Signs take your message to the world around you, letting potential clients and customers know what you do and how it can help them. But they’re also a great way to connect with the community apart from straightforward plugging for your company. You can use them to display your interest in things that matter to the community, sharing its joys and sorrows.
On the joyful side, one possible way to connect your signage with things that impact the community is to celebrate the change of seasons. After all, seasonal transitions affect everyone, and some people find them exciting and enjoyable. So, in the spirit of tapping into what’s going on in the world around you, let’s explore some ways to make your signage seasonal without breaking the bank.
Bring things up to seasonal speed with Velcro
Admittedly, velcro is a bit of an outside-the-box solution here. But it could be the perfect option to make your interior signage reflect the changing seasons. For instance, let’s say you have a printed menu board with one column left blank for seasonal specials.
That column is the perfect place for a list of food or drink choices printed (or written) on small horizontal strips. Put adhesive-backed Velcro on these pieces and put more Velcro in proper position on the sign itself. Then you’re ready to go to town listing your new options for tasty seasonal celebration.
Menu items or just cheery extras
Note that this idea is still sound even if you simply want to decorate your sign to add some seasonal cheer. For this upcoming autumn season, spangling your sign with pumpkins and fall leaves is a natural option. But you could also use Velcro-backed pieces to display things like snowflakes or snowmen.
Drape or tie for extra impact
If you don’t want your seasonal extras to impact the surface of your sign, another idea is to drape or tie decor around your sign. Additionally, for something like a monument sign, you may be able to place seasonal items on the ground nearby (or even in the ground if there’s soil available).
Let’s say your business is in a downtown area with a lot of foot traffic. So, you use an A-frame sidewalk sign because it draws pedestrians into your storefront. To add some seasonality, try decorating around the sign instead of actually changing the sign’s face.
Accessories for the season
A garland that’s reflective of the seasons—whether it’s autumn leaves or spring daisies—could add some pizzazz to your display. Plus, adding some items around the base of the sign or even floating some aptly colored balloons from its frame could augment the display.
Note: Before you dive into this kind of decor, ensure you understand your locality’s ordinances for displays like these. Check whether you’re allowed to display on the sidewalk or if you need special permission to do so.
Design signs with change in mind
Sometimes, making your signage seasonal will be an afterthought. However, if you can catch this before the sign is manufactured, you may be able to set yourself up for seasonality. One option is a chalkboard or whiteboard sign.
Chalkboard or whiteboard signs provide you space that’s meant to change over time. With this kind of display option, your seasonal celebration abilities are limited only by your imagination and artistic talent. If you’re not into drawing yourself, try a partnership with a local artist. Collaboration for seasonal visuals is good for you and good for them at the same time because they can use it as part of their own marketing.
The best of both worlds
Actually, you don’t have to go full bore chalkboard or full bore whiteboard to reap some of these benefits. Instead, try creating a hybrid sign—one that has some elements and materials of a regular sign, but also has a whiteboard or chalkboard area.
Signs can do a million things
Seasonal signs are just one way to be relevant to what’s going on around you. Don’t forget that you can also celebrate community successes (like a Little League victory or a city centennial). In addition, sometimes it may be appropriate to commemorate losses or mourn tragedies.
Think it through
Naturally, you want all your signage to be tasteful, so put in some time to evaluate what the best options are for your particular situation. Also, remember that your signs could have double impact for you when use them on social media. Check out our 8 Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Signs & Reuse Them On Social Media.
All kinds of organizations need to advertise. This is true whether they are trying to make profits or are trying to raise money and working for a cause.
That’s why for this year’s International Day of Charity on September 5th, we are looking at how to create signs for nonprofits & charitable organizations.
To create signs for an NPO or charity, you need to know about working on a budget, choosing the right products, and designing the images. We will cover all of these and more in our ultimate sign guide.
Working on a budget
Clearly, one of the most important goals of any charitable organization is to save as much money as possible. However, you still need to find a way to gather the resources needed for your cause.
That’s why the core parts of your business model are usually to raise money, raise awareness, or both. This means you always need to spend as little as possible while getting the results you want. This mindset needs to extend to making signage.
You don’t want to spend unnecessarily. So don’t ever be hasty. Take your time to make sure you make the best decisions for your organization.
To do this, you need to figure out how much you can or want to spend. It will, of course, depend on the state of your accounts. If you are unsure what a reasonable amount is, it can help to do some research.
Try to find out what similar nonprofits and charitable organizations have spent on their signage. Overall, this will give you the ideal starting point. You can also check out what the costs are for the type of products you want.
Next, once you have calculated your budget, you have to find ways to stick to it. The key is to thoroughly investigate all your options as you go through the process.
We will discuss how you can save some money along each step of the way.
Getting a sponsor
As you might know, one of the essential ways you can save on the expenses is by getting a sponsor. There are always businesses who are willing to help out for a cause. Corporate social responsibility is now viewed as a central part of how companies work.
Typically, the public believes that businesses should not only focus on profits. They must try to have some positive impact on society. Consumers might even stop supporting a company if they feel they don’t care.
That’s why cause-related marketing is now more popular than ever. Corporations have an interest in showing off their contributions.
All of this is excellent news for charities and nonprofits that are looking for sponsorships. It gives both of the parties a chance to win.
Today larger NPO’s often have a whole team to focus on cause-related marketing. But don’t fear, a smaller organization can still manage.
Here are some tips for getting the sponsors for your signage:
- First, go to companies who have supported your charity in the past. They might be willing to continue with the partnership.
- Look for a business whose owners you know. It can help you in the initial stages of arranging a meeting.
- Don’t rely on a single method of communication. Try to use email, calls, and visits to reach companies that might be interested.
- Find a business whose target audience might overlap with yours. Both of you will then benefit more from the relationship. And they will probably be more willing to lend you their support.
- To show your gratitude, print their names on the signage, send them documents to prove their contribution, or thank them in the media.
Take a look at this article to learn more about corporate sponsorships.
Different signs for different purposes
One of the critical decisions you need to make involves which signs you want to make. It’s important to remember that some signs will be better suited for specific goals than others. Once again, you need to do some detective work.
