What works better for prominent office buildings: Big sign or no sign?

Wells Fargo will begin installing the biggest branding symbol in its history Saturday at a prime location next to the Downtown Connector, AJC staffer Rachel Tobin reports.

A construction helicopter will lift three massive signs atop the building at 171 17th Street in Atlantic Station that used to sport the Wachovia name. Wells Fargo bought Wachovia in 2009 and is completing the brand overhaul.

But, Tobin points out, other big companies take the opposite approach on prominent buildings here.

Rather than an in-your-face statement, the Atlanta skyline is more given to sign-free but architecturally compelling buildings, such as Bank of America Plaza, our tallest building.

And Home Depot, which has never been bashful about advertising, does not sport a big sign on its headquarters overlooking Interstate 285 and Paces Ferry.

Which works better for prominent buildings — in your face or nothing? Why?

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3 comments Add your comment


October 15th, 2010
8:42 am

Depends on the personality of the company and the business it’s in.

Eric Hyman

October 15th, 2010
9:36 am

This reminds me of another major building signage change that thus far I haven’t seen any coverage of. Did anyone else notice that the giant yellow temporary tarp-like sign on The Weather Channel’s building recently came down? Like Home Depot, they used to have no sign on the building. I’d heard they preferred anonymity as they’d actually had problems with stalkers before. But under new owners, a large logo sign went up. Which personally I think was very smart, as they get massive interstate traffic going by their space. And as an Atlantan, I’m proud for everyone to know they are here.

But then they put up this giant yellow banner across the entire south facade proclaiming TWC as The World’s Leading Cross Platform Media Property (or something like that) with reference to TV, Web and Mobile. While I beleive this is true, I personally found the sign to be out of line with the brand and the company’s long time proud yet humble identity. Would Google put such a sign up? No, but maybe World Championship Wrestling might.

It really reminded me of the giant sign iXL put up on the Equifax building toward the end of the dot com boom. And we know how that one turned out. But just this past week, TWC’s giant banner was gone. Bravo. I know many long time employees were not happy with it, but I wonder why it really came down. Did they agree with my line of thinking? Or maybe it simple fell off! Thoughts?
Eric Hyman

#1 Foxy Lady

October 15th, 2010
2:48 pm

Maybe Wells is getting their branding advice form the same company that does the Nude, Nude, Nude! billboards that are north on 85.