand, while carrying out its primary task of guiding staff and visitors. Even health and safety signs can be branded, as long as your company details don’t impede the delivery of the safety message or render the sign non-compliant with  safety legislation.

Step 2 Sign Check List

This step is designed as a series of questions to consider while choosing and designing your signs. They provide a framework of elements to consider to make sure you get the sign you both want and need.

Is the sign really necessary? An over use of signs can cause ‘sign blindness’. Try to avoid this by only creating the essential signs, and by making those you do create, work hard and do the job well.

Is it informative/give the right message? Different people interpret different things in different ways. Show your design to others for their opinion and interpretation. Have they read the sign in the way you intended? Adjust your text until you are sure that the message you want is being conveyed clearly.

Is the sign in the optimum position? Approach the proposed sign site from different directions. A site survey can help in this situation. From what distance does the sign need to be visiable from? Are there any obstructions to the view?

Longevity. How long do you need the sign to work for you? Most signage needs to be fixed permanently. Have you selected a material that will cope with the environmental pressures? Is the sign in a public place? Is there a lot of pedestrian traffic? Do you need something with high environmental resistance like vitreous enamel? Alternatively is the sign required for just a short time? If you are designing event signs you will probably want something that is cost effective and easy to put up and take down. Do you need to update the sign frequently? Room functions for example can often change, if so choose a solution that will offer you flexibility.

If you are using a sign system, does it fulfil all the requirements e.g. corporate identity, legisation, function and adaptability?

Step 3 Dos and Dont’s

This step is just some general advice and common sense but serves as a guide.

  • Don’t over kill – less is often more (again avoid sign blindness)
  • Do get a site survey from a reputable sign company if in any doubt about legislation or requirements.
  • Do it properly. No half harted effort i.e. plan the project, mistakes can be costly.
  • Do consider your employees and colleagues needs.
  • Do think about future developments – how easy will it be to add or update signs
  • Don’t use short cuts
  • Do try and achieve a uniform structure to the signage scheme – aim for consistancy through-out all your signs

Step 4 Legislative Requirements

Depending on the type or function of your sign there may be legislative obligations your sign needs to fulfil. Symbols used in safety signage are covered by The Health & Safety (Safety Signs and Signals Regulations) 1966 and BS EN ISO 7010. The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) and the Technical Buletin 24 of the Joint Mobility Unit (now part of the RNIB’s Access Consultancy Services) may need to be consulted when considering access through your building. Some exterior signage may need planning permission particularly if the sign is illuminated or of a large size. While we can’t apply for planning permission on your behalf, we can advise you on whether you are likely to need it.

Step 5 Environmental Considerations

In step 2 we touched very lightly on some environmental considerations. The most obvious of which are is the sign to be located indoors or outdoors? what’s more does the sign have to be visible at night time? does ilumination have to be a consideration? Vitreous Enamel signs can tolerate a number of different environmental factors, resulting in long-lasting, vibrant, non-fade quality signs regardless of weather conditions or busyness of location, making them ideal for wayfinding signage and street maps.

We hope that this simple guide will give you some ideas when choosing the type and style of the sign you require guide will help you when chosing the type and style of sign you require. For more help or information please contact our Sales Team on 01737 77 40 72 or and we would be delighted to help you find the right sign design for you.

School Signs from Stocksigns – new video

School signs are one of the niche areas Stocksigns has excelled at in recent years. Working closely with schools, universities and colleges to bring you the very best in school signage.

“Signs for Schools” brings together the core school safety signs range, information signs and custom made notice boards and general school signs and signage in an easy guide for schools and colleges. Stocksigns has been working with schools, colleges and universities for many years and as a result the Stocksigns product range within this sector has grown substantially. Their expertise in signage schemes for these environments has also developed. Education establishments span a wide range of audiences from very young pupils in pre-schools to academic staff in universities: Stocksigns can develop sign systems that can cater for the needs of all these different groups.

