The Sign Effectz team installing the new LED message board for SoftwareOne.

This feature was originally published in Sign Builder Illustrated‘s July 2024 edition

Many sign shops can print a wall wrap or fabricate channel letters in house with their own tools. Digital signage calls for more collaboration. Such installations often require cooperation from the client and support from the supplier to get the job done. Just ask Sign Effectz.

The Milwaukee-based sign shop installed digital signage for a local software and cloud services company’s new headquarters last year. SoftwareOne had made the move from its old HQ in nearby Waukesha, Wisconsin, to a new 20,000-square-foot office in The Dye House, a historically preserved modern workplace in the heart of Milwaukee’s Third Ward. The revitalized warehouse district is home to popular restaurants, boutiques and art galleries, among other things.

“In the rapidly changing times of today, from branding, logos, environmental and culture awareness, LED message units provide an adaptable media that can keep up and change to the present,” says Sign Effectz President Adam Brown. “They’re only as dated as the message they portray and it gives the power to the client to meet their market needs.”
SoftwareOne understands Brown’s sentiments, which is why they elected to install LED signage in the lobby of their new office, aiming to make hybrid employees returning to the workplace feel at home and on the cutting edge of design.

Manufactured by Daktronics, the digital screen combines 144 LED panels at a 1.99mm pixel resolution.

The client wanted an interactive and inviting large screen that could display both images and videos in a seamless way, along with two exterior signs to increase branding at their new location. The LED signage took four team members and, amazingly, only a day and a half to install. However, that doesn’t mean it was simple!

The digital screen has six independent structural frames with an illuminated halo effect around the perimeter. Sourced from Daktronics, the interactive unit consists of 144 LED panels at a 1.9mm pixel resolution, while the screen’s bottom plate houses power supplies, ethernet communications cables and power connections on the backside. “Daktronics’ tech department was incredibly helpful and truly shined if our team hit a snag,” says Brown. “They were just as passionate about the project as we were.”

Sign Effectz Install Manager John Dolan and Project Manager Nathaniel Bek headed up the digital signage installation. Dolan has plentiful experience handling install crews that venture out to Sign Effectz job sites, making sure the crew always has the proper tools, hardware and materials needed to do the job in an efficient time.

SoftwareOne commissioned the LED signage to help make their hybrid employees feel more welcome in a new office.

Dolan frequently works with Bek, who handles the onsite contacts for the sign shop’s customers. This typically involves equipping the team with key fobs for the building, researching the products being installed and coordinating with the customer to make sure that they have exactly what they need for the projects. Bek essentially functions as the bridge between sales and installation.

“Having a team that you can trust and is passionate about the project is invaluable,” says Brown. “From their technical knowledge, decision making and problem solving, to their client engagement, these two are the best in the biz. They are testaments to the culture we work to maintain at Sign Effectz.”

“It takes a lot of flexibility on our end, the client’s end, and the supplier’s end to get the job done,” says Bek. “This project really showcased how our company is creative in finding solutions and the level of experience everyone has here.”

At the end of the day, Sign Effectz was able to meet the client’s needs in an efficient and effective way, leading to satisfaction from both sides. When asked about his favorite part of installing the signage, Dolan says, “The client’s face when they see the huge sign and how awesome it looks! I take a lot of pride in what I do.”