May 17, 2022 | Articles

Similar to drawing up plans for any well-conceived commercial structure, the design of architectural signage is both a science and an art.

It blends strong engineering that ensures longevity with detailed design that marries form and function. The result is an eye-catching arrangement that embodies the company’s essence and complements the surrounding physical environment, as well.

In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of architectural signage design and share five important planning considerations.

1. It’s built for the long haul.

Many forms of signage such as banners, posters, and point-of-purchase displays are used for temporary purposes, such as to promote an upcoming event or special offer. These signs are easily removable and transportable, and they typically don’t serve as a long-term part of a facility’s design. Conversely, architectural signage is a much more permanent solution, playing a significant role in a building’s functionality and navigability. This includes everything from directional signage for key areas, to wall murals, digital signage, and oversized graphics that are incorporated directly into a physical structure. It goes beyond advertising and becomes part of the decor, not a distraction from it. Because of its permanency, architectural signage should be part of long-term facility planning. Although any sign should be made of quality materials, the strength and longevity of materials become even more critical in architectural signage.

2. Reflect your style.

Facility branding can include a variety of signage elements, such as dimensional lettering,  logos, exhibits, wall graphics, banners, ad panels, landscape architecture, and more. Architectural signage can elevate those branding efforts by reflecting your unique culture, identity, and vibe. For example, if your brand is refined and elegant, you might opt for custom monument signs that are fashioned with marble and showcase an elaborate cursive font. If your vibe is down-to-earth and rustic, sturdy wooden signage with outdoorsy imagery in shades of green and brown may be more fitting.  

3. Endless options are at your disposal.

In the world of custom signage, there’s no shortage of possibilities. You can make your architectural signage stand out in any number of ways. You might choose an attention-getting font, such as one that’s dynamic or unique to your building. You can also incorporate various textures, sizes, and finishes to add depth and interest. And then there are the materials themselves. There are many different materials from which architectural signage can be fashioned, including wood, plastic, metal, and glass, among others.

4. It’s a great way to share your story.

Architectural signage is a powerful medium for telling inspiring stories about your brand. A beautiful donor wall, for example, is the perfect way to highlight the good causes your organization supports while honoring those who contribute. Colorful murals can boost team spirit by highlighting high school or collegiate athletic achievements. Digital displays are also great storytelling formats and can even incorporate interactive elements. In the world of architectural signage, there are many opportunities for translating your story into a compelling visual masterpiece. 

5. What kind of space will it occupy?

If your display will be placed outside, be sure to consider the elements. The last thing you want is beautiful architectural signage that cracks, rusts, or otherwise degrades when exposed to extreme weather conditions. Remember, architectural signage solutions aren’t intended for the short-term. Rather, they are works of art designed to reflect what’s unique and fabulous about your organization.


Don’t leave your architectural signage investment to chance. For 85 years, Adler Display has been creating appealing, ADA-compliant custom architectural signage for hospitals, hotels, educational institutions, corporate offices, and other commercial buildings. Please contact our friendly experts to learn more.About Adler Display: Headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, Adler Display brings more than 80 years of experience to its clients in need of recognition displays, lobby and corporate interiors, custom exhibits, historical timelines, trade show displays, and signage and graphics. For more information about Adler Display, please visit the website at https://www.adlerdisplay.com/orcall 855-552-3537.