Signing in Hotel and Leisure complexes falls into several categories, from a complete corporate identity through to safety and health signs for both guests and staff alike. Often considered as an afterthought to a project, signage is an underestimated communication tool for customers in the leisure industry.
New complexes generally have a corporate theme established from the start and this will include such items as colours, typefaces and substrate specifications. Choice of directional way guidance systems are numerous, giving designers and architects a vast range of options. Sign manufacturers can now offer the majority of these systems and some also give guidance on design and site surveys at no additional cost. When offered, these services are well worth accepting.
In cases of refurbishment or redecoration projects, you may wish to improve and modernize colourways. “If you want a tailored signage scheme, find a company that is willing to design products for you, rather than sell you an off-the-shelf solution,” advises Paul Tradewell, corporate manager at Stocksigns.
Choose one of the larger sign manufacturers who will be able to design signage with specific elements of your buildings and interior design in mind. Many sign companies will offer visual representation of your new signs at the quotation stage, with coloured sign designs being provided, sometimes overlayed onto actual photos of your premises. This gives you the opportunity to see exactly how the finished signs will look within their chosen environment.
Information signs are designed to inform and communicate various instructions and messages but they can also be used to communicate the brand of an organisation. When thinking about refurbishment or new projects think about how your information signs can complement your interior design. A good signage manufacturer should be able to offer you a range of styles of signs enabling you to find a design range that reflects your brand personality.
Reception areas are the first points of contact for customers and therefore it is obvious that first impressions count here. Take time to plan your signage for this area.
·What do the signs need to communicate?
·What image are you trying to project?
·What corporate guideline do you have to work to?
Taking these questions into account start making a list of the signs you require. If available take advantage of a site survey as the service can be invaluable not only offering advice on styles and design but also ensuring you are covered by the latest legislation. Whether you use their installation service or your own contractors, a reputable sign company will be able to advise you on the functionality of your signs, the correct height and distances for optimum visibility.
Another piece of legislation that will affect the design of all interiors especially those in the leisure industry is the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). Signage needs to be modified to include Braille or audible signs and changes may be required for directional signage, information and health and safety signs.
Many companies will have signage solutions to conform to this Act currently in their portfolio. Stocksigns, for instance, has been responsive to the need for accessible signage for sometime, having developed a range incorporating Braille, the Tactual Range.
While on the subject of emergency escape signing, it is worth mentioning the advance in technology over recent years that has seen major improvements in the performance of Photoluminescent material. This is used for signs and marking escape routes. Although this material does not replace electrically installed systems, as a secondary system it is unsurpassed.
With the advent of increased awareness of security issues your sign supplier will now be offering a larger more comprehensive range of security signs. Security signs can work as a deterrent but also a comfort to customers and staff alike. Don’t forget the exterior of your premises, car parks and grounds need to be taken into account. The Data Protection Act 1998 Code of Practice gives guidance to operators of CCTV systems on the recommended signing to be used where surveillance equipment is installed and, for the benefit of the public, should include the name and other contact details of the operators of the scheme.
For those involved in leisure activities involving water safety another part of the BS5499 standard recently published is part 11, which contains a comprehensive range of pictorial sign designs and guidance. The Standard provides a uniform family of water safety signs based on the signs produced by the National Water Safety Committee. These should be used at all locations where sport or recreational activities are taking place, to warn the public of possible hazards or dangerous situations and to give specific instructions for their safety. The new standardised symbols cover a wider range of water-based activities and hazardous situations. Aware of the increase in water related injuries and fatalities RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) has been instrumental in the formulation of this standard, and is keen to raise awareness to the prevailing associated dangers and signs can play a major role in prevention.
When considering signage for your hotel or leisure complex choose a manufacturer that can offer the complete package. A well established sign manufacturing company will be able to take your project through the design stage through to installation and completion, whether you require off the shelf products or a complete range designed specifically for you organisation.