The following are some of the best signs that nonprofits and charitable organization can use for their campaign.
Most organizations will have at least one physical location from which they operate. This is an ideal place that you can use to promote your cause. You probably won’t need to pay additional fees to put up the signs. And it serves practical purposes too.
There are several options to consider, depending on your budget, location, and so on.
Do your offices or workspace have windows facing pedestrian or motor vehicle traffic?
Then window graphics can be an excellent option for you. These signs can be a real eye-catcher, especially if the surrounding businesses don’t have any. You can make your organization stand out even more if you design them with bright colors and images.
That’s one reason why they can work well as advertisements. But they have practical utility too. For example, they are most commonly used to display useful information like your name, trading hours, and contact information.
The price of window graphics will depend on the size and design. However, what makes them cost-effective is the fact that they are low maintenance and long-lasting.
Channel letters are a perfect solution to display your organization’s name, especially if you use them in combination with window graphics that provide more information.
These signs are highly customizable. So you have a lot of flexibility. Thanks to this you might have some leeway to choose a less expensive design.
Besides this, fabricators typically make them with LED lighting. Therefore you can even get some exposure at night.
Long term advertisements:
Like any other business, you could benefit from more extensive general advertising. Signs can be an excellent long term solution for this.
One sign you can use is vehicle graphics. These are decals or wraps that you can place on any automobile.
What makes them unique is their mobility. You can gain exposure wherever the car, truck, or bus goes. In the end, this can save you a lot of money. If you’re on a budget, you can replace some of your rented sign spaces with vehicle graphics.
Another fantastic long term option is digital signs. These screens have become more and more popular thanks to their effectiveness as an advertising medium.
One benefit of digital signs is that they give you much more space for potential content. You can run several ads on a loop and even play videos on them. Another good idea is to show some footage, photos, or statistics about the effect your organization has had.
In addition to this, you have the freedom to change the content of the sign if you need to. For example, if you want to promote an upcoming event or fundraiser.
Overall, this is an excellent platform to give more information about your cause. For this reason, you should consider placing it in an area where people can spend more time looking at it. An example of this is the checkout line of a local store or a queuing area at a bank.
Initially, it can be more expensive than some of the alternatives. But it will pay off in the end.
Signs for events and fundraisers:
Long-term advertisements should undoubtedly play a key role in your advertising strategy. But you will also need temporary signs.
Core tools of any nonprofit and charitable organization are events and fundraisers. These are fantastic ways to get more exposure and support for your cause.
So you will need signs to advertise before the events. However, you will also need some at the event.
Banners are a lightweight and very inexpensive signage product. Fabricators usually need less time to make them.
That is why you should always keep these in mind for temporary signs. You can use them as a promotion for the event. But you can also use them at the event to encourage people to make contributions.
Tradeshow displays and exhibits
Any charitable organization or NPO needs to know about the different trade show displays and exhibits. There are many types available depending on your needs and what your sign company can offer. Some examples are pop-up displays, specialized banners, and multimedia displays.
As you might guess, these are specifically made to use at events.
They will work well if there is more than one exhibitor or organization present. You can really make your booth stand out.
But they can also be handy at events that focus on your cause.
How to get people to support your cause with design
The end goal is to create signs that create awareness and also get support for your cause. To achieve this, you need to look at the design of your signage as well.
Let’s look at some of the critical design elements and principles to keep in mind.
Use photos of people, animals, or whatever else you are supporting with your organization. This is a great way to catch your audience’s eye and will make the sign more memorable.
But most importantly, it will make it more impactful. The cause will feel more real to them.
Call to action
You need to let people know what actions they can take to support your nonprofit or charity. This should be a central consideration in your design. You can emphasize it by using bright colors, contrasts, bold letters, or large font sizes.
Having this will help improve the chances that they will not only see the sign but act on it too.
If a sponsor supports your organization, it is essential to say this on your signs. Doing this will help maintain a good relationship with them. But it will also lend legitimacy to your cause.
You can include this by saying “sponsored by” and then giving the logos of the business. It doesn’t have to be at the center of the sign. However, it shouldn’t be almost invisible either.
Working with a sign company
The success of your signs relies in large part on the work of your sign company. So you must establish a fruitful relationship with them. This is true for any business venture. But even more so for charities and NPO’s with limited resources.
You want to get it right the first time.
Hire the right company
Choosing a good sign company can mean the difference between overwhelming success and complete failure.
To help you decide, make a list of fabricators in your area. Contact them and find out as much as you can so that you can compare them.
A few things that you should consider are:
- Their pricing
- Range of products and services
- Track record and reviews
- Quality of their work
- Their manufacturing process
- How long it will take
In the end, it boils down to finding a company you trust to produce high-quality work at a reasonable price.
Discuss your options
You should always discuss all your options with the fabricator of your choice, especially when it comes to pricing. Be upfront from the start. Tell them that you are an NPO or charity and let them know what your budget is.
More likely than not, they will be able to work out what the most cost-effective solution will be.
You might be surprised to find that they might have packages that can help you save a few bucks.
A pro tip is to ask about the different materials they use. The fabricators might be able to print the same sign, of the same type at a lower cost depending on the material.
It can be helpful to always keep in mind who the experts are. Your sign company will know the industry much better than you do. So take advantage of their knowledge and expertise.
Don’t hesitate to ask them any questions you might have. As long as you have chosen a suitable company, they should be able to give you sterling advice.
If their recommendations go against what you want, take a second before making your decision. You don’t want to dismiss their guidance offhand. They will usually have a good reason behind it that can help your organization.
Ask about sponsorships
We’ve already talked about the importance of getting a sponsor. What we didn’t mention was that you could often ask your sign company about this too. They may be willing to partially or fully sponsor your signage.
Or else they might at least give you some discounts on the signs. It never hurts to ask, so don’t miss this potential opportunity.
For a good cause
Hopefully, this guide will help you to create effective signs for your nonprofit or charitable organization. In the right hands, signage can help you increase awareness and also raise support. Don’t forget that they can be valuable as long-term advertisements as well as short-term for fundraisers.
