Sign Concept Creation

You create it, Merson will build it. Of course, there’s much more to it than that; Merson’s skill lies in taking a 2D brand and turning into a 3D mark, an emblem, a beacon for a business.

This needs an understanding of materials and the knowledge to explore the art of the possible. Knowing how to add lighting for best effect to enhance, not detract from, the brand is vital too. All of this is done in Merson’s co-creation process with the clients in-house or third-party creatives. Virtual reality (or VR) is one of the many tools used to let clients experience the proposals and variations Merson will create. No other process short of physical samples can match this and it comes without the time and cost associated with these.

Many of the UK’s and even the globe’s best-known brands have entrusted the sign concept creation process to Merson. With them, your brand is in safe hands.

Sign Concept Development

This comes after the concept creation process once an overarching design language has been established. Merson’s job then becomes one of refining the design by exploring subtly different versions with the client and you’re their creatives, in order to arrive at the optimal iteration of their 3D signage. 

The tools Merson use to develop the concepts with their clients include material sampling, additive printing, creating mock-up sections, dynamic 3D renderings and even virtual reality – an unrivalled way to experience and understand the new family of signs quickly and cost-effectively before anything physical is created. 

The concepts need to be developed as a cohesive group or ‘family’ and need to be understood in the context the environment will ultimately work in. VR and other realisation and demonstration tools enable Merson to do that for their clients.   

Sign Concept Engineering

Working with creatives on sign concept creation and development is one thing; turning these ideas into commercially viable, robust, safe signage products is another. 

Taking wireframe models typically created in Solidworks ™ as a starting point, each signage product is thoroughly engineered, exploring the best production method available for required volume to give the appropriate balance between cost and quality, while maintaining the essence and key properties of the sign concept. 

For larger signs and critical connections and interfaces, Merson’s structural engineers will ensure everything is designed to perform safely taking all critical factors into account in their calculations. 

Virtual Reality Design & Development

As a digitally savvy and tech-enabled business, Merson’s design team has all the latest tools at its disposal. In the 80 years Merson has been the leader in sign making, VR is one of the most important innovations to date.

Before VR, ideas for signs had to be drawn, rendered in 3D but then always made as prototypes for clients to properly assess each concept as it would be experienced by their customers. Prototyping multiple options is not only expensive, but it also takes time, time which is often in short supply these days when clients want to move quickly to adapt to changing markets or have demanding project delivery timescales to hit.

What intelligent use of VR does is allow the exploration of multiple concepts more quickly and cost effectively than in the physical world. Once VR has found your preferred options, these can be prototyped matching precisely what you experienced in the virtual world.

Artwork & Pre-press

Whatever type of artwork your project needs, whatever format or resolution is required and whatever application it needs to be created in, Merson can create it. 

Art working and pre-press is an enabling service to get from design approval to delivery, and as such it needs to happen quickly and accurately. Merson’s use of collaboration and sharing platforms, such as MS SharePoint or external services such as Dropbox and WeTransfer, ensure they can share, update and manage revision control of client artwork files. 

Prototyping

Scale, reflection, lighting, materiality – these are all things that need physical protypes to assess properly. Merson take it as far as they can in VR and other mediums to save time and money, then the Prototyping Department at the Concept Centre in Basildon take over. 

Most of the prototypes are actually first-off production versions, with many of the design decisions already made in the virtual world supported by material samples. However, final sign-off of a physical prototype is still a vital stage, and Merson’s Concept Centre is the ideal venue for clients and their brand and creative teams to view these.  

Large or small, lit or non-lit, in daylight or conditions simulating night-time viewing, clients can accurately and comfortably assess signs made real for the first time, with the added benefit of these being out of the public domain until they are ready to reveal them. 

 

Black Seal

Merson use this term to describe the sign asset drawing libraries created for clients. Merson believe brands should own and have full control of their own signage assets. Unless they have fully engineered and specified design drawings clients don’t have this control, making it difficult for them to benchmark offers from different suppliers. 

The reason Merson has so many long-term clients is their willingness to create and share this information and if clients pay for it, they own it. Merson don’t want customers to be loyal because they are holding client design information to ransom making it difficult for them to go to market. Merson want to build long lasting relationships because they are open, honest, dedicated, and have earned the right to be a long-term supplier. 

Merson’s use of SharePoint for file-sharing and collaborative working provides a secure home for Black Seal drawings, making access, updating and revision control easy. 

To find out more about Black Seal, contact: design@mersongroup.com 

 

3D scanning for survey data capture

Merson digitise the process right from the outset as this creates the greatest consistency and flexibility. Once we’ve captured the data digitally, it stays that way, driving accuracy and efficiency. Being digitally savvy is about taking out cost and creating value. 3D scanning and other digital forms of digital data capture get everything off on the right foot and enable Merson to build the 3D models which let clients experience signage in the virtual world. 

 

 

On-site surveys – qualified for restricted environments

Merson surveyors and installers are qualified to work in all the restricted environments they encounter. The principal areas are the financial sector, such as retail bank branches, the airport sector, where security and health & safety have sector specific requirements, and rail (both overground and underground) where there are especially rigorous health & safety regulations relating to the specific risks of working in close proximity to the tracks. 

Merson surveyors carry out the data capture to an agreed brief and scope, sharing this to their MS OneDrive for use on customer projects. Just like Black Seal, if clients pay for it, they own it and Merson ensure they have full access to, and copies of the digital data. 

 

 

3D Technical Design

Signage concept design

Sign Specifications & guidelines

Structural engineering

Wayfinding Design

Digital print artworking

Site scoping & Design Documents

Digital signage design