For more information on school signage read our previous posts on:

For more information or to order our Signs for Schools Catalogue contact our Sales Team 01737 764764

RIDDOR – new changes published

The new Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 has now come into force. The HSE consulted on proposals for new, simplified regulations, based on recommendations in the Lofstedt report. Here is an overview of the main changes to the regulations, provided by Barbour EHS

The main changes to the RIDDOR Regulations are:

• A simplified and shortened list of specified reportable injuries (“major injuries”) to workers sustained as a result of a work-related accident.
• A clarified and shortened list of reportable dangerous occurrences (near-miss events).
• A simplified and significantly shortened list of reportable ill-health conditions inworkers (replacing 47 specified ill-health conditions with 8 categories of work related diseases).
• A simplified list of dangerous occurrences within the rail-sector, and removal of the requirement to report suicides on railways.

Summary of RIDDOR Changes.

The regulations have essentially been redrafted with some sections imported from the old regulations into the new structure. Even where requirements are very similar such as in the list of general dangerous occurrences there are subtle differences in wording.
In some cases the use of new words within the regulations will require clarification within the new guidance and it is hoped that this will not leave scope for misinterpretation.
Those with established policies on accident reporting or software tools will need to review their content before October 2013 to ensure continued correlation with the legal requirements.

Further reading

Slips and Trips in the Workplace

The single most common cause of injury in the workplace is slipping and tripping. The HSE estimate that the annual cost to employers is £750 million and is reported that every 25 minutes in the UK someone breaks or fractures a bone due to slips and trips or falling in the workplace. Slips, trips and falls account for 38% of all the major accidents every year.

The HSE website has some great advice and information regarding causes and prevention, we have summarised some of the points in this post but visit the HSE for more information. We can also help with the appropriate slips, trips and falls signs. See below for our ‘Slips & Trips’ Pack.

Causes and prevention of slips and trips


Slip and trip accidents happen for a number of reasons. The following model will help you understand the factors that can contribute to slip accidents and the action to take to prevent them. It is called the slip potential model. One or more of these factors may play a part in any slip accident, by systematically assessing these elements a potential slip may be prevented. The HSE website has detailed information on how to assess and deal with all of these elements.


Over half of all trip accidents are caused by poor housekeeping, mainly by obstructions in walkways. Movable temporary or free standing safety signs can alert people to the dangers caused by temporay obstructions or activities.The rest are caused by uneven surfaces. Where it isn’t practical to fix these uneven surfaces, for example steps etc., signage can be used to warn of these potential trip hazards. Preventing these accidents is often simple and cost-effective.

You need to get all three right (Design & maintenance,walkways and housekeeping), to prevent tripping accidents.

Preventing trips


  • Check for a suitable walkway – Are they in the right place, are they being used, are they available for use?
  • Where are the walkways going? What tasks are taking place on the walkway, is the task preventing the employee from seeing where he is going for example.


  • It is not just good enough to have a walkway, it must be kept clear, no trailing wires, no obstructions.
  • Employees and cleaners need to have ‘a see it, sort it’ attitude to ensure these and other work areas are kept clear. There should be regular inspections of work areas by Supervisors.
  • Is the cleaning regime effective? Are there enough bins, storage facilities etc.?

Design and maintenance

Is the floor suitable for the environment, fitted correctly and properly maintained?

  • Are the walkways wide enough & level? Are stairs suitable?
  • Are risers consistent?
  • Are nosings highlighted where necessary?
  • Are usable handrails available?
  • Is the lighting good enough for employees to see hazards?
  • What about distractions that might prevent them from seeing where they are going?

Training and awareness of staff can be a good place to start in the prevention of accidents. Following a risk assessment appropriate signage can added to any hazards identified. Guidance posters can be used as part of your regular staff safety training.

We have put together a slips and trips pack to help you manage some of these potential hazards.