There are some things you can’t change. You simply need to learn how to deal with it. There are always conditions that can hamper you when you are trying to create the perfect signage.
We are going to discuss a few common sign limitations that you’re likely to face. We’ll also look at creative solutions to solve these problems.
Preferably, you should design your graphics to suit the sign medium. But this doesn’t mean problems don’t arise. And in many ways, it can limit your signage.
We all would prefer to have complete freedom when it comes to creating signs. One of the most prevalent sign limitations is too little space. You probably won’t have as much room to work with as you want.
Your space could be limited by how much is available at your location. Or by the type of sign that you choose to use.
Because of this, it can be difficult or nigh on impossible to fit in all the content you want to. So you have to find a way to work around it. But it can also be challenging to find a way to arrange the content.
The rule of thumb when it comes to signs is to keep it concise. Short and sweet, that’s what you’re aiming for.
So if you have limited space to work with, you should try to see if you can remove some of the content or reduce it in some way. You will need to use different signs for different purposes. Therefore the number of words and graphics needed will differ widely.
But try to remove anything unnecessary. Don’t add too many flourishes or too many descriptive words.
Besides this, you should try to get creative with the layout. Using smart design, you can make more of the space you have. Specifically, look at how words are stacked. For example, if you have too little horizontal space place the phrases on top of each other.
Logo too detailed
Many of the limitations come up because of the way you designed aspects of your brand’s visual identity in the past. It can be tricky to plan for all the potential mediums on which you will use the graphics.
Overall, the best fix would be to complete the process in the right way from beginning to end. But once the problem has arisen, there are usually a few solutions you can try.
One common issue is that people design their logo to be too detailed. Complicated graphics don’t translate well to signs.
First of all, many of the details can get blurred and therefore lost as the images are scaled. It can be a problem when you make it larger or smaller.
Second, you always need to think about the visibility and legibility of the signs. The more detailed they are, the more challenging it becomes for the audience to make out what they say. Keep in mind that people will only spend a few seconds looking at any signage.
Besides this, the end product might cost more. Fabricators might charge more because the printing process is more complicated.
It will also limit the sign types that you can choose. For example, the fabricator probably won’t be able to cut out the logo like traditional channel letters.
In general, you’ll need to compromise in some way to solve this problem.
One of the most effective solutions is to redesign the logo. You don’t have to start from scratch. But it can do wonders to simplify it.
You can do this by:
- Taking out any shadows, gradients, textures
- Leaving out unnecessary graphic elements
- Limiting the number of colors
- Using fewer fonts
If you don’t want to change it, remember that some sign types work better than others. For example, you can choose window graphics, murals, and monument signs.
Otherwise, there’s always one option left. You don’t have to put the logo on the sign. It is by no means necessary to include this.
Many people prefer not to print it on their signs. Too often it can clutter the design, especially if you’re going with channel letters or dimensional letters as a building sign.
You won’t be alone in this. Well established brands go through several iterations of their logo.
We don’t always think ahead when we design for our businesses. This often happens if you jump into things when you start a relatively small company. Unfortunately, your past decisions can sometimes come back to haunt you.
You need to design elements of your visual identity with the end products like signage in mind. These elements include your logo, customized font, and the company name.
Otherwise, it can cause problems and even limit you when you are trying to create effective signs for your business. Much of this boils down to scale. You need to create designs specifically so that you can enlarge them.
If you don’t, the images can look disproportionately stretched out. At worst they can even look visibly pixelated. In the end, it will make the sign look amateurish and in turn, will affect how people perceive your brand.
There are several ways you can help to prevent this. First off, you need to try to imagine how the graphics will scale up to the size you need. Remember that different signage products come in various scales, with outdoor signs usually being bigger.
To avoid stretching, you should pay attention to the proportions of the sign when the fabricator prints it. Preferably you want to keep it relatively similar to its original form.
If you don’t want to be limited by potential pixelation, you need to make sure the logo or font you create the designs in the correct format. You shouldn’t use raster graphics. You create these images out of pixels in software programs like Photoshop.
Instead, you want to use vector graphics which you can create in Adobe Illustrator. You make them out of mathematically precise points. This means you can scale them indefinitely
Regulations and ordinances
Another important limiting factor to take into account is local laws and regulations. Different areas have different rules about what you can and can’t do with your signs.
If you don’t comply, the authorities could issue you with a fine. On top of this, they can even force you to remove the offending signs.
The only real solution to this is to work with the local authorities. You need to research which zoning laws will apply.
Note that there are separate guidelines for different signs. For example, there are regulations for outdoor signs, commercial signage, ones next to highways, and even political signs.
In case you get stuck on how to make it work, consult your sign company. It can be helpful to choose fabricators based in your area. They should be well versed in the relevant laws.
On top of area-wide regulations, you will probably also be subject to the rules of your lease. More likely than not, the property management will have set out standards on their tenants’ usage of signs.
They might have set out rules about their:
If you don’t comply, there could be severe consequences for your lease and your business.
Before you create your sign, you have to check the rules of the lease and the property. This can help you from making a costly mistake. Sometimes it can be useful as a way to set up some guidelines to get you started.
Many property owners will also require that you show them the design of the sign for approval.
All in all, the most common limitations are those about the size and amounts of signs that you can use.
For example, if it feels a bit cramped, you should try to use all of the surfaces that are available to you. People often mount building signs above the windows of the storefront. But you can move much of the content to other products like window graphics, sidewalk signs, and banners.
Another of the significant possible signage limitations is the local weather. There’s no way to fight it. You need to find a way to work with the conditions.
When you don’t prepare correctly, your signage will suffer. Conditions like regular rain, wind, or intense sun exposure can take its toll. Even worse, the sign can be destroyed or be blown away and lost forever if you’re not careful.
You must make sure that your signage is suitable for local weather.
If the area in which you want to place it is windy, you want to stay away from lightweight signs like banners, coroplast, and A-frame sidewalk signs. Or else, if you choose one of these, you need to secure it properly.
