One of our customers recently requested that, “based on our company’s experience”, we make a set of recommendations to assist them with baseline decisions on signage elements, possible manufacturing and installation risks, as well as on material specifications and standards. I must honestly say that my first reaction was one of surprise. Although one would perceive this to be a normal request, the reality unfortunately is that very few clients are keen to actually tap into their subcontractor’s experience.
I found myself thoroughly excited about this opportunity to share. When I asked myself why this request left me with a feeling of enthusiasm, I came to a simple answer… It was because I HONESTLY care about our clients’ brands and images.
We, at First African, are brand stewards and are very much aware of the fact that without signage our clients’ customers would most probably not even know that there was a shop or service station at a specific location in the first place. A client’s brand strives to improve recognition, increase business value, generate new customers, improve employees’ pride and satisfaction, create trust within the market place and support advertising. We always take pride in physically representing this with quality signage and cladding that will “show the way” for many years to come. Want to know more please have a look at our website.
Arriving in Paarl, the temperature stood at 35°C. I thought of the harsh South African sun and the ultra violet rays belting down fading vinyl and chalking paint. After 11 years in the Boland sun I was expecting the worst, especially on any north-facing signage.
The vinyl and general paintwork facing north were indeed in need of some attention or replacement but as a whole the site was still in good condition. This is in part thanks to a diligent owner and manager, but also to the high standard of paint (15-20 year guarantee) on the fascia panels. At the time of installation, Caltex had the opportunity to spec a 10 year panel at a reduced price, but decided against it. It was a short term sacrifice for long term gain. It was a wise call.
Standing in the blazing Paarl sun, I felt proud…proud of being part of this brand’s. success.
In future newsletters we would like to share some of our experience and practical advice with you in the hope that it will assist you to make informed decisions on signage or cladding whenever the need arise. .
I also want to extend an invitation to you. Give us a call or pay us a visit. Tap into our experience. It would be an honor to serve your brand. Be safe.
The use of Colour
by Van Heerden de Wet
In 2019 we were contacted by Joe van Dyk of Vega Properties to meet him at 368 Main Road Observatory. The area had an industrial rundown feel to it and did not initially inspire. Joe explained that management wanted to improve the look of the building and are considering upgrading the facade of the building. The part that excited us the most was the company’s request to play with bold colours. Architects usually stick to conservative silver or charcoal, but Vega Properties’ management felt bold and chose a deep blue colour. We were convinced this bold colour will have the impact they were looking for.
One of the biggest challenges in any cladding project is to accurately identify site measurements. Every building has an array of crevasse, bumps, corners, windowsills and skew plastered walls. With the Vega Properties building, we had several windows to keep note of and one of the facades was leaning outwards by almost 150mm. With digital laser software we generated an accurate 3D-model that permitted our engineers to design around the windows and allow enough adjustability for the outward leaning facade.
After a couple of quote revision, graphic proposals, council approval, lockdown and material delays we finally were on site in October 2020.
Late in November, when the first of the protective film was removed, everyone was struck by the impact of the bold blue colour.
We completed the installation by year end with the final result showing a complete transformation. It exceeded everyone’s expectations. The building stands out like a beacon and is visible from afar. The impressive final look validates the bold use of colour and the willingness to try something new.
See above a photo of the end result, but to experience the full impact you have to see it in person. So whenever you are in the Observatory area in Cape Town, go and have a look at DENEB House yourself. If you would like to know more about what First African can offer please have a look at our website.