Electronic signs for schools are one way to keep students, parents, and the community informed. You may have seen plenty of these message displays whether in your own community or elsewhere. Create your electronic signs for schools thoughtfully so that the end result meets or exceeds your expectations.
Things you may want to do
Here are some thoughts that may help you shape your signage plan. We’re going to explore them in the form of do’s and don’ts for your signage journey.
#1 Do prioritize accuracy
Ensure your information is accurate. There’s no way you want to accidentally stick the incorrect date for a school event on your sign. Even though you can change it later, you can’t guarantee that you’ll reach everyone with the update.
#2 Do spell every word correctly (and double-check)
Be sure to check your spelling and grammar before you release your sign’s message to the world. It’s a great idea to get a second or third pair of eyes on the sign’s text before you make it public. Naturally, messing this up could be embarrassing and lead to misunderstanding.
Keep in mind that you are an educational institution. As such, there’s a presumption that you know what you’re doing when it comes to teaching students. The very best way to undermine the confidence of outsiders is to demonstrate publicly that you don’t know how to spell words. After all, if you’re supposed to be teaching spelling to your students, and you can’t seem to spell yourself, what are passersby supposed to think?
Example: Spelling done right
Take as an example, this sign for McKinley Elementary. Not only is their sign simple and easy to read, but it also incorporates a possessive plural noun ending in s—not an easy task! So, congratulations to the message creators for pulling it off well.
#3 Do ensure the visuals are clear
Make sure your sign’s text is legible. Also, provide enough contrast between your text and your background. You want viewers to be able to make out your text easily.
Example: steer clear of signage that’s hard-to-read
Granted, it may be the lighting, the perspective, or the photo quality, but this school sign doesn’t give the immediate impression of being striking and easy to take in at a glance. Try to form your signs so they create an easy, enjoyable experience for the viewer.
#4 Do share items of community interest
You can share community news/events even if they aren’t always school-related. Remember that your sign is a platform for broadcasting information. And it doesn’t have to all be intimately tied to your school. You can share information to help keep the community safe—like reminding people that there’s a burn ban in effect. Or you can congratulate community members or groups for a job well done—like congratulating the local minor league baseball team on a win, perhaps.
Things you don’t want to do
Now let’s dive into a few things to steer clear of with your electronic signs for schools.
#1 Don’t underdo it
Don’t create text so small that passing drivers can’t read it easily. The last thing you need to do is contribute to unsafe driving practices by creating a distraction for drivers. Make your text large enough that it can be taken in readily.
#2 Don’t overdo it
Try not to fill your sign with so much information that it can’t be digested. Naturally, you want to let viewers know what they need to know. But there is such a thing as too much information. So, don’t go overboard.
Example: A three-word message with impact
Here’s a school that made a statement in just three words. Thanks to the repetition and the exclamation points, we get the idea—they want people picking up books.
#3 Don’t leave out key information
Naturally, you want viewers to see your sign and take action (if action is appropriate). Don’t leave viewers hanging by giving them just enough to be interested, but not enough to actually take the next step. Are you hosting an event? Then, be sure you place as much information as necessary about the location, date, and time of day so no one’s lost about what’s actually going on when.
Example you don’t want to repeat: electronic sign gone south
Here’s a parting admonition—make sure your school’s electronic sign has appropriate security surrounding it. You don’t want to repeat this Texas story. Hackers made their way into a road sign and displayed their own text.
Electronic signs for schools and more
Once you’ve begun planning your electronic signs for schools, remember that there are other signage options, too. Banners can help you promote events, and yard signs can assist with that, too. Gather ideas for fundraiser signage with our How To Advertise Fundraisers For Your School Or Nonprofit Event. And learn about incorporating signage into classrooms with The Educator’s Guide To Effective Signs For Schools & Classrooms.