Twitter – Messagemaker twitLED Moving Message Display

This moving message display from Messagemaker is an exciting and dynamic way to view and share your Twitter feeds. The LED moving message display allows you to display your favourite news service or Twitter feed.

It can be used to promote your business, building your brand and helping to keep others connected to your Twitter stream. The twitLED can even be used to display real-time customer endorsements and can evn be controlled remotely from your mobile phone.

What can you use the twitLED moving message display for?

Used as an in-house communications tool it is ideal for:

  • Student unions and common rooms
  • Cafeterias
  • Receptions and waiting rooms
  • Railway and bus stations, airport terminals and service stations

For more information please call 01737 774738.

Top 5 Funny Signs for September

As you can imagine we spend a lot of time looking at signs here at Stocksigns, and we do come across some great ones. As a result we have started to compile a list of the best funny signs we find. Most of which we find from the web, our holidays and a few that our customers have asked us to make.

To see more go to our Funny Signs Pinterest Board, where we will be regularly adding more signs, I think you will agree there are some good ones!

Manual Handling and Musculoskeletal Disorders – A Guide from RoSPA

Manual Handling – a guide from RoSPA

A subject our customers often ask us about is “Manual Handling” and “Musculoskeletal Disorders” . We produce lots of safety signs and manual handling posters, that can help as part of your overall safety policy for manual handling. Lifting correctly is something that is often viewed as commonsense and not given the adequate attention it deserves. It should not be restricted to warehousing and stores departments, but should also cover the general day to day working of most staff, including office workers and field representatives. After all, how many of us move heavy boxes of copier paper, without thinking of the consequences? This lack of sufficient attention could lead to serious injuries, often having a long term effect on staff and the company as a whole. To give you more information, we asked RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) for their views. As a result RoSPA have very kindly written this guest post.

Manual Handling

It might sound simple, but a correct manual handling technique is often something that is overlooked in the workplace – sometimes to devastating effect.

What is manual handling?

According to the Manual Handling Operations Regulations (MHOR) 1992, manual handling is defined as:

“… any transporting or supporting of a load (including the lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving thereof) by hand or bodily force.”

In reality, most organisations require some form of manual handling as part of their day-to-day operations, which is the main reason these regulations were developed.

Manual Handling and MSDs

Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs for short), are the most commonly reported type of work-related ill health. They often result directly from poor manual handling technique. It is therefore in everyone’s interest to try and reduce the instances of MSDs in the workplace. Correct manual handling plays a central role in occupational safety, as every organisation has potentially harmful manual handling tasks.

Hierarchy of measures

The MHOR regulations demonstrate a hierarchy of measures that will help you manage your manual handling risks and reduce your risk of MSDs:

  • First – You must avoid the harmful manual handling operations, so far as it is reasonably practicable
  • Second – Assess the manual handling operations that cannot be avoided
  • Third – Reduce the risk of injury so far as it is reasonably practicable.


With manual handling playing such a central role in occupational safety, RoSPA has developed a number of manual handling courses exploring both practical aspects and the relevant theory to keep you safe, and help to prevent the blight of MSDs in the workplace.

For more information on this and many other safety topics please visit the RoSPA website.

European Sign Show 2013 – Interview with Julian Rowlandson

This year has been a busy year for Stocksigns on the exhibition circuit. This interview taken at the recent European Sign Expo marks the end of a packed few weeks of shows, seminar hosting and interviews for Julian Rowlandson, Sales & Marketing Director for Stocksigns. During the interview Julian talks about how exhibitions, like The European Sign Expo, are ideal for companies like Stocksigns, who have an extremely wide and diverse range of signage capabilities and services.

Summer Safety Signage Audit

The summer months and the holiday season are the ideal time to carry out a signage audit. Your business premises may be quieter, as staff jet off on their well earned breaks, often leaving car parks and buildings temporarily easier to access. Use this time and the increased access to assess your company signage, making sure signs are present, in good condition and correct to the latest legislation.

