With workers spending more and more time in the office, it’s more important than ever to give them a place where they can be not just comfortable, but productive. Let’s face it: no one is doing their best work locked in a dreary cubicle looking at gray carpeted walls. Not to mention you are not exactly wowing your customers with this kind of cookie-cutter office space. So today, let’s look at four areas where you can reinvent your office – and just maybe rejuvenate your business.
Floors Let’s start where many workers do, at the bottom of the proverbial ladder – or in this case, the floor. While some companies are splurging on trendy new flooring materials, they can be costly and not always durable. But that doesn’t mean your only option is ugly industrial carpeting. Why not spruce it up with custom floor graphics? Whether you go with branded elements like your logo or custom messaging or bring the outdoors in with graphics that mimic wood, stone or even grass, let’s give all those employees and visitors shuffling along staring at their feet something to really look at!
Windows The Federation for Small Businesses did a study of 1,000 city workers and found that 22% of workers got less than 20 minutes of sunshine a day. As a result, two-thirds of participants suffered with depression and four out of five blamed their lack of motivation on their sunless working environments. So embrace your windows – yet make them your own. The latest window graphics let as much or as little light in while allowing you to make a statement, from frosted or etched lettering to re-positionable graphics.
Walls Whether you want to inspire employees or customers or drive home your brand message in a big way, temporary, re-positional or permanent custom wall coverings can transform ordinary walls into interior design masterpieces. Generate landscapes, photographs and art that look hand-painted at a fraction of the time and cost, or even create custom wallpaper applied the same way as traditional wallpapers but made from your design of choice. For instance, one national company ordered custom wallpaper for its corporate offices that proudly displays its mission statement via a striking watermark treatment.
Finally, don’t forget about the space overhead. Encourage ergonomic neck stretches by getting your staff and guests to look UP every now and then. Again, ceiling graphics give you the flexibility to create an environment that is aesthetically pleasing and relaxing – or another opportunity to reinforce your brand.
So join Signs By Tomorrow in saying no to fluorescent lights, stark white walls and uninviting break rooms. Isn’t it time we, as employers, reward our employees with a fresh office environment that generates productivity and workplace happiness? Not to mention maybe more business from impressed customers – and that’s a win-win for everyone!
Hey – we’re signage experts, not technology wizards. But like you, we are always looking for the latest technology to make us more productive and less stressed. That’s why today we’ve gathered the latest news on the hottest new apps from the real experts.
Don’t have time to read them all? Skip to the bottom to see our top 5 picks. Enjoy!
Online Lists of Top Business Apps
- 25 Best Small Business Apps for 2012 – PCMag.com
- 10 Brilliant Apps Small Businesses Should Use – Forbes
- 13 Apps for the New Year – Business Insider
- The Best Smartphone Apps for Business – Inc
- 25 Essential Business Apps for iPhone 5 – InfoWorld
- The 50 Best Free iPhone Apps of 2013 – PCMag.com
Our Top 5 Picks
- Brainshark. At first glance, Brainshark is simply an easy way to view PowerPoints on your iPhone or iPad. Dig deeper, though, and it offers tools to create, share, and track mobile presentations. The app also helps you transform static content, such as text-heavy PowerPoints, into voice-enriched video presentations that can be accessed on demand. The app also delivers analytics to measure the effectiveness and reach of your content. Cost: Free
- RingMindMe. How many times have you decided to be polite in a meeting and turned off your ringer? Later, you’re shocked to discover that you’ve been missing important calls and texts for hours on end. RingMindMe will remind you to turn your ringer back on when your meeting or event is over. It also has a snooze feature — they call it an “Extend” button — so you can deal with those meetings that run long. Cost: $1.99
- TextPLUS. Conference via text message with TextPLUS, which enables users to text up to 20 people at once. It’s a fast and cheap way to communicate with employees and colleagues. Cost: Free
- Square. Square is transforming the way we transact by empowering anyone with a smartphone or tablet to easily accept credit card payments. The wildly popular app was founded by the creator of Twitter in 2010. A key app for small businesses that lowers barriers of entry to accept payments. Cost: 2.75% per transaction OR $275/month with no transaction fees.
- Evernote. Evernote helps you stay organized across your various devices, from desktops to smartphones. Evernote lets you take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, and record voice reminders, and it makes all of these things completely searchable. The Web Clipper add-on lets you save anything you see online, including links, text, and video, into Evernote with one click. Cost: Free for basic version; $5/month for the premium version.
