One of the most encouraging aspects of this year’s Sign Industry Awards Competition is the number of smaller signmakers who received recognition for their work.One such company,Staffordshire Signs,was a runner-up in the Retail Sign of the Year category, in respect of the stunning signage that it has created for Bank, the exciting new fashion store.
Staffordshire Signs has now signed 12 Bank stores and so far, each has comprised a variety of both internal and external signage and display elements. These include some particularly arresting pre-programmable LED units which span the exterior frontages of some of the stores and whose continual movement does much to alert passers-by to the full scope of the brands that lie within. Richard reveals that he had to undertake quite a bit of research in order to source the right components for these signs. He says: “The whole idea was to create a sign package that is interesting and lively enough to appeal to the sort of customers Bank is trying to attract, and we’ve really enjoyed combining different materials and processes to ensure that each store meets that ideal.” Whilst he agrees that such projects are a gift in that they allow him to give free reign to his creativity, he insists that all customers, are entitled to the same unwavering degree of care and attention, whether they require cutting-edge design or something more pedestrian.
To achieve the requisite level of perfection, that he feels is their due, Richard ensures that Staffordshire Signs does as much in-house as humanly and fiscally possible. A quick tour of the new 3,700sq.ft factory, which the company expanded into last February, reveals that it not only has the facility to produce its own moulded letters, it also boasts a small screenprinting resource too. “ We either do it well or not at all,” says Richard summing up his signmaking philosophy. He also agrees that having learned the business from the bottom up, he has a particular view about signmaking. He elaborates: “ When you’ve learned about signmaking in the traditional way, you gain an intrinsic understanding as to what constitutes a good sign and good signing practice that never leaves you. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t adopt modern manufacturing methods or embrace new technology – far from it. But there are certain values that you hold dear and that you expect to maintain. Luckily, I’ve got a really good team here who feel the same as I do and I believe in looking after them, which means paying top rates and adding all the extras, such as pension and private health care schemes. We also keep up with all of the latest health and safety regulations and staff receive proper training. Obviously, we do have to sub-contract on occasion, but when that happens it’s to companies who share a similar ethos to our own.”