The most important sign we manufacture for our customers is the one that defines their individual or corporate identity. In its simplest form, that sign is a nameplate and by extension, on a corporate level, it’s the company logo. Why are those signs more important then other types of signage? There are no codes that require every employee be given a nameplate; a nameplate will not help you to locate an evacuation route out of a building in case of a fire emergency nor does it denote important areas like electrical closets, restrooms or areas of refuge. Yet, a simple spelling mistake or a failure to meet the promised delivery of a company logo provokes the ire of the customer.
We were contracted by one of our larger customers to relocate a few dozen employee nameplates from one location to another as part of a corporate re-stacking. Within a few minutes of beginning the removal process we were surrounded by employees and managers all observing us and murmuring amongst themselves whether removal of their names meant they would no longer have a job. They were uneasy and concerned; their tension was almost palpable. The presence of a nameplate was construed as tangible evidence that the corporation felt they were important, that their job was secure, that the office or cubicle which they had marked and personalized as their territory still belonged to them. Conversely nameplate removal signified banishment from the corporation, reassignment or uprooting of the employee from his or her space. Similarly a company logo defines a territory, a presence, a floor, area, building, vehicle, property or establishment that proclaims corporate ownership and defines brand identity. “This is my company” and “this is my office” — nothing holds greater importance for employees and management.