10 tips for writing a signage brief

12.09.14

Like any project, the key to success with signage is in the creation of a solid, clear brief. As the old adage says, “rubbish in, rubbish out”, so it’s really important to take the time to provide a clear brief to your supplier.

With experience of thousands of briefs – good and bad – we’ve compiled a list of tips that can help you get your brief together in no time and enjoy the rewards a cracking brief will give you.

1. Specify a clear and realistic deadline

Like all businesses, signage companies need to know what they’re working to – do you need the signs tomorrow or in 3 months time?

2. Include your budget

This is vital. Without specifying a budget, your supplier won’t know whether you can afford to be innovative, need a premium solution or are shopping at the value end of the market. Most suppliers will be able to come up with a solution that fits your budget… but only if you tell them what it is!

3. Share your brand guidelines

There’s nothing more frustrating than a supplier using the wrong tint for a logo or an incorrect font. If you’ve got brand guidelines – even if they haven’t specifically been written for signage suppliers – share them for reference.

4. Include any specific imagery you want to use

If you have a batch of images to use with your signage (maybe from a photo-shoot or marketing collateral), make sure you share it in as high a resolution as possible.

5. Be clear on the location

The costs & solution your signage supplier will base their quotation on will be determined to a large degree by the location of the signage. The difficulty with which the location can be accessed has a bearing on the people & equipment required to install for example.

6. Use the correct sizes

This is an obvious one but sometimes gets forgotten in all of the technical and creative guidance that comes with a brief. Letting the supplier know what size you need the signs to be will save time & effort further down the line.

7. Tell the supplier how long you need the signage up for

If you’re only looking for something temporary, the material your supplier bases their estimate on will be different to if you’re looking for a semi-permanent fixture. Again, sharing this detail up front will save any nasty surprises later on.

8. Set your required quality level

As with your budget, if the materials need to be of a particular quality it’s important the supplier knows your requirements before starting work. A budget sign in a premium location can do untold damage to the perception & image of the location.

9. Let the supplier know any special requirements

Our project teams are often required to work through the night or on sites with particular accessibility requirements. Knowing this information within the brief will allow your supplier to put the right team on the job and bring any special equipment they need with them first time.

10. Include contact details for your project manager

Your supplier will undoubtedly have questions and need further input from you, so include the contact details of the project manager so that lines of communication are open from the get-go. Having one point of contact is essential to ensure the project is carried out properly.

We hope you’ve found this guide useful. If it’s inspired you to share a brief with us, just email [email protected] or call us on 0121 764 3222. For more great tips on how to bring out the best in signage, why not fill in the quick form to your top right to download “How to deliver amazing signage in 7 quick steps”.

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