You can put weights on the bottom of the sign. And you could tie them down. But it could be a safer option to go with installed, built, or mounted signs such as monument signs or window graphics.
Sun and rain can be just as harsh over time. Ask your fabricator which of their products are weather resistant. They might even be able to apply some protective coatings to their other products.
Most of the times, there is little you can do to change the environment in which you hang your sign. As we’ve said, property rules and leases will probably limit you. But you will also be subject to the physical limitations of the building.
One of these is the colors at the location. It can have a significant impact on the effectiveness of the sign.
Too often, the colors in the design clash with those around it, making the total effect unattractive.
Although you want the colors to work together, you also want the sign to stand out. You don’t want it to blend too well with the environment. Thus the location can hamper what you can do with your design.
You have to take the appearance of the building into account when you design your signage. It can be a good idea to take different color swatches to the building. You can test to see if they can blend well or not.
Take a look at this guide on picking color combinations.
To increase its visibility, it can be a great idea to use contrasts. For example, you can pair a white sign on a black background.
However, for one reason or another, you might have to use a specific palette, especially if it is a vital part of your brand identity. One possible fix for this is to put the sign on a colored mounting or backboard. This allows you can complete the picture with your own background.
Sign 101 is that your sign should catch your audience’s eye. Of course, the viewing distance and angle will depend on the exact locations of the signs. The spot might not always be optimal.
This means that your signage needs to stand out from its environment. Unfortunately, this can be a challenge if the location is saturated with signage, etc. And more so if there are things in the way like lamp poles and trees.
You need to find a way to work with the characteristics of the location.
There are several tricks you can try to make sure your signage will draw attention, even if it is slightly obscured or in a crowded place.
Here are a few:
- Choose bright colors
- Play with contrast
- Include graphics on the sign
- Make it 3D or add features to create this effect
- Use lighting to light up the signage
What if your sign will need to be placed quite far from the sidewalk or the road?
As a result, it might be difficult to see, read, and understand. In this case, you can increase the size of the board and its content. If you can’t do that, it can also help to use uppercase letters instead of lowercase.
Don’t let any of these signage limitations unnecessarily hamper your process. There is always a solution to the problem. But it can help to plan for these eventualities.
This tip holds for all the possible pitfalls. So check out 5 of the worst mistakes you can make with your promotional materials.
Education is continually changing and evolving. So has the educational environment.
Signs aren’t only for decoration. In the right hands, they can be valuable resources to enhance spaces such as classrooms and schools. They can be essential teaching tools besides helping people to navigate through the environment safely.
We’re going to dive straight into it. The article will look at everything you need to know to design efficient signs for schools and classrooms from looking at colors to interaction.
Guide to school and classroom design
Every sign needs to be unique. The principles that work for advertisements won’t necessarily apply to signage in a school. You need to design the products with its specific goals and final destination in mind.
What do you want from classroom and school signs?
- To convey information
- Double up as learning tools
- Make the space more attractive
- Boost creativity
- Customize areas
- To give directions
- Health and safety warnings
- Promote the school
- Encourage students
These points might differ from institution to institution, but at least some of them are probably relevant to yours. Even if you are running an alternative education institution or teaching your children at home, many of the following tips can help you too!
It’s important to remember that design isn’t limited to signage. You need to pay careful attention to the layout and aesthetic of the entire classroom and school too.
Researchers have shown in a report that the physical characteristics of classrooms can increase the learning progress of primary school pupils by as much as 16% in a single year. That can be pretty significant.
Different aspects like light, color, and use of space play a role here. It is all about how they combine to create an environment that is stimulating but not overly distracting.
You want to use signs that contribute to these positive effects.
Tool for learning
To start, we’ll talk about how teachers can use signs to help teach their pupils.
One of the significant innovations in modern education is that educators now recognize a variety of learning models. These are different types of instructions. They help to cater to the range of preferences and learning styles that students might have.
Not everyone learns the same way. You can do more than write on the blackboard and recite the work.
Signs can be a fantastic way to incorporate different teaching methods into the classroom. They can be especially powerful as visual tools. Some topics can be efficiently taught using posters and signs.
An example of this in a primary school can be to use a range of signs to help you teach younger children the alphabet.
An example of this in a high school and middle school would be a poster of the periodic table.
You can include graphics on both of these posters to illustrate the information. You can also create opportunities for them to refer to these signs when they are doing related work in a lesson.
Signage like this can give the students a breather from staring at the blackboard or their textbooks. You can use it as a change of pace and help them gain a different perspective on a topic.
Importance of graphics
Pictures are one of those topics that will always pop up when you are talking about signs. But it is even more significant when you are designing anything for children.
Many students are visual learners. Seeing a portrayal of life cycles in pictures will probably make it easier to understand and remember than just reading and hearing about it.
But it’s not only that. You want the signs to appeal to your pupils too. Graphics are much more interesting to look at than just words. It’s all about finding the balance between using just enough words to convey the message and using so many that they become tedious.
You need to take the age of the children into account. The younger the children, the higher the ratio of pictures to words should be. It is the same principle that authors use in youth books.
Many educators prefer to use cartoon-like graphics on their classroom signs. Goofy and fun drawings can help them to make it appealing to younger children. On the other hand, you want to use detailed and anatomically correct drawings for a high school biology class.
Of course, not all signs in a school or classroom are meant to be teaching tools. Some will be there to convey information, like directions and safety information, to parents and visitors as well as pupils. But even with these, graphics such as arrows are vital to helping you communicate the point with limited words.
One of the best ways to form connections in the brain is through interacting with it. Your students will remember the work much better if they can engage with it in a hands-on way.
Ask yourself how you can make their learning experience more interactive.
Your students will thank you for making lessons more fun and therefore more memorable.
It’s crucial to consider this when designing signage for schools and classrooms. There are many ways your students can interact with signs.
Here are just a few ways to incorporate these elements into the design:
- Leave spaces or gaps on the sign where students can “fill in” information
- Design signage where you can move around pieces to mix and match.
