Installing hoardings around construction sites is a legal requirement, but it also represents a fantastic opportunity. Not only do hoardings obscure and protect building sites, they are also a blank canvas just waiting to be taken advantage of, with endless creative possibilities for hoarding signage that catches the public’s attention.
For site managers and contractors, missing the chance to utilise construction hoardings as a form of outdoor advertising can represent a loss of potential revenue, brand awareness and community engagement. By displaying impactful graphics and creative concepts, hoarding signage can transform what otherwise might be a dry responsibility (and extra outgoing) for site managers into a compelling medium for marketing.
Building projects inevitably impact the areas in which they are taking place, and while every project manager aims for speed and efficiency, construction is rarely finished overnight. Hoardings are a necessary barrier between the general public and the potentially dangerous activity and equipment of a building site, but when they are left blank, they can be somewhat drab and uninspiring.
On the other hand, by using hoardings to display graphics, contractors can accomplish one or all of these aims:
Advertise their own or other’s businesses
Regulations state that hoardings need to be high enough to ensure they cannot be easily climbed, with most measuring at around 8 feet (or 2.4 metres). No matter how large a building site, this inevitably creates a large amount of blank space which can be used to advertise – whether that’s your own project or company, or other businesses in the surrounding area.
Fulfil corporate social responsibility
Hoarding signage not only represents an advertising opportunity for contractors and site managers, it can be a chance to engage in corporate social responsibility and improve the aesthetics of an area while construction is in progress. This can be particularly useful in cases where there was any local opposition to the project, with hoarding graphics serving as a means to win people over and get them on board.
Some ways in which you can do this include using hoardings to host public art, sharing some of the history of the area, or asking the local community what they’d like to see the space used for.
Give a sneak peek at plans for the finished product
Many site managers and contractors use their hoardings to demonstrate what the finished product will look like, installing concept art in order to create a buzz and get people excited about the work. This can also serve an advertorial purpose, especially for residential projects where units are being sold.
Taking hoarding signage from the ordinary and easily ignored to something that is truly attention-grabbing requires careful consideration and creative thinking. Striving to make the most of the quantities of blank space on offer with hoardings can lead to some truly interesting ideas, and ones not bound by the strict confines of other forms of marketing – making it far more impactful than, for example, an easily-ignored online ad.
But how do you make this happen? Here are some tips for designing and installing awareness-driving hoarding graphics.
Explore the possibilities
To create great hoarding graphics it can be useful to go beyond the most immediate options available to you and really explore the creative potential on offer. There are few other opportunities for companies to promote themselves and their projects over such an extensive space, and the unique medium of hoardings opens up some interesting options for site managers and contractors.
Whether it’s repeating patterns, interactive artwork, clever visual illusions or surprising use of typography, design on a large scale has different rules to that used in flyers or online banner ads, and therefore different possibilities. Taking the time at the concept stage to explore what other brands have achieved and discuss with signmakers both the limitations and potential of modern printmaking can help you make the leap into eye-catching innovation.
Have a cohesive concept
Time pressure and a desire to get something out in the world can mean we don’t spend as much time on the “idea” stage as we should, but it is absolutely vital to have a cohesive concept before moving forward on engaging a signage company. Not only do clear briefs help graphic designers create the best work possible, they also ensure the final product eventually seen by the public makes aesthetic and conceptual sense, and is as appealing as possible.
Use high-quality images
The graphics used in hoarding signage should never be poorly printed, faded, pixelated, peeling or dull. Not only do poor-quality images reflect badly on your brand, they can also make the area look scruffy and unappealing, which can be extremely irritating to residents.
To avoid this eventually, it’s important to engage an experienced and passionate signage company that takes pride in their work, and who understands the environmental pressures that any outdoor advertising is going to be subjected to. Hoarding graphics should look bright and attractive throughout the entire length of the project, and therefore need to be resilient and weatherproof – holding up against wind, rain, sun and snow.
Your choice in images – as well as adhering to branding considerations – should also be mindful of the context in which they will be exhibited. Graphics that may appear fun and engaging in a modern shopping complex could look garish and brash in a quaint village setting, while something sombre and tasteful that works perfectly in a historic city district could get entirely lost in the visual noise of a busy town centre.
Include key information
Hoarding graphics don’t only need to make an impact, they also need to provide people with the information they need to take actionable next steps and find out more. Including websites, social media and contact information is key to turning brand awareness into potentially lucrative leads, and this information needs to be a bold and noticeable part of the overall design.
Installing hoarding signage isn’t something construction companies and project managers have to do, but as the hoardings themselves are a legal requirement, neglecting their potential to convert sales and deliver return on investment is a missed opportunity. By capturing the public’s imagination with inventive hoarding graphics, you can help to drive your project and brand to greater success.Back to News
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A pleasure to work with Links again on such a poignant programme. Delivering amazing high quality. Very much looking forward to working together again in the future.Robert Varney – Engagement Officer (North) & TfL Charities Scheme Manager
Links Signs took on the challenge to provide the awards for the first Transport for London Supplier Awards. Using products and materials that are supplied to TfL for our station signage, Links created very impressive plaques for our winners and runners up. Throughout the production process Links kept TfL up to date with images, delivery schedule and were always on hand to clarify any queries. We look forward to working with them again next year.Amanda Green – Transport for London
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