Aurubis Buffalo, Inc. is part of the Flat Rolled Product segment of the international corporation, Aurubis Group. The Buffalo facility produces copper and brass sheets for various lines such as telecommunications, electronic connectors, heat exchangers and skyscraper panels. Located on Military Road, in a residential neighborhood, the plant receives and dispatches materials from trucks day and night. With several vehicle entrances located along the length of this 1.1 million sq. ft. facility, the plant management must deal with truck drivers who are confused as to where to enter and find the loading dock. To address this confusion among truck drivers, the management team sought help from OtherWisz Creative, to develop signage to redirect truck traffic and enhance the corporation’s new visual branding.
Planning wayfinding signage to direct traffic
This project started by assessing the site, reviewing existing signage, and observing truck traffic patterns. We discovered that Aurubis had added additional signs to the fences outside the plant apart from the main entrance signs, in an attempt to redirect traffic to the main loading dock at Gate 6. This led to a mix of different sign types, sizes, materials, graphics and fonts that didn’t align with Aurubis’ visual branding. Based on this information, we started to plot new sign locations and plan updated visual messaging for replacement panels in existing light boxes and other surface mounted signs.
A redesign to match updated branding
Armed with a 190-page Aurubis Brand Manual, our team began by conceptualizing the visuals and branding for the new sign designs. An additional challenge was that many of the truck drivers they worked with spoke a different language or English as a second language, so the new designs had to be simple using as few words as possible and symbols to convey messaging and direction. We presented the client with a map plotting potential locations and a set of new design comps that fit within their new design standards. The next step involved walking the site with the management team to review location and the initial designs. Upon gathering feedback, we made some adjustments to some of the designs and locations, then passed the designs up to the Aurubis corporate office for review and approval.
Fabrication and installation on-site
Upon design approval, we walked the site with our preferred sign vendor to take exact measurements and discuss fabrication options. To match the client’s brand PMS color, we decided to use vinyl on the pan-formed light boxes (as opposed to ink) so the color matched best during the day, but still looked as close as we could get when the signs were lit in the evening. We also upgraded the older light boxes to more efficient LED lighting during the installation.
Beside the light box graphics, additional directional/warning signs were added below the larger signs to prevent drivers from using the wrong entrance, while re-directing them to Gate 6. We also created new parking signs, safety signs and additional warnings signs to match the updated branding.