- Make boards that they can draw on.
- Create multiple posters that students can arrange in different orders.
You can use digital signs, magnetic signs, signs with interchangeable slots, or ones with blackboard or other materials that can be written on and erased.
Imagine the alphabet posters in our previous example. You can leave a blank space under each letter. There, students can draw a picture that matches it, or select a premade image to stick on that spot.
A pro tip is that just like adults, children feel more secure and comfortable if they feel like they have a degree of ownership in a place. So why not give them a controlled way to make their mark on the classroom?
Nowadays, people are becoming more and more aware of the benefits of holistic approaches to education. It’s not only about teaching kids subjects like mathematics and science. But also about helping them develop in other areas like social skills and self-care.
Unfortunately, schools can sometimes be daunting places. Exams, reports, and homework can be a stressful experience for pupils.
That’s why it can be crucial to encourage pupils too.
As part of this, it can be helpful to design a few motivational signs for your school and classrooms too. You can use banners to cheer on the school’s sports team. Or write well wishes for the exams on LED message centers.
It can be a good idea to distinguish these from educational signs by using other fonts, colors, and images.
Color and mood
We all know that kids love colorful things. And it is undoubtedly true that it can liven up a room. But what is the best way to use colors in your classroom and school signs?
Signs can be an excellent way for educators to bring a pop of color into the classrooms. Using bright shades can undoubtedly help to draw attention to the poster. So it is a good idea to use plenty of colors in the critical ones.
But you don’t want to cross the line where the colors are overstimulating. To avoid this, carefully select which signs can have more toned-down hues and which ones need to stand out.
Overall, younger children enjoy warmer and brighter colors more than older students. These can be orange, red and so on.
But as they begin to transition to middle school, you might want to stick with a cooler palette. At this age, students need to be able to concentrate more. Muted colors like blue and green can help promote this state of mind.
Don’t forget to show some school pride with your signage. It’s a great idea to try to incorporate your institution colors in most of your outdoor signs. These will typically be seen by parents and visitors. By using school colors and logos, you can help create a visual identity for the institution and distinguish it from others.
Many educators find it useful to put a sign showing off the school motto or anthem in their classrooms. Your colors should also accompany official school information such as this.
A unified scheme such as this can be a brilliant strategy to make your school look more professional.
Engagement vs. distraction
As you’ve probably noticed, there is a thin line that you tread in designing signage for classrooms and schools. It is the line between engagement and distraction.
The sign needs to be attractive enough to the audience so that it can serve its purpose. However, in this case, a large part of your audience consists of children who are in an educational institution to learn.
One of the teacher’s main goals is to help students focus on specific tasks.
You don’t want the signs to be so busy that the students sit staring at them.
It isn’t necessarily a problem with all the signs in a school like wayfinding signs, safety signs, and so on. You mostly need to be concerned with this in the case of signage in the classroom or in some cases, those visible from the class.
Here are a few tips for how you can stay on the right side of this line:
- Limit how much information you put on one sign. Try to keep it focused on one topic.
- You can unify your classroom and the signage by sticking to a theme. Themed content can be a brilliant tool in school to help make learning more appealing.
- Don’t use too many different colors. Instead, use palettes that combine well and match each other.
Different types of signs and examples:
For the most effective signage solution, you will probably need a variety of different products. Schools are such multifaceted environments. In the end, you will probably need indoor signs, as well as outdoor signs, each with their intended purpose.
Choosing the right product is a critical step in the design process. You need to make sure that it is suitable for the task at hand.
Let’s look at a few examples of signs that you can use and their designs.
One crucial purpose for signage at a school is to announce its presence to the world. You need a board for your school’s name. Monument signs are always a popular choice.
Sign companies can make them from many materials in a variety of shapes and appearances. Overall, they are very customizable.
Take a look at the sign we made for Best Academy School. It shows off the institution’s colors and even has a graphic for the school’s mascot. We really like the pole holding up the sign – it’s made to look like books! The board is an excellent example of displaying school pride and what distinguishes this school from others.
Vehicle graphics and wraps
Educational institutions have a range of different infrastructure and types of property. They will usually own different vehicles used to transport the students, teachers and so on.
These vehicles can be a fantastic way to represent your school out in the world. So why not invest in some vehicle graphics?
You can choose wraps or magnetic strips. Make sure your design represents a combination of fun and neat professionalism, like the example above.
Setting up for success
It takes careful consideration to design signs for classrooms and schools. You need to cater to the unique requirements of your audience and the environment. Using signs can help you improve your students’ learning experience and make school more engaging.
As we’ve said, you can use a variety of different products at your school. Take a look at the comprehensive guide to the different types of signage & their uses for more information on what’s right for you.
Sports play a large role in American culture today. Whether your favorite sport is baseball, football, hockey, basketball, soccer, golf, or even Ultimate Frisbee, sometimes you want to show your team spirit. That’s where signs come in. Signs are a great way to say what you want to say. And you can say it without tiring out your voice or being present in-person the whole time.
Obviously, Detroit has a lot to offer when it comes to sports. With the 4 major leagues represented in the city, you might say Detroit has all the sports. Need convincing? Take it from Click On Detroit: Pistons move makes Detroit only North American city with 4 pro teams in its downtown.
Thus, the city not only has teams, but it also has team spirit. And when you want to express your team spirit, what better way than with a sign? Maybe you’re looking for something to display outside your house or your company. Or it could be time for a sign outside—so it can be seen by pedestrians and drivers, too. Whatever you want to say, let’s look at some signs that can reflect how you feel about your team.
Say it outside
When you need to align yourself with your team outside a building, you have several options.
LED sign – Start with an LED message center. Here’s a sign option that’s perfect for those of you who want to change the message from time to time. (Or even change the message frequently). With an LED sign, you can personalize the sign to celebrate team wins. And your company can build rapport with the community by celebrating the victories of local school or community sports leagues.