Also the summer can be a time when there maybe a need to increase security to your grounds or buildings. Building sites and disused quarries can seem attractive places to play, potentially with tragic consequences, so ensuring your boundary safety signs are all in place becomes critical.

Taking Stock of your Safety Signs

Take time to walk around your premises, it may take a couple of trips round if you have a large or complicated building layout. Note all your existing fire and safety signs. Do you have all the necessary signs covered by legislation? Through the course of the year things happen to your building, were signs replaced after that wall got repainted? Were your signs covered up when you had the last office move round? This photograph illustrates a common example. The fire alarm call points in this hotel were relocated during a refit. Unfortunately the sign has not been updated and the fire action notice now marks just a redundant blanking plate. On the flip side, you guessed it, the alarm call points were relocated but they have failed to install the correct fire equipment signage to mark its new location. Many people find that their fire signage is often in the wrong place, check your emergency escape signage is being displayed properly. If you are not sure whether you are completely covered legally get a site survey done to give you peace of mind.

While it isn’t yet a requirement to change all your existing safety signs to the new ISO 7010 versions, the advice is not to mix signage from different legislative standards. Best practice recommends, if changes or additions are needed, updating to the most recent standard.This photo shows a BS 5499 fire exit sign directly mounted next to a sign with symbols from the EEC directive 92/58, which could lead to confusion.

Care of your safety Signs

Safety signs over time can become dirty or damaged and several environmental factors can effect your signs. Signs in areas of high traffic can become dirty quickly. Make sure all signs are clean and clear and can be easily read, and cleaned where needed. If they are illegible and beyond cleaning replace where necessary.

For more information about safety signs or any other signage query please contact our sales team at

Construction Safety Statistics That Make You Think – InfoGraphic RoSPA

Construction Safety, the statistics remind us there is still work to be done

Many of our readers work in the construction industry, either directly or through contractors. Whatever their roles tend to be, there is always a strong link with safety management and in particular construction safety. With that in mind we are always looking out for safety tips and information that might be useful to our followers.

RoSPA have produced this great infographic, which highlights some of the shocking statistics in construction safety, which sadly show there is still room for improvement in safety implementation and awareness.

RoSPA’s safety blog “Workplace Safety” is great resource for any Safety Manager, whatever your industry.

Construction Safety Infographic

Don’t forget First Call Signs (Part of the Stocksigns Group) can help your with all your temporary Site Safety Signs

The Hollywood Sign – Guess Who’s 90 years old?

Fun Facts About the Hollywood Sign.

We spend a lot of time trawling the internet looking at signage information that we think might be useful to our customers. Every now and then we come across something that may not be necessarily useful (unless it comes up in the pub quiz!) but is either a bit of fun or just interesting. We hope that this post written by Catherine R from is maybe a bit of both.

1) The Hollywood Sign is almost 90 years old.

The original Hollywood sign was constructed in 1923, the same year that Rin Tin Tin gained fame as a canine film star. Though it wasn’t originally meant to be an icon for the film industry, the sign was created during the beginning of the glamorous, decadent Golden Age of Hollywood: in 1925, Ben Hur was released with its record-breaking production budget of $3.95 million.

2) The Hollywood sign wasn’t created with the movies in mind.

The sign wasn’t created to advertise movies and starlets; it was created to advertise real estate. Developers S. H. Woodruff and Tracy E. Shoults began developing a new neighborhood called “Hollywoodland.” The sign was meant to act as a huge billboard to draw new home buyers to the hillside.

3) The first sign didn’t say “Hollywood.”

To advertise the Hollywoodland development, the sign was composed of 13 letters that spelled out the development’s name: “HOLLYWOODLAND.” The last four letters of the sign wouldn’t be dropped until 1949.

4) The original Hollywood Sign was bigger than the current sign.

