The best architectural sign manufacturers combine equal parts art and science to create a superb product. The science comes from good production practices, tight engineering specs, attention to detail, knowledge of codes and specifications, innovation and the use of the right tool at the right time. The “art” is less well defined relying more on intuition, experience and finesse.
After twenty years of working in an architectural sign company craftspeople will tell you that it’s almost as if the wood, metal and plastic materials they work with on a daily basis speak to them. These artisans understand the intricacies of fine hand sanding or the application of a smooth lacquer finish. They know how to paint the edges of an intricate logo with a thin brush or apply just the right amount of torque to tighten a lag bolt securely. When they run their hands over a product they sense rough edges, seamless joints and smooth coats of paint and know immediately if the product is well made. In their mind’s eye they can envision the jig-saw puzzle assembly of all the disparate pieces and know empirically what the final product will look like. Their sense of smell helps them diagnose problems with paints, finishes and stains, often before the first coat has even dried. And by listening to the subtle creaks, groans and bends of the materials, craftspeople know how to tweak the product to make it beautiful and long lasting.
Art and science are the yin and yang of production. In the right hands this powerful combination of forces can be harnessed to create outstanding signage products.