Smart products begin with smart design

Since Apple introduced the iPhone, the word SMART has been used liberally as a marketing catch cry. Smart Phones, Smart Watches, Smart Cars and Smart Audio are examples of today’s appetite for products that promise to make our lives easier after making our purchase.

While these products are inanimate objects which are not actually capable of thinking or decision making, they are all results of an investment in creative thinking and good design before they were manufactured.

This principle doesn’t only apply to mass produced consumer goods. Custom manufactured products like signage also benefit greatly from creative, well considered design at the outset of a project.

Choosing a signage company with a reputable design capability will translate into significant benefits over the lifecycle of the product.


With the constant evolution of digital and LED technology, it’s essential to partner with a signage company that has broad exposure to technology advancements locally and overseas.
Resolution, durability, content management and program software are all aspects of digital signage that are moving at a rapid pace and providing continuous improvements to the user experience.

Digital technology is fast becoming a mainstream advertising medium with constant improvements to reliability and procurement costs making this technology more accessible and appealing to end users.

Value Engineering 

It’s no accident that some of Australia’s major corporations have the most cost effective and functional signage on the visual landscape.

These corporations understand that good industrial design and industry knowledge are the keys to realising savings during the manufacture and installation process.

Design consideration at the outset of a project will ensure signage is manufactured and installed more efficiently with lower ongoing maintenance costs.

End users are encouraged to consider using a signage company with proven design credentials and global industry experience to maximise value engineering opportunities and minimise procurement costs.

Life-cycle Design

While technology advancements and value engineering are key drivers in today’s contemporary signage landscape, material selection and manufacturing quality remain the anchors for delivering long term, low maintenance signage.

The adage “you get what you pay for” remains true when it comes to signage materials, particularly when exposed to harsh external environments. End Users should expect their signage specialist to advise on the best brands and product types which offer industry benchmark performance and warranties.

Signage must also be designed in a way that makes it readily accessible for service and maintenance. For example, installing transformers on the rear of a wall rather than within the sign itself may eliminate the need for expensive access equipment to service these components.

While this seems logical, the drive for competitive pricing often means these measures are overlooked in the interests of short-term procurement savings. End Users are encouraged to have this discussion with their signage company at the outset of their project.

Westpac Case Study 

Westpac asked The Blueprint to re-assess their signage program. Our design team recommended their signage suite was rationalised into a kit of standard sized components instead of multiple custom built signs.

This rationalised suite of signs has been adapted across numerous Westpac branches, resulting in well integrated branding at each site. This process also enabled The Blueprint to offer bulk procurement pricing to Westpac, ultimately delivering around 20% saving over their previous procurement practices.

The manufacture processes were also re-designed so the LEDs in the illuminated ‘W’ logos could be easily serviced instead of requiring full logo replacements.

Finally, the red ‘W’ sign faces were changed to pigmented red acrylic instead of vinyl which was formulated to remain on brand by day and night when backlit, with the added benefit of greater durability to external elements.