Start-up sparkles school signs

Darryl Danielli
Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Online wide-format start-up Signs Base has completed a project to revamp the signage across 16 schools.

Before and after of one of the signs
Before and after of one of the signs

The deal came about from an initial enquiry on Signs Base’s website from the Epping Forest School’s Partnership Trust, which was looking to freshen up the main signage at its 16 schools.

The project involved more than 50 shaped signs designed by Silvery Fox Design, all of which required a site visit with the bespoke designs subsequently approved by each individual school.

“The flexibility of Signs Base when working with 16 schools was great. The survey and installation dates were both changed at short notice and they were very accommodating, the service was excellent,” said Karen Salmons, Epping Forest School Partnership Trust chief financial officer who led the project.

Signs Base director Lukasz Surma added: “This wasn’t the first external signage project we have done for schools, but it was definitely the first that involved various installation sites and product variations.

“Every single head teacher had to approve it individually.”

To deliver the project on time and on budget earlier this month, on some days the Signs Base team completed six-plus installations per day, which Surma said was “a bit tricky logistically, but in the end we met our deadline as planned”.

Signs Base was formed last summer by seasoned signage designer Surma and businessman Imran Khan, as an evolution of online signage marketplace Signs Market, which launched in 2017.

“We literally started the business in the middle of the pandemic, but we just decided to go for it and got everything sorted,” said Surma.

The new business specialises in signs, window graphics, banners and the ubiquitous Covid signage for all types of businesses. However, its online storefront also offers a wide range of marketing material from flyers, brochures, letterheads and business cards to clothing and promotional merchandise.

It also expanded its signage range earlier this year to include illuminated LED signs, 3D letters and external, modular panel systems.

According to Surma, while it offers a UK wide service, the majority of its work is for businesses across Berkshire, Essex and Greater London.

All design work is carried out inhouse, with production undertaken at either its new facility in Slough, which opened earlier this year and runs a range of kit including a 1.6m wide Mimaki UCJV300, an Easymount mounter and CNC cutter, or through one of its production partners.

According to Surma the four-staff business is planning to add a flatbed printer and possibly move to a bigger premises later in the year to keep up with demand.

“And I think then we will look at hiring more staff, because things so far are going pretty well.”

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