Signage for Arcade-Themed Restaurant Pulls In Fun-Hungry Patrons
Challenge: The manager of a soon-to-open bar and grill in a busy urban shopping district contacted us for help designing a sign for his new establishment’s exterior. Inside, he had painstakingly recreated the look and feel of a 1980s video arcade, replete with fully operational gaming platforms such as Pac Man®, Donkey Kong®, Space Invaders® and Tetris®.
Yet, just eleven days before opening, he decided there was a “conceptual disconnect” between the (relatively plain and non-descript) sign design he had first chosen for the outside, and the fun, nostalgic atmosphere he had spent thousands on recreating inside the eatery. Eager to open with solid brand-continuity in place, the manager requested new design ideas from us.
Solution: To us, the obvious solution was to replicate an arcade-style gaming cabinet and add the restaurant name to it. We felt this would immediately convey the brand personality, and the manager agreed. After walking the block, we wanted to ensure the new sign stood out from all the others nearby. Our design team also wanted to ensure excellent visibility at night, when local foot traffic was at its highest. A heavy rainy season, as well as year-round temperature extremes, called for extra attention to weatherproofing, which we integrated into all of our design options.
After reviewing several ideas, the client selected an illuminated, double-sided blade sign with high-intensity, internal LED lighting. We partnered with a sign-fabrication specialist to execute the approved design and lined up an electrician (with a bucket lift) to perform the installation.
The sign faces were output in full color on our flatbed printer on polycarbonate, and cut to accommodate quick, easy removal for cleaning. A durable, lightweight aluminum cabinet, bolstered by sturdy support arms and mounting brackets, housed sign components, including a 120-volt waterproof power switch and wiring that connected to the on-off control inside.
Results: We completed this project in just nine days, enabling the restaurant to open on time with high-visibility exterior signage in place. At the time of opening, theirs was the only backlit blade sign on the entire block. The manager and the owner both said the new signage communicated their unique brand concept and helped draw in more patrons.