Brighton & Hove Wayfinding SchemeAndy Thorne
In 2013 Design, Print and Sign approached us looking for an alternative solution to the wayfinding monoliths and miniliths fitted throughout the city of Brighton and Hove.
The signs they had were constructed of thick stainless steel components and vitreous enamelled panels. Very well engineered but with a price to match. They were also finding that where the vitreous enamelled panels were being struck by pebbles from the beach (or just vandalised) the enamel finish was being chipped exposing the raw steel beneath. In the sea air this steel was then rusting, first in the initial chipped area, then penetrating further under the enamel causing it to blister and blow.
With 25 years of sign systems and metal fabrications under our belt (at that time) we began looking at different materials and construction to give a very similar looking sign, at a much lower cost and without the problems previously mentioned with the vitreous enamelled panels.
Starting with the internal frame we chose to use one of our own aluminium extrusions (framebuild) which is designed for this exact use.
Knowing many of these would be sited on the unforgiving south coast seafront these were further reinforced with rubber powder encapsulated steel to strengthen at the point of fixing into the ground.
A bespoke extrusion was then designed to fit to this inner frame and also allow the fitting of the face panels as well as flush fitting side panels. Once we had the die made to our specification and the aluminium extruded to the most economical length it was then silver anodised to AA25 to give it the best protection for external use.
Face panels were made from 3mm aluminium in sections to suit a header panel, middle map panel and footer panel with our own tongue and groove extrusion on the panel joints to ensure the faces remain in planar.
Given the location of some of these signs, all panels were further fitted with 19mm marine ply to the rear to minimise the impact from vandals. With these panels designed to simply slide in from the top this also gave the advantage over the previous signs of making the panels easily replaceable if damaged, requiring an update or just changing for one off events. We supplied the panels to Design, Print and Sign in a painted finish (with a graduated finish on the bottom panel) upon which they screen printed the necessary text, map panel, logo etc and then had a further 2 coats of clear lacquer applied to both protect the screen printing but also to give a depth of finish close to the that of the enamelled panels.
The signs were finished with grade 316 marine grade stainless steel side trims, top cap, kick plate as well as floor plate with engraved disc which could be orientated to face north.
Since 2013 we have now supplied well over 50 of these signs as well as fingerpost signs too.
Tel 01903 750333