The original letters were constructed of large sections of sheet metal and stood as high as 50 feet tall. They were held up with a complicated framing system that included wooden scaffold, pipes, wires and poles.

5) 4,000 light bulbs graced the original Hollywoodland sign.

The bulbs were timed to blink so that the words “HOLLY,” “WOOD,” and “LAND” each lit up consecutively, followed by the entire word. This was not considered tacky, but rather quite progressive and modern. Each bulb generated only 8 watts of electricity, so 4,000 were needed in order to create the impressive display that Woodruff and Shoults needed to sell building lots.

6) The sign was a very expensive billboard.

Considering that the original Hollywoodland sign was only intended to be an advertisement for a real estate development, it was quite expensive. The construction cost of the sign was around $21,000, which is roughly the equivalent of $250,000 in 2013 dollars. Imagine building a new neighborhood and paying a quarter of a million bucks to advertise it with one sign!

7) An Englishman designed the Hollywood sign.

Thomas Fisk Goff, the artist who created the Hollywood sign, was born in London in 1890. He immigrated to the United States and settled in Los Angeles in the early 1920’s and opened the Crescent Sign Company. Woodruff and Shoults commissioned Goff to create and install the sign. In addition to owning a sign company, Goff was an artist who painted landscapes on canvas.

8) The sign had its very own caretaker.

The real estate developers hired Albert Kothe to act as caretaker. In addition to other responsibilities, Albert was in charge of the maintenance of the Hollywoodland sign. One of his jobs was to replace the lightbulbs on the sign when they burnt out, a large task considering the number of bulbs and the height of each letter.

9) The original sign was only meant to last for 18 months.

Since it was only intended to be a temporary advertisement for the new real estate development, the Hollywoodland sign was designed to be in place for about 18 months, while lots were sold.

10) The Hollywood sign was the site of a suicide.

Sadly, the allure of fame and fortune was not reality for many who flocked to Hollywood in hopes of becoming actors and actresses. One such unlucky girl, Peg Entwistle, left New York City and moved in with her uncle in Los Angeles while she tried to become a film star. Despite her efforts at stardom, Peg failed to land the big role she’d hoped for, and on September 18, 1932, she hiked up to the Hollywood sign, climbed a ladder to the top of the “H” and jumped to her death.

Click her to read Catherine R’s original article

New budget, New Signs

While the announcement of the new government budgetary measures may not have been the news everyone was hoping for, it does mark the start of the financial New Year for many organisations. It is the perfect time to carry out a signage audit of your premises.

Taking Stock of your Safety Signs

Take time to walk round your premises, it may take a couple of trips round if you have a large or complicated building layout.

Note all your existing fire and safety signs. Do you have all the necessary signs covered by legislation? Through the course of the year things happen to your building, were signs replaced after that wall got repainted? Were your signs covered up when you had the last office move round? Many people find that their fire signage is often in the wrong place, check your emergency escape signage is being displayed properly. If you are not sure whether you are completely covered legally get a site survey done to give you peace of mind.

While it isn’t yet a requirement to change all your existing safety signs to the new ISO 7010 versions, make sure any missing or damaged signs are replaced with the new updated symbols.

Care of your safety Signs

Safety signs over time can become dirty or damaged and several environmental factors can effect your signs. Signs in areas of high traffic can become dirty quickly. Make sure all signs are clean and clear and can be easily read, and cleaning where needed. If they are illegible and beyond cleaning replace where necessary.

For more information about safety signs or any other signage query please contact our sales team at and don’t forget to order your new 2013 catalogue.

ISO 7010 what does it really mean for me?

Don’t Panic about ISO 7010

There has been much in the industry press regarding the new safety signs standard ISO 7010. A lot of the coverage has implied that all companies must change their safety signs in order to comply. This scaremongering has led to many companies making expensive but not necessarily required signage purchases. Yes there is new legislation, and yes a lot of the safety symbols have changed, but you don’t need to rip out all your existing signage and start again.