Monument sign – Sometimes, you may need a sign that isn’t going to change—something with an air of permanence. Let’s say you’re celebrating a team accomplishment like a series of victories, for instance (maybe even years of victories). Then a monument sign might be the order of the day. From its spot at the entrance to a city or district, it can announce “Welcome to ___ (name of team) Country.” Or it could list an achievement like your number of championship wins.
Parking signs – Sometimes you have to mark your turf. And for sports fans that could include their parking spaces. So, you might just be looking for a playful parking sign that restricts a space to vehicles transporting fans of a particular team. For instance, you might need a “Parking for Detroit Lions fans only” sign.
Say it inside
When what you say is going to be inside a building, you still have more than one way to go. Check out these ideas.
Wall murals – What better way to commemorate something like NBA championship wins than with a whole wall? Wall murals are eye-catching and give you a lot of space to work with. Also, if you’re looking for something hard to miss, then you should definitely keep this option on the table. (Or should we say “on the wall”?)
Floor graphics – No walls available in your space? Then how about finding an underused area to show your team spirit—namely, the floor.
Meeting & event signs – If you’re celebrating your team at an indoor event, plan ahead and get event signs customized for the occasion. For example, secure printed table covers, photo standups, or pop-up displays.
Inside, outside, everywhere
Some signs can help you speak up inside or outside. See if any of these signs is right for your business or home.
Banners – Here’s a way to communicate the joy and celebration surrounding a win. Plus, banners can also share your message of support—letting your team know you stand behind them. You can use them for parties or even to let others know about a sporting event. And you can get them in on the action congratulating a team or even a particular player.
Neon signs – When we say neon signs, the illuminated window signs that tell customers a business is open may come to mind. But that’s not their only application. Neon signs could take their place outside or inside your building, shedding fan fervor and light at the same time.
Learn & dive in
Maybe all this sign talk has you curious about what type of signs are out there. So head to A Comprehensive Guide To The Different Types Of Signage & Their Uses to learn more. And if you’re ready to get started on a sign, you need a sign company. Be sure to check out What To Look For From A Sign Making Company + Questions To Ask
There’s so much to be done when planning a wedding. Of course, you want all the details to be accounted for on this delightful occasion. You know you’ll need to have a venue and probably food plans in addition to sending invitations and planning the ceremony. Here’s one other detail to put on your wedding to-do list—acquiring your custom signs. From the cheery “Mr. & Mrs.” signs to directional signs letting everyone know where to find the seating or the food, remember to plan your signs alongside everything else.
Let guests know
Your guests are giving you the gift of their presence, so go ahead and give them a gift of your own—the gift of knowledge. Make it easy for them to determine where they and their contributions, like presents, should be at any given time. Of course, for some events (like the ceremony), the program will help with this. However, another helpful key can be the signage you provide for your wedding event.
Signs may make your guests feel more comfortable—easily pointing out where they’re supposed to sit or drop their gifts, for instance. Let’s dive into some possibilities.
Here, directional signs could be the order of the day. Depending on the size of the venue you’ve chosen, guests may need to be pointed from the parking area to the ceremony seating. Plus, signs can also be useful for the seating area itself—informing guests whether they’re supposed to seat themselves and if so, on what side they should sit.
While a rehearsal may be informal enough that you don’t feel you need directional signs, it could be a great time for a sign test run. In addition, it might be a good opportunity to knock out some of your set up ahead of time. Placing directional signs before the rehearsal might be just the way to iron out any ambiguities and to get signs all ready for the actual event.
Certainly, there are plenty of differences that could affect your sign situation based on the venue you choose. A sprawling location may need more directional signs than a compact space (in a small space, guests may simply be able to follow the sound of the other guests’ voices). But even in a compact location, there are still plenty of sign options. For instance, you may put signs to work marking the space where gifts should be placed. Or you might hang creative “Mr. & Mrs.” signs that celebrate the recently-tied knot.
Unlike the wedding and the reception (and possibly the rehearsal) which could all be in the same location, the shower will most likely take place somewhere else. Again, that could call for signs to point the way—indicating which driveway, home, or hallway guests should head for. Signs can list the order of events which could take some pressure off hosts to bring guests up to speed. And, of course, they can also point out relevant areas like where coats should be hung, presents should be left, food should be placed, etc.
Creating signs equal to the occasion
Now a special event calls for special signs, so what are some examples of custom signs you may want to create for this wedding? As we’ve already mentioned, you may want Mr. & Mrs. signs or signs that say Drinks, Food, or Gifts in the appropriate locations. But don’t think you’re limited to “necessary” signs like those. Actually, your sign could have more than just the who, what, & when of your event. Maybe you’d like a custom sign displaying a happy sentiment or quote.
Signs every which way
Once you’ve decided what words your sign should display, there are other questions too. How will you display your stand? And what material should it be made of? There are plenty of display options for you including:
- Placing a sign on a sign stand (either in portrait or landscape orientation)
- Using an A-frame sign
- Creating a sign on a stake to be pushed into the ground
- Painting/drawing your sign in a picture frame that can be propped up against a nearby bush
- Creating a custom pallet sign
- Using a string or wire to hang a sign.
And when it comes to your sign material, have a little fun experimenting with surfaces. There are plenty of ways you could go with wood for instance — a more polished wood for a classy look perhaps or a rustic upcycled piece to add a country touch. Glass or plexiglass are surface options, too and could even give you the chance to display a gorgeous floral arrangement behind the writing.
More isn’t always better
When designing your custom sign, don’t feel pressured to cram a lot into your space. Sometimes, a simple statement could be more striking than several lines of text. And of course, you want your signs to blend with the rest of your decor — like whimsical signs for a lighthearted event; rustic signs for an outdoor, country event; and striking black and white for formal elegance, perhaps.
Remember that you can use different fonts. However, pick fonts that work well together. Ensure all writing is legible, too. Plus, you might even choose to hire a professional hand letterer to take your sign to the next level. They have the ability to turn a project that is beautiful in your mind’s eye and turn it into a lovely item in the real world.
Get off to a good start
Whether you’re creating the signs yourself or getting some help from a sign professional, start early to avoid a pile-up of work as the event date approaches. And if you still haven’t chosen a location for your wedding event, take a look at our party venue ideas. Plus, remember to enjoy the whole process! Have fun on the day itself and as you prepare for everyone involved to have a great time.
