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Design & Build Signage - Neon Nights

4 minutes read

What is Design/Build?

Signage is a complicated, multi-step endeavour that requires the knowledge and experience to navigate many moving parts. This turnkey solution awards a single contract to a sign company that designs, manufactures, and installs all the signage for a project. This approach eliminates owner risk for design errors by transferring responsibility for mistakes from the general contractor to the designer/ builder.

Benefits of the Design-Build Delivery Method

The design/build delivery method works because it combines the design and construction functions into one team. This single responsible party has contractual obligations to the owner.

The owner and design/build team share a common goal: to complete a successful project that meets or exceeds expectations. Together, the partners review the budget and the sign type requirements. A design-build approach uses collaborative problem-solving to resolve project challenges without finger-pointing.

This approach offers continuity because the design/build team’s involvement from start to finish supports process efficiency and effectiveness and reduces the likelihood that something might be overlooked. Construction projects involve millions of moving parts and many dependencies among vendors. Neon Nights assumes responsibility for a larger piece of the entire job and reduces the amount of coordination by the general contractor.

Choose a Design/Build Signage Partner with Neon Nights

Neon Nights values transparency. That clear, open, and honest communication means the owners understand the process and know what’s happening at all times. The best partnerships work because people say what others need to hear — not necessarily what they want to hear.


Buildings that lack signs lack branding. Neon Nights in-house graphics team will study your site’s concept and business brand. Then we’ll create a sign family that enhances your brand.

Our process includes:

  • Analyzing the build-out for inspiration for materials — like wood grains, colour scheme, metal finish, or rocks
  • Incorporating products that function as architectural details, like the reception desk and glass cabinet built into granite at Boston Wharf or the high-pressure laminate system used for the Suffolk University 20 Somerset project
  • Integrating design and fabric innovations like changeable panels on a pylon or materials that perform equally well in both internal and external environments
  • Anticipating and recommending value-engineered options — like less expensive materials to preserve budgets or increase visibility — that take advantage of a sign’s message


We develop a signage plan after our team completes the design. This plan helps the general contractor and owner to visualize signage uses and locations. Plans also ensure adequate branding and facilitate obtaining a timely certificate of occupancy. Our planning includes:

  • Presenting a single signage program with architectural and aesthetic integrity
  • Breaking out project deliverable phases
  • Reviewing and adjusting variables including temporary signage, engineering, permits, base building, safety, ADA requirements, and inspection compliance
  • Identifying the procurement process and providing a clear definition and communication of costs, processes, and timelines
  • Delivering every project on time and on budget

Accountability and Responsibility

We take pride in ownership when we see our creation come to fruition. In a design/build relationship, we finalize everything — from concept to completion — in the planning phase. The designer/builder calls the shots and takes the heat to avoid:

  • Surprises
  • Legal battles
  • Disappointments
  • Excuses


The Noen Nights design/build process enables our ability to work on diverse project types and collaborate directly with owners, developers, union leaders, inspectors, local governments, and other stakeholders.

Developers often make the mistake, in the early planning stages, of not bringing in the fabricators to help plan projects. The developers might create a general budget and scope for signage at the beginning, but when it comes time to execute it in real-time, the requirements have changed.

When developers involve Neon Nights sooner, we can help them, the general contractor, and the architects, with mapping out the signage requirements more accurately — right at the start. Our early involvement helps control costs and streamline the package by:

  • Assisting with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) signage issues
  • Identifying and resolving site-specific issues
  • Helping with the permitting process
  • Guiding the design aesthetics such that it is feasible to fabricate considering budget, zoning and placement of the signage

 “Everyone I’ve had the pleasure of working with at Neon Nights has been excellent, and I’d welcome the opportunity to work with you again. The whole process, from submittal to install, was very fluid. There was an open communication between both parties which, I believe, was a large contributor to the success of the project,” says Michael Townson


Neon Nights can offer many opportunities to streamline scheduling and cut costs. We understand the complexity of signage plans and build the majority of signs in our own shop. Our process offers other benefits because we can:

  • Pivot easily to accommodate big changes during construction, without added chaos or increased costs
  • Design products that we can manufacture and deliver in alignment with agreed upon specifications — on budget and on time
  • Plan labour to adjust easily and add/remove items when project transitions or changes in scope occur
  • Create a comprehensive breakdown and cost analysis of each project


Our portfolio includes interior and exterior signage for residential, hotel, corporate, hospital, shopping center, private/public school, college, university, and the gaming/entertainment industry. We embrace our role as professional guides, consultants, and trusted advisors to owners by:

  • Understanding pricing, sequencing, and general construction
  • Employing licensed engineers with experience within the signage field
  • Highly skilled fabricators and installers.
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