What to do next about ISO 7010?

Here at Stocksigns we recommend certain guidelines which means our customers fulfil their legal obligations without breaking the bank. We advise that you don’t need to change all your signs to ISO 7010 but if you require a new sign, or a replacement sign, yes, you should be insisting on ISO 7010 symbols. However as ‘best practice’ you shouldn’t really mix symbols from the old and new standards. We no longer manufacture the old symbols as standard but if you need to add a sign and your existing signs are all BS 5499 and you don’t want to mix signs from different legislative standards, we can, for a limited time, provide it as a custom made sign. A little more expensive than our standard catalogue products but much cheaper than replacing all your signage, which many of the less scrupulous sign companies in the market would have you believe is your only option.

ISO 7010 has been developed to provide consistency in design across the EU. The new designs have now been phased in and all our signs follow The Health & Safety (Safety Signs & Signals) Regulations 1966 and conform to BS ISO 7010 where applicable.

Call our sales team on 01737 77 40 72

Vitreous Enamel Signs – A sign of the times

This weeks post is from our guest Blogger – Julian Rowlandson, Sales & Marketing Director, Stocksigns.

From the iconic London Underground maps to retro adverts for household goods in gastro pubs printed Vitreous Enamel signs and panels provide an exciting and durable medium for architects, specifiers and designers.

Using a process that can be traced back to ancient Egypt, Vitreous Enamel or VE has many features that make it suitable for a wide range of applications.  Unlike most other sign making methods VE creates a physical bond between the steel plate and the glass frit.  Layers of paint are applied using traditional screen print processes and are fired in a furnace at temperatures in excess of 700°.  Because of the challenges involved in the manufacture of VE signs there are few companies that have the capabilities required to produce the panels.

The sustainable functionality of VE makes it a natural choice for applications where durability is important.  City wayfinding projects such as in Bristol and the Legible London project have utilised

VE because it is low maintenance, vandal proof and colour fast.  The colour fast nature of VE meets the exacting needs that major utility companies have in identifying power lines from the air.  Helicopter panels are attached to pylons and are exposed to all the elements can throw at them.  They are colour coded to allow easy identification and it is critical that these colours do not fade over time which could lead to dangerous confusion.

The Jubilee Gardens project installed by Stocksigns on the Southbank in London is a good example of VE being used in a more artistic application.  Combining wayfinding and information, the project needed to be aesthetically appropriate for the setting.

There are many opportunities for architects, designers and specifiers to use VE in their projects.  In the commercial setting the use of VE in street names, wayfinding, transport, parks and open spaces are all applications that are particularly well suited to the features of VE.  While, potentially, more expensive to purchase, the low maintenance cost and longevity more than compensates for the initial expenditure, giving VE an attractive total lifetime value.

In the more aesthetic setting, retro products such as those that used to form the Garnier Collection are enjoying a renaissance.  Advertising panels for Colmans Mustard, Castrol and BMC are amongst popular images from yesteryear that are used in restaurants and pubs.

Stocksigns, a leading manufacturer of VE have been involved in projects that cover all of these areas.

School Signs Resources for the Education Industry

Stocksigns has been manufacturing school signs for the education industry for more than 50 years. As a result we have built up a wealth of knowledge on how schools can make the best use of their signs. We have brought together the best blog posts aimed at schools in this article to remind schools and colleges how to use and choose the right signs for them.

We have also got one of the largest dedicated schools signs catalogues on the market. Click on the catalogue cover below to view our huge range.

The Sign Catalogue is now available. Please visit our “Catalogue Request” page to request a copy.

Climate Week 4th – 10th March. Do your bit!

Following the recent ‘Go Green Week’ we can keep the eco-campaign going with this week’s environmental awareness week’Climate Week’.