A business owner looking for signs is like a kid in a candy store. There is a vast variety of options to choose from. Each of them is better for reaching specific goals. That’s why it’s critical to know your stuff before selecting a product.
Whether you want to provide some information or want to promote your company, it is essential to do a bit of research. Read on to learn more from our guide to types of signage and their uses.
Types of signage
The options that we are going to discuss fall into several categories. Here are a few of the primary groupings:
- Outdoor signs: These items are some of the most critical assets in an advertiser’s toolbox. They are all about increasing exposure. Often they will be placed right outside your physical location. Otherwise, they can be put up in strategic spots in the local area.
- Indoor signs: You can use indoor signage for a variety of purposes. They typically work best at your physical location. Many of them are aimed at informing potential customers about things. Other times they are meant to advertise specific aspects of the business.
- Persuasive signage: One of the most exciting uses of signage is to promote your business, service or product. So many products are made primarily to do this. They are great at persuading your customers to engage with your company in some way.
- Informational signs: Remember that not all signage is meant for advertising. You also need a platform to convey info through. This group includes things like way finders, directional signage, and menu boards among other things. They will often be at or near your place of business.
Deciding which of these groups will work for you can be a fantastic place to start. Let’s move on to looking at the specific types of signage in more detail.
1- Window graphics
The first kind of signs that we are going to talk about is window graphics. They are usually made from vinyl or perforated vinyl that has images printed on it. You fix them to your store’s window.
There are tons of customization options to work with. If you want to, you can use graphics that cover the entire space. Otherwise, you can go with smaller images or a few lines of text, whatever suits your goal.
This striking platform has more than one purpose. Because it is part of your physical location, it can become part of the decor for your storefront.
On top of this, you can use it as promotions for your products or services. You can use them to increase walk-ins to your location. Or you can use them to convey information like your trading hours.
2- Murals and wraps
These are another product type that you can place on the wall of your storefront.
Manufacturers mostly print these wraps on vinyl. This material makes the surface look shiny and vibrant.
But it’s vital to try to have yours professionally done. You don’t want it to become shabby too quickly and drag down the appearance of your storefront. Well-made examples of these signs are water resistant so that you can clean them with water and soap.
Murals and wraps are a great option if you want to spruce up your store. You can advertise aspects of your business, focus on aesthetic appeal, or aim to inspire.
3- A-frame sidewalk signs
Sidewalk signs are outdoor products, which are lightweight and cost-effective. Besides this people love them because they can be moved around as you want.
It is all about grabbing passersby attention. So, make it pop. Use catchy phrases and vibrant colors to draw people’s eye.
You can usually put them on the sidewalk in front of your physical location. Or in the vicinity of your store. These are the areas where it will have the most impact.
Here are a few productive uses of A-frame sidewalk signs:
- You can use them to point potential customers in the direction of your business. Put it at the other end of the street and indicate the route to your place.
- Print your menu on the sign. Customers find it super convenient when they can see what’s on offer without even stepping foot in the restaurant.
- Use the board to inform customers about your trading hours and other important info.
- Show-off in-store promotions and specials. It can be the ideal way to entice potential customers to support your business.
4- Vehicle graphics
Talk about moveable. You don’t get much more mobile than that vehicle graphics. They are wraps that you can have fixed to any means of transport.
If you have business vehicles, you can mark them with these. But you can even stick them onto your own automobiles for extra exposure.
The best feature of these signs is that they will move around wherever you go without any extra effort. You can use them to promote your business and distribute important info like your contact details and location.
A pro tip is to go for laminated wrapping material. This can boost its lifetime and give you much more value for your money.
5- Floor graphics
In contemporary advertising and business, any and every surface is fair game – this includes floors.
Floor graphics are a great resource that you can use. You can use them to point out directions or specials in your physical location. But they also make brilliant advertisements.
Make sure that you get decals with heavy duty laminate to keep them in tip-top shape.
Don’t be afraid to get creative. There are no limits to what you can do with these products. Here are some fantastic graphics examples to inspire you.
6- Banner Signs
One of the most popular signage products is banners. They don’t go out of style.
A key benefit of this product is that they are low cost yet they can be super useful.
Banners are commonly used to advertise events like conferences or opening events. However, you can also use them to promote your business on a longer-term basis.
The signs are extremely customizable. Printers usually have a wide range of sizes, shapes, and every color under the sun available.
You can use them inside or outside. But make sure that you let your printer know beforehand how you plan to use your banner. And ask if the company has heavy duty material for outdoor spaces.
7- Safety signs & decals
All businesses need to take necessary safety precautions. An essential part of this is to use symbols to warn of any hazards or inform people of any rules that are there to keep everyone safe.
There are policies which indicate what signage each business should put up.
Here are a few possible signs:
- General danger signs
- Electrical safety sign
- Biohazard sign
- Chemical hazard sign
- High voltage warning
- Fire escape signs
You can have these printed on aluminum-backed boards or sticker type decals.
Take a look at this article for more information on safety signs that you need in your business.
No matter what your business is, you will be looking for a way to inform people about your name. It is usually put up right in front of your physical location on the wall. One way to do this is to use letter signs.
You can use these to spell out anything you want, and you can even choose the font.
Dimensional ones are 3D signs that can help you make sure that your name stands out.
Channel letters are plastic or aluminum. They are also three dimensional. But what makes them different is that they are lit up in some way. You can light them up with neon or LED from the back or front.
9- Monument signs
Another exterior sign is monument signs. These are freestanding pieces that generally sit low down on the ground.
You really have lots of options with these boards. Mostly you will have control over the sign and the actual base on which you fit it. The structure is often built from masonry or a combination of this and metal.
These signs tend to look very prestigious and grand.
You can use them to indicate the name of a business, directions, or a place.
10- Pylon signs
Pylon signs are also a freestanding structure. Most essentially, they are board that you place on top of a pole or poles. But other than that, the sky’s the limit.
