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Directional Signs

Acrylic Wayfinding Signs Help Students Navigate at the University of Portland

By | Blade Signs, Directional Signs, Wayfinding Signs

Have you ever walked down a hallway? It would be pretty weird if you haven’t. Hallways are a necessary pathway of modern existence. Most of the time, when we enter a new facility, hallways can be confusing because we don’t know where to go. To make matters worse, some bozo thought it would be a good idea to make flush-mounted signs the most popular hallway signage option. This forces you to stop and read every sign as you continue your search down the corridor.

The University of Portland wanted to improve their students’ hallway experiences, so they contacted Specialty Graphic Solutions for blade directional signs for universities in Portland, OR.

“I’ve Heard of Portland, but the University of Portland?”

Portland is home to a number of institutions devoted to higher education. Among these is the aptly-named University of Portland (UP), a private Roman Catholic university founded in 1901 and affiliated with the Congregation of Holy Cross. The College of Arts & Sciences (CAS), who we were working with, has been around since the school’s founding. It’s home to the largest number of students enrolled at UP with more than 1600 students engaged in 27 degree programs within 20 departments and programs of study.

When such a respected institution came to us for acrylic wayfinding signs for universities in Portland, OR, we let them know that we’d give it the ol’ college try. Mainly located in Buckley Center on North Willamette Boulevard in Portland, CAS wanted to spruce up some of their common areas with helpful signage. We had just the solution.

What We Came up with for UP

We started the project off right by talking with the advising staff for CAS about their signage needs. They wanted markers installed above the Dean’s Suite and the Advising Suite to help students find the resources they needed. We suggested blade signs since they run perpendicular to the wall and are easy to see from far away, unlike flush-mounted signs. UP liked the cut of our jib, and once they approved the design we created for them, we got down to work.

Our Mighty Sign Makers incorporated the iconic lampposts located throughout this North Portland campus into the design of the signage. The markers consisted of three layers of acrylic. First, the main center panel featured full-color digital print on both sides. Then, two smaller 3/16” panels were custom routed so the “CAS” is cut out of the acrylic for a recessed look. We also added a diagonal cut on the bottom to tie in with the shape of the boulevard banners on campus.

We then mounted the signs to the wall with matte silver barrels that give the sign a clean, modern look. In the end, UP loved their new markers. They didn’t offer us an honorary degree or anything, but they were satisfied nonetheless, and that’s good enough for us.

If you’re interested in improving the wayfinding experience of visitors to your facility, consider contacting the mighty sign makers at SGS today for a free consultation on blade signs.



Questions? Drop us a line at hello@SGSgraphic.com or call us at (360) 635-5556 and unless we’re up to our elbows in alligators, a live person will answer. If you leave a message we will call you back pronto.

Two Tier Lobby Directory Sign in Vancouver Stands Out for Markee Valuations!

By | Directional Signs, Directory Signs, Lobby Signs

Have you ever had an appointment in a multi-tenant building that had no system for identifying each suite? Did you end up having to open every door in the building to ask, “Are you the one I’m looking for?” Conversely, is your enterprise located in a building where strangers are constantly walking in, interrupting your meetings, and asking, “Are you the one I’m looking for?”

Markee Valuations wanted to remove the possibility for this level of confusion in their facility, so they contacted Specialty Graphic Solutions for office directory signs in Vancouver, WA.

Markee Valuations and the Funky Bunch

No, Markee Valuations isn’t part of a 90s hip-hop group. They are the brainchild of Laure Markee, a business appraiser and financial damages expert. From their location on West 12th Street in downtown Vancouver, they offer a plethora of valuable services to area businesses. Basically, they help companies figure out how much they’re worth.

When an organization that does so much for the business community came to us for two-tier lobby directory signs in Vancouver, WA, we couldn’t wait to help out. This wasn’t our first time working with Markee. Last year, we refurbished a pole sign for them. This project was a bit different. Markee owns their building, but it’s kind of big for their needs, so they lease out unused space to other tenants. They needed a marker with an upscale look but that would be relatively easy to change as tenants moved in and out. We had just the solution.

