Back lit plastic strip directories; before and after
Sometime in the 80’s there seems to have been an enormous marketing campaign for the backlit, plastic strip directories in commercial buildings. I giggle at how often property managers explain they are looking to replace the “tired, old, expensive, time consuming to update” black strip directories. I give kudos to the marketing team at the time because they did a great job making them a near mainstay for commercial buildings. I often wonder if they have the same marketing company as the people who branded almonds a superfood.
The reality of the systems is that not only do they look dated, but they are also resource hogs. The time it takes to get new strips printed and then get another vendor to install the strips can often be 1/3 of the lease period, not to mention the cost involved. The costs are not only financial, but also the time that you must invest as a property manager. Compound this issue with the fact that fewer and fewer printers are making these items meaning you are investing time and casting a wider and wider net to locate a vendor to handle this issue for you.
The cost of digital directories has come down and the functionality has improved making these the gold standard for commercial buildings. See below for a great example of how YDD utilized the existing wall opening to mount a beautiful and sleek new digital directory. This keeps tenant finish minimal and ROI maximized.
By replacing their old strips with a digital directory, this property manager has been able to remove the word documents taped to the wall as well as the floor stand to create a clutter free, beautiful space.