Displaying Your Church's Message in an Attractive Way
By: Diana Wynne
Sometimes, you need to say it big and bright! Church signs allow you to communicate with your parishioners, whether they're looking for the office or the subject of this week's sermon. They are often the first thing new members see.
Church Sign Basics
You may want to put together a sign committee to assist in all aspects of the production process, from what words you'll use, to what it will be made from, to where the sign will be placed.
If you're not certain where the best place is to put signage, ask for feedback. Don't mount them permanently until you're sure they're in the right place and in compliance with your local zoning regulations. Contact your local town or city hall if you have questions about building codes.
Do you need signs with words in more than one language? If you do, ask one of the members of your church to help translate, or coordinate with a translation service to make sure that the meaning isn't lost in the mix.
If you have a parking lot, indicate which spots are for employees and which are for guests. Be sure to designate an appropriate number of spots for visitors with disabilities and mark them in blue in accordance with regulations.
Outdoor signs may need to be lit at night and on dark days. If so, they will need to be installed near electrical outlets or existing light sources. Generally, have an experienced contractor review and install permanent signs for you. It will save you headaches later if you work with a professional upfront, someone familiar with technical issues and with local safety regulations.
When you're considering materials, think about where the sign will be installed. How easy will it be to clean the sign? What kinds of weather will it need to withstand? The materials may restrict your choice of colors.
Permanent or Temporary?
Signs are a way you can communicate basic information with parishioners. For example, what times are services and who leads them? What is the phone number?
How to Get Your Sign Produced
You can print out temporary signs on regular paper on your inkjet or laser printer. Or, take them to a store that offers quick printing services. Even a regular printout can be mounted on foam core to make it sturdier and more attractive.
Beware that inkjet printing may run in the rain or against winter elements. This may be appropriate for signs indoors for a single occasion, but make sturdier signs for outdoor purposes. Laminating can be a good choice for churches on a budget.
Ideas for Temporary Signs
* Inspirational quotes
Font Choices and Decorations
Images are great additions to signs because they can be taken in at a glance, making it easier for your audience to understand your message.
Experiment with fonts, but generally emphasize legibility. A beautiful sign that is hard to read doesn't serve its primary function, which is to communicate.
Thicker outlines and darker colors for type will generally look better and be more easily seen. Sometimes brightly colored backgrounds will make the sign stand out, especially if you are printing it for your office. If you want to grab someone's attention, a bright yellow or pink piece of paper may do the trick.
Finally, even in this age of fancy typography, a handwritten sign or signature stands out as a personal touch.
Article courtesy Diana Wynne of FaithClipart.com, a website that provides Christian imagery and resources to the global Christian community.