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Fixtures and Fittings

Perhaps the unsung heroes of signage applications, Rob Fletcher explores the different types of fixtures and fittings and analyses how best to go about selecting the right products for the job

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Finding the right fit

An integral part of all types of signage applications, the importance of fixtures and fittings, and ensuring you select the correct products for the job, cannot be overstated. Simply put, if you get this wrong, you are putting the integrity of the entire installation at risk.

Whether you are installing small point-of-sale signage on shelves across a supermarket, or gigantic sign lettering on the side of a skyscraper, there are fixtures and fittings to meet the needs of all signage projects.

Here, we take a closer look at some of the products available to the market and speak with experts about how best to go about selecting the right solutions for individual signage jobs.

Avoiding disaster

Back in February a string of storms saw winds reach between 80-100mph in some areas of the UK. With this came a number of issues such as fallen trees, flying debris, and lorries being turned over.

As well as this, a number of signs were damaged including an entire Co-op sign which was blown off the store front and onto the pavement in Plymouth. A Londis sign in North Devon and two Go Outdoors signs in Stockport were also blown off the buildings they were fixed onto.

Speaking to SignLink’s David Osgar at the time, The Sussex Sign Company managing director Norman Mayhew, said: “I think what’s important is keeping your signs maintained. The most crucial thing about sign stability is you get them checked at least annually to make sure fixings and fittings are all safe.

“Deterioration works over a long period of time so if you suddenly get a big gust of wind, then a rotten fascia or wooden substrate can quite easily come apart. It’s all about good annual maintenance to make damage far less likely to happen.”

An organisation that is well positioned to offer guidance and advice to sign-makers seeking assistance with fixtures and fittings is UK industry trade body ISA-UK.

Sam Armstrong, president of the Association and founder and managing director of signage consultancy Make it Happen, says: “I think a big thing is things that are going horribly wrong. I think that needs to be flagged up and it’s becoming more flagged up to us. For example, flex faces or signage that’s falling off buildings. It’s buildings with cladding and people aren’t understanding the cladding they’re drilling into, and that’s really very dangerous. I think sometimes stuff that might be obvious to someone is not obvious to others.”

Chief executive of ISA-UK Craig Brown says fixtures and fittings could easily be regarded as the most important part of a good quality sign, explaining that they can be the difference between a sign staying in situation or creating a potential disaster.

ISA-UK chief executive Craig Brown says fixtures and fittings could be regarded as the most important part of a good quality sign


“It doesn’t matter how good the sign or brand is, if it fails and causes damage as it comes away from the building the implications of that failure don’t bear thinking about,” Brown says, adding: “Surveying a site before the sign goes up and understanding what it is being fitted on to or into will be the driving factor in deciding what types of fittings are used, along with the weight and potential wind loading the sign is subject to in the location it is being
fitted.

It doesn’t matter how good the sign or brand is, if it fails and causes damage as it comes away from the building the implications of that failure don’t bear thinking about


“Many of the manufactuers of the fittings also provide good quality information on the use of their fittings and how they should be used.”

As to how the ISA-UK can help, Brown explains that the organisation has a comprehensive list of guidelines available on the members area of its website. The body has also shared articles via social media highlighting the importance of using the correct fixings along with examples from some of its supply partners.

The ISA-UK also recently created a best practice guide to assist its members. This guide, with pictorial examples and descriptions, is in its first edition and will continue to evolve and encompass more of the most important knowledge set as the organisation gets feedback and input from the sign trade.