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How to Ensure Cohesive Design with Commercial Signage

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As a commercial interior designer, you aim to elevate every space you’re hired to revamp or design from scratch. You work closely with each client to select the right materials for their budget and needs, researching options for flooring, paint, furnishings, and more. And you put a lot of effort into creating an attractive, functional, cohesive design. But sometimes, it can be tricky to tie in a necessary feature such as signage…

ADA signs, which are legally required in public U.S. buildings, are a prime example. They must meet several ADA sign guidelines to be considered compliant. And typically, fabricators specializing in ADA signage don’t offer many options for sign look and feel—let alone customization. As a result, finding signs that don’t interrupt the overall flow of a client’s newly designed space can be challenging. 

Fortunately, there’s another approach you can take to signage—a better one that ensures cohesive design. It’s just a matter of working with the right fabricator to acquire cohesive signage that complements a space instead of clashing with it. 

Why Developing a Cohesive Design Is Important

A cohesive design can go a long way toward improving a building’s appearance and people's experience walking through it. It’s crucial to setting up an aesthetically pleasing and harmonious flow from the entrance to the exit. Ultimately, it makes every room and space feel like part of a whole rather than a separate area, giving the entire building a polished, well-put-together look. 

Successfully creating and executing such a design can be beneficial to you and your client.

Here’s how…

Any interior designer can come up with unique concepts for different rooms in a commercial building. But the true test of your skills is whether you can unify them all by introducing coordinating design elements. That’s what allows you to stand out and exceed client expectations. 

What Role Does Signage Play in Commercial Interior Design?

Wonder Series elevator sign from Erie Custom Signs with accessible pictogram on a dark blue face and shaker cherry backer.

As you know, commercial interior design requires you to consider both aesthetics and overall functionality, which is where signs come into play. Signage is not only a visual element in a commercial space but also a valuable communication tool. Different types of signs serve different purposes, making them a necessary feature rather than a nice-to-have. 

Here are some of the ways signage factors into your interior design work…


When you create a cohesive design for a client’s space, you make decisions that will support their brand image. And it’s important to remember that signage is integral to that. In fact, it can serve as an extension of the brand itself. Incorporating displays with the client’s name, colors, logo, and even messaging can help increase brand recognition and encourage trust among visitors.


As an interior designer, you strive to create practical and efficient spaces. However, this involves more than just organizing room layouts and furniture positions; it also includes enhancing wayfinding through signage. Signs that provide directions to visitors and new employees can help them navigate more easily and improve their experience. 


When working with a client, you have to design with them and their customer base in mind. That means taking an inclusive (or universal) design approach, ensuring the space is usable by people of all abilities. Signage that can be easily read and understood by anyone improves inclusivity and provides equal access. 


Maintaining the safety, health, and well-being of building occupants is crucial in commercial interior design. Although a lot goes into this, proper signage shouldn’t be underestimated. Adding exit signs and emergency egress maps to your client’s building should be a top priority. 


If a client’s building is based in the U.S. and open to the public, it’s vital to apply ADA design principles such as installing ADA-compliant signage. As mentioned previously, ADA signage is a legal requirement. It must be considered in your design to keep your client’s building up to code.

3 Steps to Ensure Cohesive Design with Signage

  1. Choose colors that fit the space.

To ensure a client’s signage fits into a cohesive design, you need to choose colors that fit the space. Sign colors should be similar or complementary to shades used elsewhere in the building. That way, they’ll blend in seamlessly while still capturing the attention of passersby. 

  1. Select signs that share a similar look and feel.

In addition to having the same colors, signs should also have the same overall look and feel. Fonts, shapes, sizes, and accents should be consistent, especially with a particular type of sign (e.g., room numbers). Ordering multiple displays in the same style adds uniformity that enhances your whole design. 

  1. Aim for consistent placement around the building.

As discussed above, there are many different types of signs you may include in a client’s building—logo signs, room name signs, directional signs, etc. But whenever possible, aim to install them at the same height and in a similar placement. ADA signs that identify permanent spaces are required to be mounted in a specific manner for readability, so consider applying those guidelines across the board. Doing so can add further consistency and make finding signs more convenient for visitors.

Click here to check out our sign families.


As an interior designer, you work hard to deliver a cohesive design that fits each client’s budget, space, and needs. And that means choosing features that will work together in creating a beautiful and functional space. If you’ve always struggled to tie in signage, it’s time to take a new approach by acquiring cohesive signage from a reliable fabricator. And Erie Custom Signs can help! Check out our selection of sign families, which meet ADA requirements and offer a consistent look you can customize as needed.

Filed Under: ADA Signage, Design and Customization

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"Erie Custom Signs rocks! The signs they made for me look absolutely fabulous! I’m so grateful for their patience and flexibility during the design phase, and the quick turnaround to get my order here in time for the final inspection. They have been great to work with, and I hope to do so again in the near future." Dawn Gilman, Crystal Lake Engraving
"Erie Custom Signs did an awesome job. Thanks to Mike and the team for such prompt service. They’re now my go-to for ADA signage." Greg Haskell, Hwy 35 Signs
"The Erie team is always expedient in their responses, and they continually meet our extremely tight deadlines. Their work is of the highest quality and their customer service is top notch! We really appreciate having a fabricator like Erie Custom signs. They are always up for a challenge and continually produce our unique sign designs." Beth Geddio
Erie Custom Signs is amazing! My subcontractor received the signs ahead of schedule, which will ensure that they are installed on time. Thank you again for your assistance in this quick turnaround. I will be using your company again in the future! Brian Whitecap, Tusick + Associates Architects, Inc.

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