How We Helped Markee

Designing the new sign was the first step. For this, Markee worked with their favorite design firm, Reed Creative. As luck would have it, they are one of our favorite design firms as well! We worked directly with Lori Reed by giving her some ideas on materials and mounting hardware so she could better visualize a design for the perfect marker for Markee Valuations.

Once we had a design that all parties were happy with, we began fabricating the sign. The two-tier system consisted of a back panel of 3/16” thick black acrylic with a brushed copper laminate metal face. The six front panels were made of 1/8” thick clear acrylic. Black brass standoff mounting hardware was utilized to set the back panel away from the wall and to set the clear panels another 1/2” off from the copper faced backer.

With this system, tenant updates will be simple. SGS just unscrews the standoff caps on each side of the panel that needs to be changed and removes the panel from the sign. Next, we remove the black cut vinyl graphics and add new vinyl lettering for the new tenant. Lastly, we pop it back into place on the sign. Easy peasy!

In the end, Markee Valuations was completely satisfied with their convenient new lobby sign.

If you’d like to class up your joint a bit, contact the mighty sign makers at SGS today for a free quote on custom lobby signs.



Questions? Drop us a line at hello@SGSgraphic.com or call us at (360) 635-5556 and unless we’re up to our elbows in alligators, a live person will answer. If you leave a message we will call you back pronto.

People Have to Park, So Why Not Direct Them with Signs?

By | Directional Signs, Parking Signs

Hilariously terrible parking jobs are enjoyable to gawk at, but they can be quite angering if you happen to be looking for a parking spot or want to access a building. For instance, cars parked on sidewalks can make it hard for wheelchair-bound visitors to get around. Or, a truck in a fire lane could make it difficult for emergency personnel to get into your venue quickly.

You could hire a person to direct traffic in your parking lot. Or, you could write passive aggressive notes and place them on all of the vehicles that haven’t parked according to some unwritten guidelines. However, we thinking the easiest solution is to just call in the mighty sign makers at Specialty Graphic Solutions for parking signs in Vancouver, WA.

You Gotta Have Proper Signage

Clients and other guests may not have the best opinion of your organization if they can’t find parking or have trouble making their way around your campus. In fact, the spots you have reserved for customers can have a direct impact on your business’s earnings. If there’s no parking, shoppers may look elsewhere. No one wants to spend their day driving around a parking lot looking for a spot.

On the other hand, you can set yourself apart from your competitors with custom parking lot signs featuring your full-color logo, company name, and other branding. If you want to be really clever, you can even set up a series of “More Parking This Way” signs leading from your competitor’s parking lot to your own. If anyone asks, though, you didn’t hear about this hack from us.

Keep It Legal

Your parking area must be accessible for people of all abilities according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This is where ADA signs come in handy. They’re typically required for directing visitors to ADA accessible entrances. Plus, you can point out the spots reserved for handicapped parking. Additionally, who doesn’t appreciate clearly-labelled, professional signage that leads the way to restrooms, assistance, entrances, and information?

Other Parking Lot Options

Listen, you look like a good, honest person. We’ll let you know about some of the parking lot signs you might consider:

Fire Lane Signs – With fire lane and no parking signs, you can keep areas clear for rescue workers. This could save your life someday.

Worker, Visitor, and General Parking – If you run a retail store, you want your customers to have the best parking. Signs can make it easy for people of all stars and stripes to know where to park.

Loading Dock and Delivery Signs – You probably don’t want a giant semi blocking your building and clogging up your parking lot. Tell delivery drivers where to go with the appropriate markers.

Small Directional Signs – A couple words and an arrow on a small sign is about all you need to help people get around your property more smoothly.

If you’re still having trouble determining what parking and directional signs for Vancouver, WA businesses are best for your purposes, we can help you out! For a free consultation, contact us or visit us in person. We have plenty of well-marked parking!



Questions? Drop us a line at hello@SGSgraphic.com or call us at (360) 635-5556 and unless we’re up to our elbows in alligators, a live person will answer. If you leave a message we will call you back pronto.

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