Five Questions to Answer Before You Order Signage
Studies have shown that being located where prospective new congregation members travel frequently is key to attracting them as church visitors. Signage plays a significant role in converting awareness of a churchís location into actual visits by prospective members.
A sign can be the first impression for the community around the church and an extension of the congregation within. So, what should you consider when determining the type, style, size and cost of a sign?
1. What does the sign need to communicate?
For example, will the sign serve only to finish off the property aesthetically? Or do you want to use it to effectively engage the unchurched general public as they drive by?
It can serve as an invitation to your neighbors who might be ripe for a visit. In other words, how does the mission of your church play into the decision for a particular sign?
Displaying that the church is open and loving can begin on a sign, too. Perhaps that is done with the sign message or with an electronic sign through graphics and video. Anything that can dispel most peopleís fears that a church will be cold, hard, judgmental and cliquish can begin with a sign.
2. What sign is best for our community?
But before choosing a sign according to its possible community appeal or aesthetics, check zoning regulations. Zoning laws in your area will dictate many of your sign decisions. In particular, the three big questions of size, site and set-back, are largely answered by local regulations.
Again, zoning regulations will dictate many placement decisions. Sign set-back from the right-of-way will be regulated as this is an important safety and visibility issue for passing traffic and church parking lot traffic.
Churches can learn from the advertising industry how to ensure that their sign is generating enough visual impact. The five-second rule dictates that driving readers must be able to see copy five seconds away and be able to read it before they drive past it. Letter size dictates cabinet size. Those parameters limit messages to a maximum of seven to ten words in order to maintain interest.
4. How will we pay for the sign?
Higher quality in sign features make the difference between a sign that lasts decades and one that lasts only a few years. A fade-resistant painting process, high-grade materials that do not yellow or become brittle with age, and a lifetime warranty are some of the features that will cost more, but last much longer.
The budget bottom-line for churches is to consider the sign an investment in ministry. If you find that your church will need financing, your supplier should provide you with a list of options. This is one indicator that a particular company will be a good match for your congregationís sign needs.
Is this company respected in the church market?
Get references from a company you are considering. Look at examples of their signs at other churches in your area. Talk with church leaders and volunteers who may have served on a sign committee and dealt with a particular company.
Are they endorsed by anyone? How long have they been in business?
Look for denominational endorsements, and various and plentiful endorsements, in particular. Endorsements should be older than six months, and ideally, decades old.
What is their warranty?
Does the company stand behind its products? Customers you speak with should have peace of mind about this. In addition, consider the amount of customer care provided by a company.
Your church sign is an important part of your ministry in the community. Consider it as an extension of your mission ó a tool to draw passers-by into the church.