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Fixtures and Fittings

Behind each great piece of signage are a host of fixtures and fittings holding it in place. Rob Fletcher takes a closer look at the nuts and bolts of the industry

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Fixtures and fittings are just as important

Fitting the bill 

Fixtures and fittings are the unsung heroes of the signage and wide-format print markets, playing a vital role in all applications and projects, but largely going unseen or unnoticed as consumers’ attention is drawn to the piece that these versatile solutions are holding in place.

Be it a series of framed film posters adorning the walls of a cinema corridor, a large printed billboard standing tall at the side of the road, or even a gigantic building wrap transforming the look of a city skyscraper, fixtures and fittings play a vital role in the success in all sorts of signage projects.

With this in mind, we take a closer look at the selection process for fixtures and fittings, and how you can ensure you are working with the right materials, and also examine some of the latest solutions available to the signage and wide-format print markets.

Sensible investment

ISA-UK, one of the leading trade associations for the UK signage industry, offers plenty of advice when it comes to installing signage safely by using the right fixtures and fittings during the project. Director David Catanach says it is vital that sign-makers and installers meet the standards required when using fixtures and fittings that are carrying a load, in order to ensure the safety of signage projects.

“This will mean forgoing the ‘cheap as chips’ products as it will be your responsibility to ensure that any fixtures and fittings are safe and not a potential danger to the public,” Catanach says, adding: “For non-load bearing requirements, it will be a case of you get what you pay for. Aesthetics along with longevity will play a major part – and the best always comes at a cost for a reason.”

Catanach goes on to point out the dangers of under-investing with fixtures and fittings in sign-making and installation, explaining that by not committing enough spend to these solutions, the sign-maker is not being responsible with their work and could potentially be putting peoples’ lives at risk.

ISA-UK director David Catanach says under-investing in fixtures and fittings is another example of a sign-maker not taking their responsibilities seriously enough

“Under-investing, like cutting corners and sharpening that pencil on materials, is just another description of a sign-maker not taking their responsibilities seriously enough,” he says, adding: “Signs falling off from walls, a shop front or a structure can and have killed.

“There is no excuse for not using the correct fixtures and fittings and ignorance is not a defence and neither is ‘my client wouldn’t pay for it’. If the client is insisting on the cheapest route, then it may well be better to either educate them in the true value of your product and services or simply walk away.

There is no excuse for not using the correct fixtures and fittings and ignorance is not a defence and neither is ‘my client wouldn’t pay for it’

“Successful sign companies who understand and follow this guidance tend to get more lucrative jobs on the back of their work ethic and product quality rather than the business that couldn’t care less and is selfish enough to think that the rules don’t apply to them.”

In terms of how ISA-UK can help, the organisation publishes its Best Practice Guide that offers a range of advice and guidance on how to install signage and related applications both safely and responsibly, while the organisation also alerts members and their customers to the pitfalls of non-compliance with standards and regulations.

“Our Technical Committee members are always on hand with advice for our members in addition to our regular updates,” Catanach adds.

Versatile solutions

Having established how you should go about selecting your fixtures and fittings, the next step is looking at the many different options available to the market. Employee-owned business Gripple recently announced the launch of a new product that it says is suitable for use in a wide range of signage applications.

Gripple InvisiGrip offers a visually discreet and easy install solution for the suspension of lightweight applications such as retail signage, decorative displays, acoustic elements and signage, with Gripple describing it as the perfect choice for instances where aesthetics are important.