Successfully Selecting Building Signage

As a New York City hallway and lobby designer, I pay close attention to the signage present within a building, keeping it top of mind throughout the design process—trust me, I have definitely witnessed cases in which signage was clearly an afterthought!

Signage is so critical within a building from both a practical and an aesthetic perspective. In my work focusing on New York City hallways and lobbies, I consider signage to be an essential component of the design process, just as important as carpet, lighting, wall treatments, and the like. After all, the signs hanging in apartment buildings tell us so much. Signs help residents and visitors—and the authorities, in the case of emergencies—navigate their way throughout a building and locate specific stairwells, floors, and units. In the event of a fire, proper signage is critical in directing rescue workers where to go and conveying which doors are accessible and functional.

From a design perspective, signage is its own form of branding with a building. And today, adequate branding is extremely important in a competitive resale marketplace. Factors to consider when selecting signage include the building’s overall color scheme, use of specific metal finishes, and the period of the building (historic, contemporary, et cetera). These factors may influence decisions such as what typeface and motifs should be incorporated into the signage. Elements used on interior and exterior signs can also be woven into staff uniforms, the building’s entryway awning, and the like, in order to solidify a building’s brand.

When it comes to signage within a building, consistency is key. You will want signs to be uniform throughout the interior and exterior of a building, both for aesthetic and branding related reasons. You can always opt for a two-toned option to play off of mixed metals incorporated into a building’s existing design if needed. Not sure what font to select? Picking a typeface can definitely be a fun process! If you need some inspiration, look to the building’s history.  Typefaces that were popular in the early 1920’s are quite different from ones used in the 1950’s and 60’s. Residents and visitors alike will appreciate thoughtful touches and close attention to detail, so don’t hesitate to get a bit creative!

So take it from me: No NYC hallway or lobby is complete without well thought out signage that will shine in these areas and beyond.

Sygrove Interior Design Services

Sygrove Associates Design Group is an NYC interior design company. Our company’s founder Marilyn Sygrove is the lead interior designer on all projects. And she’s as tough as you are when it comes to quality, aesthetics, and coming in on time and on budget.

It all starts with a design consultation with Marilyn. She takes the time to thoroughly understand your design needs then personally directs all interior design, planning, and installation activities. Her work has been delighting clients, co-op and condo boards, and homeowners for over 30 years.

You can reach Marilyn by email at hello@sygrove.com or call her directly at 212.757.0631.

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5 Most Common Hallway Design Mistakes

It’s safe to say that as a professional who designs New York City apartment building hallways, I witness a number of mistakes that need remedying. I wanted to share the TK most common hallway design mistakes below—make sure your building is not guilty of any of these!

1. Lighting

Lighting can so significantly contribute to the mood of a space. I often notice lobbies in which each light fixture has a different color temperature, which is certainly not ideal. If you don’t provide your superintendent or resident manager with a specific lighting temperature, they may simply grab the nearest bulb and call it a day. As a result, you wind up with a very visible mish mash of bulb colors, which leaves a lobby looking chaotic.

2. Plastic Corner Guards

My advice is to avoid clear plastic corner guards at all costs. Why? The clear plastic versions look flimsy, yellow over time, and show damage and wear quite easily. I feel that corner guards should either be custom painted to disappear into the wall covering or should be a metal color that matches the brass or chrome finish used in the hallway. Also, keep height top of mind. When corner guards are short—as in, they do not range from floor to ceiling—they appear out of place.

3. Shoddy Hardware

I cannot tell you how many times New York City cooperative and condominium buildings opt out of upgrading their door hardware, door chimes, and the signage on their unit doors. After implementing a fresh, new hallway design scheme, these elements that are left over from a bygone era will be an eyesore. Do everyone a favor and say goodbye to them once and for all!

4. Not Purchasing Stock Material

Purchasing stock material for future use is always a smart decision when it comes to lobby and hallway design. Unfortunately, some buildings must operate with very tight budgets and don’t purchase additional carpeting, wall coverings, light fixtures, or any of the other materials they just paid to have installed. But, the reality is that there may be times when you will need to replace some of your hallway design elements. And the unfortunate consequence is that often products are either custom to begin with or discontinued over time. It is best to have 10 to 15 percent of additional materials stored away for such occasions, trust me.

5. Not Keeping Track of Paint Colors

It is critical to keep a list of the paint colors used in the lobby and hallway so that when doors need to be repainted over time, your building staff doesn’t have to guess or try to match paint colors. This process is not fun for anyone and simply leads to complications that could have easily been avoided. 

 

It’s always easier to go into a remodel knowing what to avoid, and your condo and coop lobby design will truly shine if you just keep the above five tips top of mind!

Sygrove Interior Design Services

Sygrove Associates Design Group is an NYC interior design company. Our company’s founder Marilyn Sygrove is the lead interior designer on all projects. And she’s as tough as you are when it comes to quality, aesthetics, and coming in on time and on budget.

It all starts with a design consultation with Marilyn. She takes the time to thoroughly understand your design needs then personally directs all interior design, planning, and installation activities. Her work has been delighting clients, co-op and condo boards, and homeowners for over 30 years.

You can reach Marilyn by email at hello@sygrove.com or call her directly at 212.757.0631.

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