How can museums encourage social distancing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Social distancing signs museums

As museums and heritage sites begin to open in the next few weeks, they’ll be keen to ensure both employees and visitors support social distancing measures as well as promote hygiene. The trick will be to protect against the further spread of coronavirus, while ensuring all visits are a fun and enjoyable experience. 

Being COVID-secure will include minimising face-to-face contact by selling pre-booked tickets, spaced queues and designated entry and exit points. Screens and sanitation stations will also protect staff and visitors at information points as well as in museum shops and refreshment areas. 

We already work with museums and heritage sites to provide wayfinding signage and our experts have a good understanding of the needs of visitors and staff in sometimes complex buildings. Points of focus will be: safe entry and exit, social distancing around exhibits, maintaining one-way flow, limiting numbers of people in lifts and keeping refreshment areas safe. 

If you’re not sure where to get started, you can find out more about our services on our dedicated social distancing and signage for museums website page. We’ve also created a brochure for museums with some simple options. However, we are able to create any design, size or format to meet the needs of your museum’s brand.

Here are some signage and graphics options you may need to consider:

  • Social distancing floor graphics, posters and wall graphics
  • Perspex shields for ticket offices
  • Barriers
  • Clear one-way directional signage
  • Signs for closed off areas
  • Lift notices
  • Hand sanitising stations
  • Museum cafe and shop signage
  • Internal and external signage about COVID-19 and safety
  • Bespoke signage requirements.
If you’d like to find out more, please visit our social distancing graphics and signage for museums page, call us on 01252 336 000 or email [email protected]

How can schools encourage social distancing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Social distancing signage and graphics for schools

As schools tentatively look to return to face-to-face teaching for some school years, headteachers will be keen to ensure their school supports social distancing and promotes cleanliness to protect pupils and teachers from the spread of coronavirus.

We already work with schools, colleges and universities and we’ve been in regular conversation with them about signage and graphics requirements. Points of concern include: ensuring safe drop-off and pick-up for parents and children, social distancing in classrooms, limiting access to library books, maintaining one-way traffic in corridors and staircases, protecting reception staff, and making breaks and lunchtimes safe. 

If you’re not sure where to get started, you can find out more about our services on our dedicated social distancing and signage for schools website page. We’ve also created a brochure for schools with some simple and child-friendly options. However, we are able to create any design, size or format to meet the needs of your school or to match your school colours.

Here are some signage and graphics options you may need to consider:

  • Signage to encourage safe drop-off and pick-up
  • Social distancing floor graphics
  • Posters to encourage social distancing and cleanliness
  • Social distancing wall graphics
  • Warning floor tape or directional arrows
  • Directional signage for stairs and corridors
  • Canteen signage
  • School library signage 
  • Hand sanitiser stations
  • Perspex shields for school reception
  • Internal and external signage about COVID-19 and safety
  • Bespoke signage requirements.
If you’d like to find out more, please visit our social distancing graphics and signage for schools page, call us on 01252 336 000 or email [email protected]

Social distancing graphics and signage to protect employees and customers from COVID-19

The Government looks set to recommend floor signage, one-way flow routes and desk screens in the workplace to support social distancing when the lockdown starts to be relaxed. 

We’re already working with property clients and public facilities to supply on-site social distancing graphics and signage. Social distancing for marketing suites will be another important area of focus as the property market starts to open up again. We’re reviewing requirements, such as: social distancing signage, directional and queuing signage, perspex screens, furniture and adaptations to layout, and installing hand sanitiser stations inside and out.   

Our team is supporting clients with standard and branded social distancing graphics and signage, including:

  • Social distancing floor graphics
  • Social distancing posters
  • Social distancing wall graphics
  • Perspex shields
  • Building site social distancing signage
  • Directional signage
  • Internal and external signage about COVID-19 and safety
  • Marketing suite social distancing graphics
  • Bespoke signage requirements.

If you’d like to find out more, please visit our Social Distancing Graphics page, call us on 01252 336 000 or email [email protected]

Signage and hoarding maintenance: how to care for your brand during lockdown

What happens if your hoarding, signage or flags have been damaged in some way and you just haven’t seen them?

As part of our regular work, we ensure that clients’ signage is always in tip-top shape and looking great – not just when we install, but over the long-term too. Even if your site or new development is currently closed, people out taking their daily exercise or shopping and key workers, will still be seeing your brand every day so it’s important to maintain the quality of your marketing. 

