August 30th is National College Colors Day. Perhaps you’re ready to show your support for your alma mater. But just how do you do that? Well, while there are many ways to support the school you’re attending (or graduated from), one way sticks out to us—signs. Plus, if you have a school event you need to promote, we also recommend signs as a way to get the message out.
As a sign company, of course, we might be biased toward this great communication medium. But let us introduce you to ways you can use signs to spread school spirit and to alert people about your school events.
Use the school colors in signage when it makes sense to do so
As you design your signage, think about how you can incorporate the school’s colors. Naturally, some signs will have the school colors prominently displayed by their very nature—like a banner with the school’s logo or mascot. Other signs may or may not use the school’s colors depending on whether it’s a good move.
Choosing the best sign for your school event
As you’re evaluating your sign options, use questions like these to stimulate your thought process.
- How many entrances are there to your school campus? Will you need a sign at every entrance?
- Should you advertise the event off-campus in addition to on-campus?
- Is the event’s location easy to find or will you need wayfinding signs to help guests find their destination?
- Do you have a small budget for signs, or are you free to choose as many signs as you need/want, regardless of cost?
- Is there a sign specialist that the school has worked well with in the past?
Put yourself in the attendee’s shoes and imagine what they might need or want to know. Now let’s examine some sign options for the big day.
Banners are a great option for on-campus events. They can be displayed on buildings or even temporarily placed on the front of existing monument signs. (For instance, you could put a banner over the front of the school’s welcome sign on a hillside retaining wall.)
Tap into this sign’s spirit of celebration by giving it eye-catching colors and a festive design (if appropriate). And remember that you don’t have to place a banner against an existing structure. Actually, you can install one between stakes in an open yard space. Or you can even hang one over a roadway to get the attention of drivers and pedestrians.
LED signs or electronic digital signs
Use electronic digital signs or LED signs to get the word out about your upcoming event (or simply to celebrate with your school’s colors and a message of support). If you already have a digital sign set up by a major roadway, then you’ll be able to alert passing drivers about your event. LED displays can also help with traffic control, by pointing sporting event attendees toward the right exit or parking garage, for instance.
And you can even use an electronic display to promote multiple events at once. Simply create a visual for each event and display them as a slideshow. But do leave each event’s slide visible long enough for viewers to get the necessary details before the slide changes.
When you need to reach the community off-campus, a billboard could be your friend. Check with a local billboard company for statistics about how many people their billboards reach. And search for input from them about the best locations to help target the groups you want to reach for your particular event.
For a once-in-a-lifetime event—like your school’s centennial—floor graphics could leave a smashing impression on attendees. People often ignore the ground they’re walking on, but you can use it to get their attention. Perhaps your university’s logo could be spread across the floor in your welcome center’s lobby. Or maybe you could show your school mascot’s image alongside the centennial date to liven up the floor of the entry to your main sports arena.
Wall murals and wraps
Wall murals and wraps are other options for eye-catching signage to promote the school or celebrate a milestone. Spreading what you have to say across a whole wall makes your message hard to miss. Likely you won’t want to use wall graphics for an event that will come and go soon, because changing your wall graphics frequently could get expensive. But finding a way to blend a permanent wall graphic with another temporary sign—perhaps a section of the graphic could be a whiteboard wall or blackboard wall—could be a fun and creative signage solution.
If you want to mobilize your base of supporters to do some of your event advertising for you, create yard signs. Then, you can give them to students and faculty who can place them in their own yards. Neighbors and passersby will learn about your school without you having to advertise to them specifically.
For longer-term ways to let people show their support for your school, consider investing in window decals or flags. That way, students, graduates, and even family members can post a visible message of support whether they’re near the school or far away.
Changeable message signs
If a spot on campus already has a changeable message sign, make it display your event information alongside (or instead of) it’s usual wording. A great example of this could be a dining hall. If there’s a message sign outside that displays the day’s special, why not make it announce something else that’s special—your upcoming event.
Collect and share ideas for your school event signs
When planning your signage, get input from others if possible. See if any current students recall particular signs that convinced them to attend a previous event. What about school administrators or professors—do any of them remember seeing particularly effective signs in the past? And if your event is a fundraiser, check out How To Advertise Fundraisers For Your School Or Nonprofit Event to get you planning.