My biggest project to date was finally completed today, by biggest I'm not exaggerating too, its 5m x 1.5m!! the company I work for Design-A-Cake recently split its operation into two seperate buildings, giving us room to grow, we split from one unit which housed the whole operation of shop and dispatch, into two units, one shop, and one distribution centre. While the shop is due a makeover (working on that now!!) the warehouse got some lovin' first, in the form of three brand spanking new signs. One sign on the front of the building to tell visitors what the building is, one on the back to enlighten delivery drivers to where they should be dropping the cakey goodness, and one massive sign on the side of the building to advertise the shop to passing (potential) customers. This literally and figuratively  has been the single biggest project I have worked on to date. I've had some fantastic opportunities while working for Design-a-cake, and hopefully have many more to come, and while on the face of it, it might not look like the most "creative" of projects either, it taught me a great deal, and I've gained some valuable experience while completing it. The front sign welcomes visitors to the unit, generally, we don't get too many visitors, mainly company reps and such, but it's still important to let people know who we are, and make us feel more at home in our warehouse, like putting a picture up in your living room, giving our warehouse some sexy signage makes it feel more like "home". This sign therefore had to tell people who we are, and what we do. Well, we're Design-A-Cake, and we are a distribution centre. Sorted. a nice easy one! Here's my design:
Front sign

Front sign

 

Kept it simple, and i think it works better because its simple. We're the DAC distribution centre, and this says so. This sign went right above the door, here's what it looks like when its been put up!

front sign up

front sign up

  The second sign is for the delivery drivers, this one is going on the back of the building, this one was done in black and white for two reasons, one, its meant for delivery drivers, it didn't need to be as "posh" as the other two signs, this limited the amount of colours we could have for it. and two, we wanted this one to be discreet, hopefully delivery drivers who are looking for a clue about where we are will spot it, but its discreet enough that customers will ignore it, and not see our name and assume we are the shop and rock up at the goods entrance.   here is my design:  

same fonts, so there is continuity between the designs, and the necessary "goods in" info for delivery drivers, but a more subtle black and white, to try and camouflage it from directing customers to the wrong place.

here's what it looks like all finished and erected:

Design-a-cake goods in

Design-a-cake goods in

and finally, the mega sign. Its a beast. 5m x 1.5m, this one caused me much heartache, mainly with its placement, as you can see from the building we have (lovely) green cladding all up the side of the building, and its pretty tall, its about the same height as your average two storey house, you'd think that the cladding would all be equal sizes, so measure one bar, count them and multiply up to get your height right? wrong, they're all different sizes, and with no way to find out the real height from anyone, I was forced to do some maths, and then some guess work, and then prayed* a little bit.

This sign was intended to advertise the shop, which is at the other side of the industrial estate, as with most things I design, I usually make two or three designs, then enlist the other members of our office (the self dubbed "think tank") to offer opinions on which one is the best, usually, we all agree pretty much straight away on what design is best, no matter what it is for. But on this occasion there was a lot of debate about what should be on the sign, eventually this design won out:
Design-a-cake shop sign

Design-a-cake shop sign

I tried to keep this sign as simple as possible, another alternative to this sign had on it a small map, but in the end we though that it was just too much information for someone to take in as they wizz past at 30mph in their car, the text is still pretty intensive, but the directions couldn't really be simplified anymore and still give the reader any hope of finding the shop. This was the compromise, and while the top of the sign may seem to have lots going on, most people see a logo, even if its text, as, a logo, so the text "design a cake" wont really be read, as such, as it's usually associated with the logo next to it, people will just take in the logo as a whole, and most people won't even read the "the nation's premier cakecraft retailer" text, and from the road, it's probably too small to read anyway, thats more aimed at pedestrians, who have more "time" to take in the sign. while as subtle as a brick, the big black arrow should also do the job to show people that the shop is in that direction, and hopefully wont just lead them round the corner into our distribution centre carpark!

Here is the sign in "all" of its glory, finally up on the side of the building, unfortunately, boring health and safety people made the signage people errect lots of scaffolding to put the sign up, so the picture isn't great, as I took it only minutes after they had finished! by tomorrow the scaffolding will be gone!

Design-a-cake warehouse signage

Design-a-cake warehouse signage

Thanks for looking, hope you've enjoyed this article. Chris

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