The evolution of signage in India is a curious mix of artificially imposed Western ideas along with our traditional reconnect of preferring conversations to signs. To be precise, we don’t look for information, we prefer a verbal phenomenon. Hence, signage in India is given the last priority while working on any project. The sign makers find it really challenging to get people directly relate to the signs; especially in the retail projects due to the ready verbal help found in nooks and corners.
“Around 80% of the signage market in India lies in the unorganized sector”, claims R. G Venkatesh, MD – Diamond Display Solutions Private Limited.
Till date, many companies, including big corporates prefer using traditional and outdated signboard materials, such as flex, vinyl, acrylics, etc. Usage and experimentation with modern digital media signage are very limited.
The importance of signage usage in India is hugely underrated – Why?
- Clients are unaware of the modern materials being used in the signage industry.
- Indian clients do not want to spend on quality signage.
- Clients do not consider signage as a part of their brand identity or communication.
- Lack of availability of the best-in-class raw materials for signage. For e.g., paint shades.
- Companies that talk about signage do not specify the desired material or code name.
- 90% of signage designers in India are architects/advertising agencies who lack expertise.
Signage design is one of the key elements that must involve knowledgeable Retail Designers rather than ad agencies. Designing a corporate identity is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. Retail design is a scientific method derived from various factors, such as understanding of the brand and its customers, consideration of retail competition and brand positioning and then designing the store accordingly. The process of 4’D’ is strictly followed.
What are the 4’Ds’ of Retail Designing?
- Defining – the aspects of branding (history, logo, vision, marketing collaterals, target audience, etc.)
- Designing – finalising the mood board and designing, depending on the store type.
- Deploying – integration of brand language across mediums (website, store, hoarding, products)
- Delivering – brand’s team and retail design team should work hand-in-hand for better consolidation between online and offline spaces of the brand.
In the modern-day scenario, clients prefer a swanky, alluring look of signage matched with splendid architecture and interiors. Besides the vinyl and flex usage, retail designers are experimenting with innovative ACP (Aluminium Composite Panels) in their signage projects.
Advantages of ACP usage:
- Astounding look and feel compared to flex and vinyl
- Easy ACP cladding
However, many clients do not prefer the usage of ACP in their projects due to lack of innovation in ACP sheets and also due to a preconceived notion of the product being pricey. Well, there’s a good news for the signage industry and the retail designing sphere as the innovation with the ACP sheet is at its peak. Aludecor, one of the major ACP manufacturers in India, has always been known as the most innovative ACP brand which keeps introducing new finishes and textures. Some popular finishes are:
- Sand Series ACP
- Rustic Series ACP
- Brushed Series ACP
- 3D or Cortina Series ACP
- SignEx is the special ACP series exclusively designed for corporate signage
ACP can contribute to creating attractive signage – How?
- Digital signage is now possible using ACP sheets.
- LED or video walls can be easily done using ACP sheets.
- Provides a seamless look to the signage with the use of hairline joins.
- Design detailing can be done as ACP sheets can be used as desired.
- Weatherproofing can be easily done using ACP framework.
- Can give a better finish to the signage ensuring its safety.
- Overall, it provides an uber-creative framework maintaining a spectacular glow throughout.
Mr. Hari Prasad BM, Director – Design Development of 4D, a retail designing firm in Bangalore, states, “Of all retail projects we have done, I can say 50-60% have been done with ACP. In case of small stores, we use less ACP, but in case of high street stores ACP usage is 80%. Now, Aludecor has come up with a lot of new innovative finishes. That is the reason why in our recent projects we have finalised textured ACP (SignEx) of Aludecor.”
A mixed bag of considerable experiments has already started in the signage industry. We hope in the near future the signage industry will be further revolutionized through more and more innovative use of ACP.