Signing up to a new future - Lighting Design NZ
Signing up to a new future

Signing up to a new future

What makes a successful business? Sure, having a product or service that no one can do without helps, but having an instantly recognisable brand is equally important. Think of the top five global corporations and how when you hear their names you immediately picture their brand—that kind of image recall is a powerful marketing tool.

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

The history of signage is almost as old as the history of the human race with our forebears devising many of the visual cues we still use today to help us distinguish between businesses. Done correctly, the right signage will cement your brand in the minds of your customers.

The whole point of good signage is that everyone can see it easily, know what it’s advertising and remember where it is. For the last 36 years, Capitol Signs has been making signs that grab our attention, lighting up our towns as they glow brightly from walls and rooftops.

This proudly New Zealand-owned family business is a one-stop, full-service signage provider, working for clients that range from small businesses to large multi-site corporates with operations all around New Zealand.

“We handle everything in-house: design, project management, engineering, manufacturing, installation, and we are one of the few companies that still manufactures its own neon lights—all from our own premises. Ours is a complete service, so we have full control over the production schedule, which means we can’t be held up by outside parties,” says Co-owner Justin Smith.

“Being privately owned and doing everything in-house means we can be very reactive if a client needs their signage done fast. It also means we have total control over the quality of the signs leaving our factory.”

For the Nick Scali Furniture showroom in Auckland's Wairau Valley, Capitol Signs manufactured a series of illuminated channel letter signage.

Capitol Signs: offering full-service signage solutions

The centre of Newmarket, Auckland, is now brightly lit, thanks to the team at Capitol Signs, which won the tender to produce the signage for the redeveloped and refurbished, $790 million Westfield mall.

“This is the kind of project the Capitol Signs team lives and breathes,” says Justin. “It was a tough project—with strict quality criteria and budget to meet—and the single-largest one-off project we have completed to date. It entailed hundreds of signage elements.”

The team manufactured and installed 20 stainless halo-lit letter sets, one for every entry to the mall; and more than 1300 directory signs, including hanging, illuminated, double-sided sign cases, as well as light up lift directories and free-standing plinths. They also made signage on columns for all levels of the car park including vinyl decals and more than 700 road and safety signs, individual stainless identification plaques for more than 700 cupboards or rooms throughout the mall, and the same for all internal mall facing doors, but in router-cut acrylic.

Capitol manufactured large-scale, illuminated, channel letter sets for anchor tenants, which are mounted onto stone cladding, louvre systems and other cladding throughout the mall on Broadway, Newmarket.

Scentre Group NZ’s contracts manager, Mark Skeet, says the contract went to Capitol Signs because they wanted a supplier who could handle multiple work streams as part of a rebrand, including large amounts of external signage.

“Our signage directly influences awareness and opinion of our brand. It was very important that we partnered with the right vendor to get the results we wanted,” says Mark.

“Capitol Signs was very accommodating, professional and dedicated. The team undertook this project in an organised and strategic fashion, which simplified the process, and they always responded quickly and efficiently to our needs.

“From creativity to conception, project management, manufacturing, installation, customer service and attention to detail, everything ran smoothly.”

Capitol Signs manufactured large-scale, illuminated, channel letter sets for Westfield Newmarket's anchor tenants, which are mounted onto stone cladding, louvre systems and other cladding materials around the mall..

Capitol Signs: bringing your brand to life

Many streets through the cities, towns and suburbs across the country—and as far afield as Dubai, Egypt, Australia and Saudi Arabia—have signage from Capitol Signs, whether it’s Westfield shopping centres or retail chains such as The Chemist Warehouse, Burger King, Burger Fuel, Carl’s Junior, or KFC, Capitol Signs has completed nationwide roll outs and servicing for all.

As well as delivering all the signage on time and to the highest level, the team has re-engineered signage elements for different brands.

“Our clients ask if it can be done and we work out how to make that answer, Yes,” says Co-owner Matt Anderson

“Our neon 'Finger lickin’ good' sign at KFC Westfield, in Newmarket, helped us win a 2021 New Zealand Sign and Display Association corporate brand interpretation and delivery award.

“KFC also asked us to think about solar power. They now have a full suite of solar signage options, and these are uniform in their operation.

Project architect Ray McElroy of Mortlock McElroy Architects says his practice has successfully worked on more than 40 projects with the team at Capitol Signs.

“They have proved to be innovative in their approach to solving specific client requirements and we are happy to endorse their product and delivery.”

Capitol Signs is a 3-M gold supplier and one of only a few certified Master Sign Makers in New Zealand, which allows the company to offer extended warranties from 3-M for the signs it manufactures.

Learn more about the suite of internal and external signage available for your next project.

The corporate update, including neon “Finger lickin’ good” sign, for KFC at Westfield Newmarket, resulted in a win at the 2021 New Zealand Sign and Display Association awards.
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