Design and Visual Communications
Experiential Graphic Design, Sign Design & Wayfinding

The Hang of It: A Century of Stories

by Steve AustVisual Communications and Archetype sign help a community college celebrate its centennial

From medieval times, when warring clans used animal blood and vegetable dyes to decorate flags before heading into battle, banners have served as a visual-communication. They’ve perpetually loomed as a cornerstone for signshops that emphasize vinyl fabrication. According to the 2009 Commercial State of the Industry Report (see ST, August 2010, page 62), 92.8% of shops that produce non-electric signs fabricate banners, and banners represent 19.9% of all commercial sign sales (among high-volume shops that gross more than $500,000 of sales annually, that percentage grows to 23.8%). Ever-improving materials, inks, RIPs and color profiles have enabled providers to deliver more vivid, crisp prints that can be installed in more varied environments.

Sure, there will always be a market for 4 x 8-ft. “Sale Today” or “Grand Opening” banners designed with black, Helvetica letters. Such a job’s price point is simply what fits some customers’ modest bottom lines. However, some customers thankfully take the maxim, “A business with no sign is a sign of no business,” to a higher level with dynamic, soft-sided signage – often well integrated with broader environmental-graphic programs that feature signage, wayfinding and other signage elements.

Visual Communications (St. Paul, MN) created a banner and signage more

Richard Lang Principal at Visual Communications, Inc.

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