Site hoarding is most at risk of damage due to its positioning between a building site and sometimes busy roads. Other signage like banners and flags, which have a three-month life-cycle, can also be subject to wear and tear, weather damage, or vandalism.

To help our clients, we’re offering a ‘check and correct’ maintenance service. We’ll assess the condition of your hoarding and signage from the roadside and provide photographs for you. If needed, we can then quote for cleaning, repair or replacement, which will be carried out within social distancing guidelines.

If you’d like to find out more, please get in touch with James Herbst on 07471 227 980 or Ed Hayden on 07471 518028 or email [email protected]

Competition: win some delicious chocolate!

We all know chocolate can bring happiness so we thought, with everything that’s going on right now, it’s time to sprinkle some positivity this Easter.

We’re giving away £40 worth of delicious chocolate from Hotel Chocolat to the winner of our prize draw and Hotel Chocolat vouchers worth £10 each to two runners-up. We’ve hidden a selection of Easter images on the Reade Signs website

All you have to do is count up how many of each character you can find and email [email protected] to let us know what you found e.g. three bunnies, two eggs and one chick! 

All entries need to be submitted by email before 5pm on Thursday 30th April. Winners will be chosen randomly from all the correct answers. 

There are three different characters to be found across our website, an example of each is below (these don’t count in the final total).

Happy Easter and good luck!

Terms and Conditions:
The winners will be randomly selected from all the entries and notified the week after the closing date. Reade Signs will contact you directly if you have won and will publicly announce the winner on the same date. The prizes will be sent to the winner via post after the winners have been announced.

Only one entry per individual. If you submit multiple entries, only your first entry will be considered. Prizes are non-transferrable and there is no cash alternative.

Reade Signs will treat your contact details with utmost care and will never share it with third parties. If you enter this competition, you will be notified by email of the winning entry. Any data you provide when entering this competition will not be kept.

Submitting an entry constitutes your full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these terms and conditions, which shall be final and binding on all matters relating to the competition.

The competition is open to UK residents only.

Staying safe

Back in 1980 when Andy Reade founded Reade Signs, there wasn’t much in the way of health and safety. It’s something that’s hard to imagine today, particularly in the current climate of social distancing and stringent safety measures to protect people from the coronavirus.

However, with the ‘80s way behind us, safety compliance is one area of our business that we’ve been fanatical about for a long time now. We strive to find solutions that enable our production, installation and office staff to operate safely and observe strict regulations. A key aspect of our pledge to provide the highest quality of service is our approach to health and safety, whether we’re on a building site, in a live public environment or in our factory. And we take regular advice from our own health and safety consultant who also runs workshops and briefings with our team.

Training and accreditation are so important to being professional and maintaining high standards at every stage of the design, manufacture and installation process. We make sure our team keep up to date with their safety training certification (IPAF, PASMA, IRATA), we use experienced personal and we undertake accreditation relevant to our industry. To ensure we can operate at a high level, we also regularly upgrade our technology.

Working at height is obviously a major area of focus for safe installation of signage. We use a variety of equipment, including advanced guard-rail mobile towers, pre-erected tube and clip scaffold, cherry pickers, and rope access with dedicated abseil teams. All our crews are trained to use this high-level access equipment.

The choice of equipment depends on site accessibility and what we’re working over. At the One Blackfriars development in London, there was no way to gain mechanical access to install giant promotional vinyls, so we used our skilled abseil team to install them on the 33rd floor – making it visible across the entire South Bank. We’ve seen increasing use of rope access on large residential and commercial properties because it means we can install graphics to windows at a very high level, providing highly effective advertising.

Wind conditions are also an incredibly important factor at height and installation is often very weather dependent; we always have a keen eye on the weather forecast and installation can often be tricky in the winter months. 

What we’re working above also dictates the type of access equipment we select, for example if there’s a public walkway below. Keeping installers safe is a crucial consideration, but we also need to meticulously consider public safety. We’re often working in ‘live’ environments, for example, we installed signage over the main entrance of Kingston University when students were still coming and going to lectures. Road closures are often required, so we have an in-house Chapter 8 specialist who provides our traffic management facility.

However, the work to ensure safe installation at any level starts way before the actual installation day. Every project requires detailed set-up and planning. Risk and method statement procedures must be outlined. And a structural engineer designs all supporting structures to ensure wind loadings have been considered.

We’re also always on the lookout for new ways of working that can improve health and safety, for example we’re following advances in drone surveys, which can drive down the cost of surveying especially at height.

Follow this link to find out more about Reade Sign’s safety accreditationsIf you have a project you’d like to discuss with us, or would like some social distancing floor or wall graphics, please get in touch via [email protected] or call us on 01252 336 000.

Motiv8 project testimonial

Here Sally Ottewell, Gym and Spa Consultant at motiv8 explains how Reade Signs worked with Supersonic Fitness – a state-of-the-art fitness centre in York. This included funky aluminium signage for a moss wall, motivational cinema light boxes, reception and external signage to help translate the lifestyle brand across the venue. Reade Signs has also worked with Motiv8 at CYC:D, a modern, stylish and inspiring boutique fitness studio in Surrey.

If you’d like to know more about our range of services, please get in touch on 01252 336 000 or email [email protected]


How to provide a great visitor experience with museum wayfinding

Museum wayfinding signage

Wayfinding signage plays a crucial role in ensuring museum visitors get the most out of their entry fees. Excellent wayfinding signage encourages exploration, engages visitors in their surroundings, increases dwell time and improves accessibility. And wayfinding is one of those elements of a day out that’s hardly noticeable if it works well but is irritatingly obvious if it doesn’t. A positive experience boosts word-of-mouth recommendations, reviews and repeat visits, so it needs careful consideration. 

There are two core wayfinding elements to consider. Firstly, functional needs like refreshments, toilets, cloakrooms and lifts. And secondly, the emotional side of ensuring each visitor gets the most out of their visit. Wayfinding signage and museum panels are a great way to help people quickly understand what they can find on different floors and direct people to certain highlights or feature galleries.

Museums are often situated in historic or listed buildings and some will have been extended and adapted over the years, so it’s important to make sure the spaces connect. Any museum looking to create or improve a wayfinding scheme, will need to provide an appealing welcome and give a snapshot at the entrance so visitors quickly get their bearings. Here are ten elements to consider for your museum wayfinding:

  1. Simple signage – signage must be highly legible, using bold text, but without overpowering exhibits to maximise readability.
  2. Colour matching – assigning colours for each gallery or floor is a great way to help visitors find their bearings and follow the natural flow of exhibits.
  3. Pretty as a picture – simple pictograms or symbols, clear photography, symbols or numbers can be easily understood by lots of different audiences, including non-English speaking and young visitors.
  4. Keeping it fresh – building in some flexibility in the wayfinding scheme means you can easily refresh signage as exhibitions change. Environmentally friendly and sustainable signage materials are a good option to reduce wastage and cost.
  5. Magic materials – wayfinding must be functional, but if it’s also fun and educational you can really bring the brand personality to life with signage materials that reflect your museum’s theme. 
  6. In the zone – large spaces can benefit from being split into themes, zones or wings to make them distinct from each other and provide pointers to treasures within.
  7. Styling it – visitors tend to have two main navigation styles; museum wanderers who prefer the freedom to discover themselves, and structured explorers who want more of a guided explanation. It’s important to take both these audiences into account.
  8. Stay grounded – signage doesn’t always have to be positioned up high; vinyl graphic maps and directional signage on the floor is a cost-effective wayfinding solution. For larger museums, active digital floor plans are also an option.
  9. Handle with care – the fabric of your building may be delicate, so the use of innovative fixing solutions will be needed to protect the building as well as adhere to regulations and public health and safety. Installation is often completed in stages or throughout the night to avoid disruption.
  10. Test and flex – if you’re working with a wayfinding consultant, they’ll use their observations and mapping to test visitor behaviours so you can adapt recommendations to ensure the journey is simple for all audiences.

There are so many elements to perfecting the museum experience; from curation, knowledgeable staff, interactive apps and interpretation boards to wayfinding signage, digital signage and pocket guides. The same often applies to wayfinding and signage around historic sites. We work collaboratively with a range of specialists, including wayfinding consultants, brand experts, curators, project managers and visitor service professionals to design, manufacture and install wayfinding signage.  We recently installed 400 wayfinding signs at the V&A.

If you would like to find out more about our wayfinding signage, museum panels and interpretation board services for museums and heritage buildings or other wayfinding projects for public areas, please get in touch on 01252 336000 or email [email protected]

Working with a signage company – a guide for creative agencies and designers

A key priority for creative agencies and in-house designers when briefing any type of signage project is accuracy of implementation. Finding a team that you can trust to manage the whole project lifecycle and take away any headaches is fundamental. We regularly work with designers to bring their design vision to life and make sure the end-product is a faithful interpretation of the brief. Here we outline our tried and tested process:

1. Understanding the design brief
Interpreting a design and manufacturing it in three dimensional format is a specific discipline. The first step is to fully understand the brief; the type of signage needed, suitable material options and how it could be manufactured to the standard required. This discussion can help our experts advise on any potential colour or material issues. For a designer, it’s often useful to see samples of the different materials and finishes available, look at brand colour schemes and view similar projects.

2. Budget consultancy
Based on the brief, the project manager can make recommendations for the signage solution and advise on the budget. Technical knowledge is needed to either select the highest quality materials, or suggest more cost-effective alternatives to suit the budget, while keeping to the designer’s vision.

3. Concept and specification
At this stage, we outline how the elements of the project will be fabricated to meet the design intent. A 3D graphic visualisation allows designers to view proximity, heights, colour schemes and all necessary details and helps to flag up any tweaks needed in the design. It can also be used as a basis for a planning permission application if required. Next, the materials are selected with structural integrity, cost or longevity in mind and a quotation will be generated with detail of the size and material selected itemised.

4. Site visit
Sometimes we’re sent a set of design sketches or initial graphics, but a site visit gives a true feel for the project, potential limitations or opportunities, and sparks ideas about formats and materials. During the visit, we’ll assess exact requirements, taking the target audience into account. The assessment will cover potential signage locations, substrates and ground conditions for posts and footings and accurate measurements to confirm signage dimensions.

The surrounding environment is also an important consideration as site location can be diverse; it’s important to consider elements like anti-graffiti finishes in a city centre, durability in a busy public space or wind-loading calculations on an exposed rural site. If signs are being fitted at height and specialist equipment is needed, a technical survey will highlight any issues like accessibility, power supply, terrain, vehicle access and the structure of the building supporting the sign. This is an opportunity to scan the area for underground services and cables so we can advise the install team about potential hazards. We also consider flora and fauna and ensure we protect the environment where possible when installing.

5. Design and prototyping
Accurate interpretation of the design is something we’re fastidious about and we often create prototypes to make sure the designer or client is happy. Sometimes brand colours look different depending on the substrate, so we test this to ensure accuracy. In a recent customer survey, 92% of respondents said we met the requirements of their brief ‘extremely clearly’ or ‘very clearly’: getting the design right through prototyping is key to this.

6. Approval
A final PDF visual for client approval is always sent before the manufacturing process begins. These drawings contain dimensions, materials and sometimes an annotated image of the installation location. Once approved, the job will be issued, and the manufacturing begins in line with any timescales identified.

7. Manufacturing
We manufacture a large amount of our projects in-house, using our state-of-the-art printing EFI VUTEk LX3 Pro printer and computer numerical controlled routing machines, which are operated by highly trained staff. Some projects require outsourcing to specialists, and we have a wide network of trusted suppliers to cherry-pick from if that’s the case.

8. Installation
Ensuring every project is installed safely, securely and will stand the test of time is paramount. Install teams operate in multiple environments; on a construction site, at height, in public spaces or on waterfronts. A risk assessment is always carried out and a method statement provided for approval, which is read and signed by the installation team. 

On completion, we create a picture database as evidence of every installation, which ensures consistency across multiples sites or if identical signage is needed. We can arrange professional photography to share if required for the designer’s portfolio or marketing materials.  Removal and disposal of any temporary signage is also possible.

When we work with designers, our priority is helping them deliver the project smoothly for the end client. We can work as part of your team or as a stand-alone preferred supplier. If you have a signage or wayfinding project you’d like to talk to us about, please contact Joanna Goodchild at [email protected] or call 01252 336 000.

Reade Signs is open.
If you have an enquiry, please get in touch. You may not reach your usual account manager, but our team is happy to discuss your request or order.
Please call 01252 336 000. Many thanks and stay safe.


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