Introducing the Architectural Signage Division: Where Art Meets Science
Whether it’s a regulatory sign directing you to the nearest exit or the sign outside your favorite barbecue joint, our Architectural Signage Division (ASD) might have had something to do with it.
Our ASD team occupies half of Big Visual’s production area and is responsible for custom fabrication, welding, painting, metalwork, and Braille for signage. While ADA-compliant regulatory signage is a large portion of their work, they also do a variety of innovative and custom signage for businesses across Nashville.
When Chris Neeley, the ASD’s Director of Operations, was asked if he would classify their work as more of a science or an art, he said, “Neither. The work is often repetitive and detailed, but there are also times you’re given an idea with no blueprints. We’re constantly working with a mix of standardized jobs and custom jobs. You have to be skilled at both the art and the science.”
The ASD team is a made up of seven specialized professionals: two router operators, two finishing specialists, two painters, and one vinyl plotter and laser engraver. But don’t be fooled into thinking they’re limited to their specialty—they each overlap in skill sets, and with years of varied experience, the team excels at highly skilled hand craftsmanship.
When you enter the ASD area, you immediately pick up on the excellence that goes into finishing every sign. Finishing specialists can be found assembling signs, adding in Braille, sanding pieces down, and cleaning up paint lines, all by hand. You’ll also spot two top-of-the-line CNC routers, which can cut any file shape or letter out of materials like metal, plastic and sign foam. A photopolymer machine assists with ADA signage. Nearby, two paint booths are set up for outside building signage, monument signs, interior signs, and more ADA signage.
Cracker Barrel, a faithful client of Big Visual, has each of its interior and exterior signs sanded and hand painted. Cindy, who specializes in hand painting for the ASD team, carefully paints and finishes each of them.
If you’ve ever ordered a pork sandwich from the Edley’s Bar-B-Que in East Nashville, you’ve likely seen its custom outdoor sign that was created by Big Visual’s ASD team. The team built this monument from scratch, with only an idea on paper. They routed, hand painted, finished, and installed the finished product.
For the annual CMA Music Festival, the ASD team produces all custom directional signs. These signs are giant metal structures that require custom welding, routing, and painting. The challenge last year was to create freestanding signs that would be impossible to knock over in the midst of foot traffic. They met the challenge easily.
As you can tell, ASD has a wide range of capabilities that allow them to work with each of their client’s unique needs. They’re passionate about helping each business they work with create a visual identity that is both visually excellent and functional. At Big Visual, the sign-making process is both an art and science, and they take great pride in that collaboration.