Climate Week is Britain’s biggest climate change campaign, inspiring a new wave of action to create a sustainable future. Culminating in a week of activities, it showcases practical solutions from every sector of society. Each year, half a million people attend 3,000 events in Britain’s biggest ever environmental occasion. Events are run by schools, businesses, charities, councils and many others.

To help you make a few ‘green changes’ in the work place we have brought together some of our eco blog posts.

Energy Conservation Signs – Remind Staff to Turn Off the Lights

Our final piece to support ‘Go Green Week’ is going to list a few thought provoking facts* to help us remember to turn off those lights and promote energy conservation!

  • Office lights left on overnight use enough energy in a year to heat a home for almost 5 months.
  • A photocopier left on standby overnight wastes enough energy to make 30 cups of tea.
  • A 2°C increase in office temperature creates enough CO2 in a year to fill a hot air balloon.
  • Air conditioning an office for 1 extra hour a day uses enough energy in a month to power a TV for over a year.
  • A computer left overnight for a year creates enough CO2 to fill a double-decker bus.
  • The energy wasted from a compressed air leak the size of a match head is responsible for yearly CO2 emmissions equal to the weight of an elephant.


Visit our main site to see more energy conservation signs

Help Your Staff to Recycle – hints & tips for recycling in the office

This next article in our series of posts to support ‘Go Green Week’ takes a look at recycling and advocates the use of recycling signs.

We are all getting used to the mantra “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” but ‘recycling’, the third in the going greener hiearchy, is often the activity that can be done very half heartedly. We are not talking about the large scale collection of scrap metal from manufacturing processes (where generally there is financial benefit hiding behind the ‘green banner’) but the small scale semi-domestic recycling which builds-up within businesses e.g. paper, water, food containers etc. In a company environment people are generally keen to recycle but no one really wants to take responsibility. Particularly in smaller companies the office/kitchen recycling is often left until the mountain of jars and milk bottles becomes unbearable and someone gives in and takes it to the recycling skips, just before the point that ‘Rentokil’ are called in.

The trick is make the whole process simple. There are three essential steps to hassle free recycling in the office.

  1. Create a Rota
  2. Make it simple, provide sorting at source
  3. Provide clear instructions

You are unlikely to get a rush of volunteers to help but a simple rota for emptying the recycling will mean it gets done and everyone will feel they have done their bit. Endless memos nagging staff to comply to your waste management program are likely to breed more resentment than co-operation, so instead opt for simple sorting systems at source and clear recycling signage, which will give instructions and gently remind people of their responsibilities. Stocksigns has a huge range of energy conservation and recycling signs to help your company on its way to go greener. We would love to hear any tips you have used in your company to promote a greener business

Post Office Heritage Signs – A Restoration Project

The British Postal Museum and Archive take an active role in preserving our British Heritage. One such project was the restoration of a now rare blue airmail pillar box from the 1930s, including the recreation of heritage signs.

Special post boxes for the collection of airmail were on British streets for less than nine years yet they continue to fascinate. Originally intended to be placed in prominent positions in London, by 1936, there were 139 in London and 174 in the provinces. Much of the interest in these boxes comes from the colour that they were painted: blue.

Heritage Signs

Stocksigns, based at Redhill were engaged for the work of replicating the airmail signs. Founded in 1955, the company had purchased Burnham Signs (founded 1877) who, in turn, incorporated Garnier & Co. (established 1891). Garnier had been the original supplier of the small airmail signs to the Post Office in the 1930s. This commissioning was an attempt to preserve some continuity of provenance in the restoration.

Stocksigns was tasked with re-creating the oval and enamel airmail sign. As the originals were in quite poor condition, it was decided to conserve these in as original condition as possible and commission replicas to be fixed to the restored box. Restoration of the signs would have removed much that is original, and it is highly unlikely that more than a handful of original examples survive today. Such a curatorial decision permits the original signs to be available for research in their original and preserved condition.

To read more about this restoration project visit the British Postal Museum & Archive for the full story.