April 22, 2013 will mark the 43rd anniversary of the global movement known as Earth Day. Even though most of us alive in 1970 still thought the word “green” referred to a color, there’s no doubt that in 2013 the event sets off an annual maelstrom of attention surrounding all things “green.”
And with the International Code Council recently passing the first ever International Green Construction Code (IGCC) with its implications for signage, it seems an appropriate time to look at what the sign industry is doing to minimize its carbon footprint and protect the environment. So here’s a closer look at some things the sign industry is doing to be more eco-friendly—and that you can check to see if your preferred signage provider is implementing if sustainability is a priority for you.
Best Practices in Sustainable Sign Design and Production:
Life cycle. Although typically not the first thing that comes to mind, this can be one of the simplest ways to reduce environmental impact. The idea is simple: the longer a sign stays in use, the less it adds to the waste cycle. Things that can extend life cycle include choosing durable signage materials as well as using modular and other sign designs that allow components to be updated without replacing the entire sign every time.
Production. Today’s technologies have greatly improved digital printing and image production standards. Image printers with water-based paints and coatings with no harsh chemicals and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) are becoming the norm rather than the exception. Additionally, improved cutting and other signage production techniques maximize material usage and yield less waste.
Installation. Another less-than-obvious way to provide eco-friendly signage is through installation methods. For instance, by choosing mechanical fasteners over adhesives, it can be easier to update signs (see Life Cycle above) while also eliminating VOC’s commonly found in adhesives.
Lighting. While there’s no doubt that signage sometimes needs to be illuminated to be effective, the type of illumination method you choose has a significant impact on the energy used. Solar-powered exterior lighting is the best option, but LED displays are another good option thanks to its vastly improved life span of up to 10 years.
Recycling. It will come as no surprise to anyone that a core tenet of any successful green signage approach is recycling – and fortunately there are many options available. From material take-back programs from leading brands like HP to recycling scrap materials, it’s becoming easier than ever to successfully recycle. And cutting edge closed loop recycling like that offered by flooring supplier Mannington Mills’ LOOP program can now even repurpose unusual materials such as post-use adhesive-backed graphic materials (think balled up, peeled off wraps) to be used as a binding agent in tile flooring materials, as they did after the Vancouver Olympics.
Finally, it’s important to remember that “green” practices that work in other industries may not work in signage. For instance, popular green building materials like bamboo may not meet fire and building codes or work with tactile letters and raised Braille characters to comply with accessibility sign guidelines.
Happy Earth Day!
Whether you are a non-profit trying to raise money or a corporation paying tribute to your top clients, your event should be an extension of your brand.
According to Catherine Kaputa, author of How to Brand Your Meetings & Events, “In the Business World, events are the primary stage on which one performs…how the company performs on the event stage can make or break the corporate brand.”
Throwing a mediocre event will indicate you represent a mediocre brand. Every component of your event including logos/ trademarks, keynote speakers, micro-sites, seminars, custom event signage and goodie bags should be well thought out, exciting and represent the corporate brand.
Create a Sense of Exclusivity
Exclusivity leads to a desire in your attendees to be part of the “in crowd,” changing your event from “want to attend” to “must attend.” It is a common belief that more guests means more revenue; but it is possible to create a sense of exclusivity without sacrificing ticket sales. An elite attendance package and its perceived enhanced value proposition will create an opportunity for your guests to invest more in your event and/or cause, just to be a part of the area behind the velvet ropes.
Show Them a Good Time
During the event, don’t miss an opportunity to cast your brand in a favorable light. Pretend you are attending the event and walk through a guest’s typical path to identify “touch points” along the way where you can engage your guests while reinforcing your brand image. From the obvious opportunities like show entrances and stages to the more traditional such as custom directional signage, table tops and floor graphics, don’t overlook an inch of space when designing your visual communications and signage strategy. Creative uses of common spaces can be one of the best ways to intrigue your guests and drive them to take action.
Keep Them Coming Back for More
Make sure you follow up with any inquiries quickly. There are many resources available to event marketers to keep event attendees engaged from event to event including micro-sites, email marketing and of course, social media marketing.
Integrate social media into your custom event signage and graphics, too – add custom QR codes and include the web address of your brand’s blog, Facebook and Twitter pages. Be sure to post pictures, video and creative messaging to help create excitement for your next event!
Check out our video below for some examples of custom event signage and graphics Signs By Tomorrow produced for our clients: