Smales Farm Management has been a client for several years. A family-owned property investment company, Smales is the largest provider of premium commercial premises on Auckland’s North Shore.
When Smales acquired two buildings on 2-4 Fred Thomas Drive in Takapuna, they approached us about signage.
Attracting the right tenants
Smales cater to high-quality tenants — blue-chip businesses that are willing (and able) to commit to long-term leases.
At the time of purchase, it was clear the buildings weren’t up to standard. So, Smales spent several millions of dollars in refurbishing them.
Smales was clear about how the finished buildings would look — architectural plans were already drawn. So, for us, the challenge was to create signage that would be part of the architecture, not just conspicuous add-ons.
During the project, we supplied a variety of signage — white-lacquered MDF panels with company logos and directory signs are two examples. A major part of the project, though, was pylon signage.
The original pylon signs were old fashioned and in poor condition. They didn’t reflect the fresh new look Smales wanted.
“We brainstormed ideas and also asked if they’d seen anything they liked as an example,” says Daryl Matthews, owner of Global Signage Concepts. “Once we got a feel for what they wanted, we came up with a design.”
Darryl says the design was slowly refined before a final design was settled on.
The resulting five-meter-high pylons, of welded steel construction with ACM cladding, were a seamless fit with the newly-refurbished buildings.
Window blend for Fred Thomas Health
Fred Thomas Health (FTH) occupies 2 Fred Thomas Drive. Smales had invested a considerable sum into the building, so they requested that FTH use us for signage.
To provide privacy, FTH wanted a frosted strip applied to their windows.
It would have been easy to just apply a clear frosted vinyl. However, this would have been at odds with the building’s new design. It would have also been incongruous with FTH’s branding.
So, we produced a digitally-printed green vinyl, which matched their brand’s colours, adhered to translucent vinyl. This combination was then applied to the windows using a 3M adhesive.
The result was a modern frosted look perfectly in line with FTH’s logo and colours.
Good project management for a trouble-free job
Daryl: “There are lots of processes in signage. If you go to a panel beater, they’ll panel beat your car, put it in a paint booth and that’s it … with signage you’ve got electrical, fabrication, painting and a myriad of other things.”
Daryl explains that project management is integral to his job — there are often several trades (electricians, builders, etc.) involved in an installation and this project was no different.
Working as a team
The ability to work effectively alongside others is essential. During the project, we were effectively working on a building site. So, in addition to project managing our signs, we worked with the architect, two clients (Smales & FTH), the construction company and a myriad of trades.
Results are difficult to quantify — our signage was part of many improvements to the buildings and their surroundings. However, Smales now field inquiries from the right kind of businesses. And both buildings now accommodate several high-class tenants, which include Rebain International, The Warehouse Group and AON Insurance.