Like with many other signs you can customize these from top to bottom. You can decide on the size, shape, height and even amount of boards on the pole. For example, many office parks or shopping complexes have a tall pylon sign with different sections for every business.
Therefore, these products can be used to give directions, advertise something or inform people of a place’s name.
11- Yard signs
If you are looking for a temporary solution, yard signs can be the way to go. These products are boards corrugated plastic called coroplast on which you can print graphics or information.
Lightweight and water-resistant these pieces give you real bang for your buck. They can work well if you are working on a budget. You can typically secure them to some poles and move them around as you need them.
All of these features means that they are particularly popular with real estate agents to advertise specific properties. Yard signs are brilliant for events too.
12- LED message centers
But what if you are looking for a sign that can be changed daily or even more than once a day?
Electronic message centers could be the right choice for you. They are computerized boards which display messages in LED lights. Letters and numbers can move across the screen or flash in turns. So there is almost no limit as to how much content you can display.
Their most common purpose is to convey essential messages or information. That is why schools, churches among other organizations love to use them.
You can mount the LED section of the board on a sign that gives more information like the name of the business.
13- Menu boards
Nowadays, running a successful restaurant is about more than just cooking delicious food. It also requires effective promotions and a pleasant atmosphere.
A core part of any restaurant, takeaway, or cafe is their menu board. It is an essential piece of signage which tells your customers everything they need to know about your menu. That is why it is vital that it fits the personality of your business and appeals to your clients.
The following are four common types of menu boards:
- Static-printed menu boards: These are a great option for places whose menu doesn’t change often. Owners often put them into snap frames so that they can change them out when they do make changes. They are very inexpensive.
- Dry erase menu board: These are signs that manufacturers print on a laminate material. You have the ability to write on these, erase specials, change prices, and so on. These are the product for you if you make frequent changes.
- Magnetic menu boards: People make this product out of magnets so that you can exchange certain pieces of it. This is why they work well if you offer specific items on specific days.
- Digital screen menu boards: These are the newest menu signs on the market. For many owners, they are the perfect solution because you can change them as often as you want without extra printing costs. You can even show videos on the board.
These are most of the primary types of signage that are available. They cater to all kinds of budgets and goals. But it is by no means an exhaustive list.
We make all of these categories of signs and more at Signarama. And we can help you to turn your vision into reality. For a complete list, here are the types of signage that we offer.
Besides choosing the right product, it is crucial that you focus on every aspect of the sign’s design. It is a vital part of making it as impactful as possible.
Are you looking to celebrate something in or around Detroit? Maybe you’re planning a surprise birthday party, or it’s time to celebrate an anniversary in a big way. Perhaps it’s a baby shower or time to honor the retirement of a longtime employee. From graduation parties to company milestone celebrations to fundraising dinners, time to get started planning your event!
Out & about
Regardless of what you’re celebrating, you’re looking to create a great environment. Many times, parties can take place at someone’s house. Other times, if you’re planning a party for your business, you may be able to use the conference room or some other company area. But what do you do when your home isn’t the appropriate venue and hosting at the business isn’t a good option either?
It’s simple — you find a party venue. You locate a restaurant, hotel, etc. that can help you host your event. They provide the space (and sometimes the food) and you provide the celebration. When you decide not to celebrate at your own location (home, work, etc.), there may be pros and cons.
Pros & cons
Possible pros of an outside venue: It might be easier to host a surprise party. Plus, holding your party at the separate location could also be less work when it comes to setup and takedown.
Possible cons of an outside venue: One negative could be the extra expense associated with renting a location. Plus, there’s the additional legwork that may be involved in finding a place you want.
Here to help
The good news is we may be able to help you when it comes to one of those cons. And no, we won’t be paying for your party. What we do want to do today is help eliminate some of the legwork when it comes to finding your party location.
Let’s dive into some of the options for making your party a great occasion.
1 – The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit
Let’s say you’re looking not just for a place to host your party. You’d also like something that can accommodate out-of-town guests who’ve traveled in for the occasion. Consider hosting at The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit.
2 – Firebird Tavern
What if you’re hosting a retirement or birthday party, and you’re looking for more of a rustic feel? With its brick and wood, Firebird Tavern might be a great option for you.
3 – Planterra Conservatory
Rustic coziness not what you had in mind for your party? When your event calls for the freshness that living plants and natural light provide so well, what’s not to love about the Planterra Conservatory?
4 – Rust Belt Market
In the market for a venue with a unique feel? Rust Belt Market may be what you’re looking for.
5 – 3&UP
Calling for an outside-the-box party for your group? Consider the game-playing opportunity that 3&Up offers. It may make for some memorable fun celebrating.
Of course, choosing a location isn’t the only thing you need to do before the day of your party. Get started thinking about other tasks with our planning checklist.
- Mastermind the party program and other elements. Will you have speakers or a toast? Do you need to find a way to pull the party off as a surprise for a guest of honor?
- Determine what amenities you’ll need. For instance, you may need audio/visual capabilities if you plan to display a slideshow.
- Buy gifts. Or if it’s a group gift, select the gift item, then solicit contributions from others — as in the case of a retirement gift.
- Plan decor. You can get others to help you brainstorm or do an internet search for inspiration. Do you want to go with a theme color? Or perhaps you’ll choose a focal item or concept related to your guest of honor and plan your decor around it. Also, you may need to remember some or all of the following:
- Tablecloths & napkins (especially if you need them to match with or support your theme)
- Party favors
- Streamers & balloons
- Purchase signs. We love the idea of a standup cutout of the guest of honor or even a personalized banner
- Plan menu
- Purchase & send invitations
- Coordinate volunteers
- Prepare food. If you’re cooking/baking yourself, you may want to try to work in advance to minimize pressure on the day-off
A good time was had by all
Once you have your party planning underway, don’t forget to use our sign options to help you mastermind an event to be remembered. In a bid to stay calm and enjoy the whole event and planning process, begin your work in advance. Try to have as much planned and taken care of ahead of time so you can enjoy some socializing alongside your guests.