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Thread: Revit + Signage Packages. Thoughts?

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    Revit + Signage Packages. Thoughts?

    [FONT=Avenir]Has anyone found a good workflow to incorporate Signage Packages into Revit - either with manual placing of signage families - or simply through scheduling rooms/doors with unique signage parameters?

    In the past, my firm's Graphics Department has handled signage packages and they admit their process is a highly inefficient one combining Excel, InDesign and Illustrator. [/FONT]


    [FONT=Avenir]Thoughts?[/FONT]

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    Forum Addict GMcDowellJr's Avatar
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    I have signs in my door families (addressable from either/both sides) and additional families for wayfinding all with graphic symbols that can be color coded by type/whatever. Takes some setup but works well enough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GMcDowellJr View Post
    I have signs in my door families (addressable from either/both sides) and additional families for wayfinding all with graphic symbols that can be color coded by type/whatever. Takes some setup but works well enough.
    do you have any issues with placement and room calculation point not reading correctly?

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    Administrator Twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nharburger View Post
    [FONT=Avenir]Has anyone found a good workflow to incorporate Signage Packages into Revit - either with manual placing of signage families - or simply through scheduling rooms/doors with unique signage parameters?

    In the past, my firm's Graphics Department has handled signage packages and they admit their process is a highly inefficient one combining Excel, InDesign and Illustrator. [/FONT]


    [FONT=Avenir]Thoughts?[/FONT]
    I recommend having a signage library, not as part of your Door Components. That, connected with Dynamo or an app, can do a LOT of wonders. BUT:

    Make sure you also TALK TO YOUR GRAPHICS DEPARTMENT about the REAL REQUIREMENTS OF THEIR DELIVERABLE. Signage often has to be done in very specific fonts. Fonts cost money. Putting fonts on all computers takes deployment prowess. NOT having the font done correctly ISNT an option, for departments that are SERIOUS about doing signage.

    The reality is, for departments doing signage, you dont even really NEED the Dynamo connection. Because you dont technically really need the Signage to "live read" anything from the rooms, unless you (or their standards) say they want to show every sign. Most of them show a mocked up illustration, and then have a schedule of all the data that will be on all the variations of signs. But Dynamo CAN do it, and its *fun* so we like to talk about it.

    I ABSOLUTELY recommend making their workflow better, even if its as simple as providing more Room Data in intelligent ways. And yes, the signs CAN be designed in Revit, as families, and can be filled out in the interior elevations and such, if you WANT.

    But seriously: Dont over look:

    1. The font issue
    2. The graphical requirements for the sign design.

    Number one is huge, because its not as cheap as people think. One of my old firms *casually* decided they would try to take over doing signage, for a healthcare client. When i learned of this, it was because they asked me to *put a font on all the computers for the project team.* I asked where they got the fonts, and they said *from the client* (which, btw, isnt legal). So i looked up the font license, and- no joke- it was going to be thousands. Sure, people cut corners, break rules, and cheat. Doing it right, font licensure is not something to be trifled with.

    2. Unless your Graphics department people are also going to become masters of the Family Editor, get ready for aggravation. "I can do this in Illustrator in fifteen minutes" is going to come up a lot.

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    Totally - I am not looking to put accurate looking finished signs in revit. At the end of the day, I assume that the Graphics team will still be making all their mock-ups in Illustrator. I am looking at this mostly from a data management side. I think, at most, I am looking to put place representative families in the model that are the same size, and at the expected mounting height of the signs that will be going in those locations... but maybe this is only necessary for certain signage types (i.e., larger ones) or in designs where the placement of the sign may be difficult to standardize. But if i am placing all of the signs, i certainly would want them to be able to read what room they were associated with, so they can be properly scheduled.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Twiceroadsfool View Post
    Number one is huge, because its not as cheap as people think. One of my old firms *casually* decided they would try to take over doing signage, for a healthcare client. When i learned of this, it was because they asked me to *put a font on all the computers for the project team.* I asked where they got the fonts, and they said *from the client* (which, btw, isnt legal). So i looked up the font license, and- no joke- it was going to be thousands. Sure, people cut corners, break rules, and cheat. Doing it right, font licensure is not something to be trifled with.
    I'll second that.
    We run into this several times a year. Often it's a consultant who's got a custom font in their titleblock, or a client who wants a specific look. They'll usually say they can just send us the font. But when we look into it, sure enough, its proprietary and there's a license fee.
    Plus you can't just install the font "for the project team", because you KNOW they're going to bring in an extra body the week they issue.
    So we've got to install the font for almost 100 computers.

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    The other flip side of that, since were on this talk, is JUST like Design Fees, people dont understand that you are buying a license for the DESIGN, not the Font file itself.

    This is where it gets weird, when people are like *well we will just use images of the font typed out, instead.* Ehhhhhh, im not a lawyer, and no one should misconstrue this as legal advice, but IMVHO thats a no-no. The License for the font use is for the typeface design, not the file itself.

    Somewhat known fact: There is a reason the original PRLX Logo and the original PRLX Revit Template use Calibri for everything, and it isnt because i think its a good looking font. There are a lot of fonts i think look better (particularly since John came on board, as he likes some fonts that i think are great looking, so we use them on Marketing materials). But im a pragmatist at heart, and i 10000% disagree with people who pontificate that "the font adds something to the drawings," and every time i hear that, i want to pimp smack them with a hammer.

    Now, for signage, its a different animal. Both ID signage, and Transport Signage. They have fonts they are REQUIRED to use, in many cases. So then you have to play the game.

    And you are correct: I would NEVER deploy it "only to a few machines." Because- aside from people getting added at the last minute- they would also google and start passing the TTF around, without buying more licenses. No way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nharburger View Post
    do you have any issues with placement and room calculation point not reading correctly?
    Yes... so I don't use it.

    I put the signs in the doors because on 95% of the projects I've done every door gets a sign and even if we're not responsible for the signage drawings we have to make sure that there's room for a sign -- which is, of course, almost never a problem... but every now and then it bites you in the ass.

    My door signs are overly complex cause I'm a nerd but they don't have to be and even in my projects the added complexity doesn't have to be used. A set of plans with the signs identified by type is enough at times. If we need a schedule of what the signs need to say we can do that too. It would be extremely rare for projects I've been on (as in never required) to show the actual font on the signs in the model or in the drawings. That's for the sign manufacturer to do in shops.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Twiceroadsfool View Post
    "the font adds something to the drawings,".
    Ahem...
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Not quite the one we used to use in AutoCAD, but close.

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    Yeah. Ive been there. Many many firms ago, we used ArchiTxt in Revit, or whatever the TTF variant of it was called.

    JMVHO, but i wouldnt ever embark on doing more than perspective signage information (schedules) without having the correct font. You start doing them with a substitute font, and then you get in to when things dont really fit on the signs, or when some letters are larger than others, and so on. I would pick a direction:

    1. Just schedules and information (and show all signs blank in model)
    2. If you want to show it on the signs, play the font game.

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