sign fitting project guide

how to manage a sign installation project successfully

An insider’s guide: how to manage a successful signage project from Motive Graphics

The secret to managing any signage project from start to finish, and ending with success, is by taking the time at the beginning to understand the task in hand, where your responsibilities lie as the project manager and creating a comprehensive sign project plan.

Whilst a sign fitting project guide plan might seem overkill, there are many elements to consider – especially if you are stepping up to the challenge of managing a multi-site signage installation project.

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We appreciate that undertaking a signage project can be daunting – especially if you don’t have prior experience or simply lack the necessary time to add this into your workload.

In these instances, many clients choose the services of the Motive signage team to guide and support them throughout their project and learn from the experts on the job!

We’d encourage you to do the same if you find yourself in these circumstances.


To get the ultimate sign fitting project guide – read on!

What is the purpose of my sign

1. understanding the purpose of the signage

What is your sign intended to convey to those that view it? What will be deemed as making the completed sign installation a success? Is there an existing sign that needs to be replaced? If so, is this due to a redesign or to replace old with new? Will it be a like for like replacement or are there new materials that could be utilised for a better outcome?

The design of your signs may be created by a third party such as a design agency or you may wish your sign supplier to provide the sign design on your behalf. If your sign supplier is to produce the design then ensure they are thoroughly briefed and equipped with branding guidelines, sketches, photographs or examples of similar projects that will help them to interpret your vision.

2. understand who the sign project stakeholders are

First and foremost, ensure it is crystal clear what your role is. Then establish which colleagues form part of your project team and their roles and responsibilities.

Do you know who needs to be part of the approval process and at what stages of your project?

Make sure you have identified who will facilitate the on-site fitting of the sign by your chosen sign suppliers.

Document this and circulate to those involved.

Risk assessment, access for the fitters, the general public, overhead wiring, sub stations, underground services – are all things that need thinking about and a H&S representative will need to be involved in a larger business to help navigate you through these.

Understanding your timescales

3. know the expected project timeframes

What are your key milestones? What is the expectation for the completed installation date of your sign? This is the most obvious project deadline however, there will be lots of other crucial timings that need to be met. Your sign supplier will help you to understand the important dates – especially the time that needs to be allowed onsite for the installation window. In your sign fitting project guide, make a simple timeline with some contingency built in, if possible. Ensure individuals know the time resources that they will need to allocate to the project and when. Get the required input from the relevant people in good time to avoid potential hold ups. Continually measure progress against the plan and adjust accordingly.
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4. know your budget

You may be allocated a budget and even given detailed specifications for your sign(s) but might not be able to ascertain whether or not this is realistic until after the site survey and consultation with your chosen supplier. By providing as much information as possible to your sign supplier (see our briefing guide for help) they will be able to give you the best solutions to your signage requirements at the best possible price.

Your supplier can also make recommendations on varying materials or manufacturing processes in order to provide different cost-effective alternatives.

A rough estimate can be provided in the first instance to help manage expectations of your project costs.

Undertaking a site survey for your signage project

5. undertake a thorough site survey

Once your chosen supplier has been instructed to provide a detailed quotation, they need to fully understand the scope of the project so will usually request to attend the site(s) to assess the exact requirements of the job.

The site audit will take into consideration sign location(s), the surrounding areas, buildings, substrate conditions, accessibility, power supply and vehicle access. Exact measurements will be taken and plenty more images will be taken.

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Legal complications of a signage project

6. know the legal implications

Do you need planning permission from your local authority for your sign to be erected? Or do you require consent from a landlord to install the sign on rented premises or your trading estate? It is crucial that you know this right at the beginning of your project as you may need to wait some time for approval. Ignore this at your peril.

Fitting roadside signs can be a headache, along with illuminated signs in either a residential area or a culturally or environmentally sensitive area.

7. select the best type of sign for the job

Although you might be restricted by costs, work with your sign supplier to get the most out of your sign budget. There are the obvious design considerations such as, if the sign is to be illuminated and how. There are a multitude of materials that signs can be manufactured from and processes that produce very different looking results. Your supplier can help guide you on these or you could use our helpful guide to types of commercial signs.

8. ensure your sign design works with the surroundings

Not all signs work in every surrounding, while having a good design helps, it also is essential to make sure the design of your sign works aesthetically within its surroundings. If you have a rustic log cabin, then sticking a high tech looking sign on it won’t fit with its style. A good sign company will send you a superimposed visual that will, as much as possible, demonstrate how the final sign design will look once it’s installed – allowing you to get an idea of how it will look. This is a valuable document as it is the final step in the approval process and allows for any final tweaks, prior to manufacturing the sign.

get a FREE visual mock up of your new sign

Choose your sign supplier wisely

9. choose your sign supplier wisely

Enough said on this one 😉 Honestly though, it is good practice to check the reputation of any sign company you appoint for your project. Take a look at their TrustPilot and Google Reviews, and check out their social media accounts to see what they are capable of. There are a lot of big and small companies in the UK ranging from the one person set up to franchise companies who are suited to different needs. One person or sole traders can be time poor as it is just them and this can sometimes have a negative affect your timescales on a project, whereas larger companies may not be the most cost-effective for smaller jobs.
Communication on a signage project is key

10. ensure you communicate

How often should each of the stakeholders be informed? Ensure all involved are kept abreast of the project updates. Poor communication can result in misunderstandings which can cost time and money and, at the worst outcome – a rework of the job!

Adhering to the key elements of our sign fitting project guide will help to keep you on track.

If you would like to find out more about the Motive sign project management service, or talk in more detail about your signage project then please contact us.

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Prefer to chat with us? Call 01480 597 444

David Hennessy

David Hennessy

David Hennessy is our Managing Director and co-founder of Motive Graphics, a sign, vehicle graphics and exhibition services business based in Huntingdon and supplying Cambridge, Peterborough and Nationally.

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Great service, from initial contact right through to install of graphics on the van,
Would 100% recommend they guys and girls at Motive.

Matt Riley, Private Chef - Van Graphics


We had the pleasure of working with Motive Graphics for the re-design of our signage throughout our salon and outside. From start to finish they were on the ball, and efficient in their correspondence with us. Nothing was every too much trouble, no matter how many times we tweaked things. Edward was so helpful throughout. We would 100% recommend Motive Graphics. The salon looks amazing, thank you!

Lash and Glo - Signage and Interior Graphics


We've been using Motive for all of our exhibition and display needs. I can't thank them enough for the projects they have delivered, they always go over and above to help us to achieve our goals. They cover everything from concept creation, to sourcing materials, delivery and build. Everything is always delivered to the highest standard, and there is never a problem that can't be solved! A massive THANK YOU.

Essential Cuisine - Exhibition Stand and Events Solution

From a small pizza chain called The pizza room, Dave and his team were extremely and utterly professional and helpful from the day of purchase to receiving the stickers. Seriously couldn't recommend Motive Graphics any more. We will definitely be using them for future projects we have coming up 🙂

The Pizza Room London - Shop Signs


We’d like to say a massive thank you to the legends at Motive Graphics for design and creating a full range of signs in time for our official opening last weekend!   From a rough brief, they created and tweaked proofs to suit our (and the council’s) requirements, and had them made and ready for collection in no time. Thanks again for your help guys!

Paradigm Cycles - Signs and Interior Graphics


The guys have just left after putting up the external signs at the gym and an internal one on the front desk. I week from quote to install with no issues at all. Will 100% be using again on our next batch of internal signage.

Alpha Athletic Gym - Shop Signs

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