BSGA Awards spotlight outstanding work of UK sign industry in 2017

The British sign industry celebrated another year of outstanding work at its annual awards ceremony, organised by the BSGA (British Sign and Graphics Association) and held at the Athena Centre in the heart of Leicester’s cultural quarter on Thursday, November 9th.

The awards, open to any UK-based sign-related business, are designed to demonstrate the abilities and creativity of  signmakers across all facets of an increasingly diverse industry.  A total of 15 signmaker awards were presented, ranging from Young Signmaker of the Year, through Architectural, Illuminated and Craftsman Awards, to Awards for vehicle wrapping, major roll-outs and retail signage.

Over 250 separate projects were entered for the awards and the standard throughout was very high. The judges singled out a number for special mention, including the great work by HNS Signs at The Arcadian in Birmingham, Signs Now for its massive Hilton Heart of House roll-out, John Anthony Signs for its delivery of a huge project at Astana Airport in Kazakhstan, DMA Signs for its record-breaking building wrap at Birmingham University, and Signbox for its stylish work at the Dakota office building, New Scotland Yard and Alpha Bank.


However, after a lot of deliberation, the judges awarded the ultimate accolade – for the Sign of the Year – to isGroup for its outstanding work, in association with Applelec, at Storyhouse in Chester. The signs were a stylish part of a £37 million transformation of the 1930s art deco building to create a new cultural centre in the city.  The award was presented by joint main sponsors Signfab UK and GE.

Presented for the first time this year, the Décor Award, sponsored by Metamark, demonstrated the increasingly diverse work of UK signmakers who are now using signmaking skills and materials to enhance the interiors of all types of building.  While the award, which was won by Signbox for its exemplary work at the London HQ of Alpha Bank, is new, it still attracted the largest entry of any category, demonstrating the increasing importance of this sector to signmakers.

The Wayfinding Award was also different this year.  It was run as a collaborative effort between the BSGA and the Sign Design Society (SDS) and was judged by a separate specialist panel convened by the SDS.  Wayfinding solutions need to deliver information where it’s needed, in a form that is easy for people to read, understand and respond to and, more than any other type of sign, requires close collaboration between the wayfinding consultant/designer and the sign manufacturer.

This year’s award went to London-based Populous Activate for its wayfinding scheme for the Groupama Stadium, home to Olympique Lyonnaise.


“The Awards are now a firm fixture in the sign industry calendar,” said David Catanach, Director of the BSGA.  “The event provides the one occasion in the year when the whole industry comes together in a relaxed and convivial atmosphere and where the focus is entirely on the work of signmakers.

“Our new venue for the awards – the Athena Centre in the heart of Leicester’s cultural quarter – provided a perfect and quite dramatic setting for the event.  We hope everybody enjoyed the day as much as we did.

“The BSGA would, in particular, like to thank all the sponsors for their support.  We believe that the awards play a vital role in the industry by casting the spotlight on the real work of signmakers.  However, without the support of the sponsors, the awards simply would not happen.

“We are already starting to plan for 2018 and will be unveiling the details as soon as possible. We hope that the fantastic support we have received over the past four years will continue in to 2018.”

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