Over the last few years, school signs have become increasingly important. They are usually the first thing that pupils, parents and visitors see on arrival and how they look often reveals more than the important information that’s displayed upon them.
Getting the right sign for your school can be a challenge so, in this post, we’ll look at five things you need to consider when buying a new school sign.
- Communicating the brand message
Every school is unique and central to this are your vision and ethos. For schools, these are often epitomised in the school’s branding, which includes your logo, school colours, typeface and motto. Ensuring these are faithfully represented on your exterior sign is vital as it gives an important first impression to those visiting the school, be they prospective parents and pupils, potential new staff coming to look around or the Ofsted inspection team.
- Getting a complete design
Incorporating your branding onto your school sign is only part of the process. Your design will need to include other essential details. Today, it is common for most school signs to include the telephone number and website address. Others show additional information, such as whether the school is part of a larger multi-academy trust or is voluntary aided, while there are some which are embellished with pertinent images.
Once you have a list of all the required information and branding, you will then need to consider the appropriate colours for the background and the text as these will help ensure your sign gets noticed and is able to be read from the desired distance.
You will also need to think about the shape and size of your sign. Although square and rectangular signs are the most common, modern materials and design techniques mean there is no requirement for it to be a regular shape if you want to go for something a little bolder. The size of your sign will depend on how far away you want it to be seen and on how practical a specific size is for your needs.
For schools in conservation areas, there may be restrictions on the size and design you are allowed to display as you may need to keep these in fitting with the local area.
A final consideration is where to put the name of the headteacher or principal. Putting this information on the main sign means that when, inevitably, a new leader takes charge, a new sign will be needed. To save costs in the long term, it is usually the practice, these days, to display the head’s name on a matching sign that is placed beneath the main sign.
- Choosing the right materials
There is a range of different materials you can use to create your school sign. The most popular include printed acrylic signs which are hardwearing and can be created in a wide variety of colours or shapes. Some schools also opt for more elaborate signs which incorporate cut out 2D or 3D lettering made from acrylic or metals.
It is even possible to use LED lighting to ensure your signs are visible at night, which can be useful when holding open evenings, parents’ evenings and school productions or simply for use during the dark mornings and afternoons during winter.
- Placing your sign for greatest impact
Key to the success of any school sign is where you put it as this will affect who can see it and from how far. The most common location is at the main entrance to the site, as this tells people they have arrived at the right place. However, there are many schools where the external design of the site means this is not the most practical solution. Sometimes, it needs to be displayed adjacent to a playground or on the actual wall of the building. On occasions, schools may wish to have a multi-directional sign created so that it can be seen for people travelling in different directions. For large schools and those operating on multiple sites, it can be necessary to require more than one sign.
Placing a sign will require you to choose the appropriate methods to display it. These may include freestanding posts and poles or more complex structures that need to be installed safely before the sign goes up, or for the sign to be securely attached to an existing building.
- Picking the best signage company
With all these considerations in mind, it’s important to choose the right signage company for your school sign. Ideally, you will need a company that has prior experience in creating school signs and has the capacity to handle the complete process from site survey to design, manufacture and installation. This should include providing you with a designer that understands your requirements and can turn the desired visualisation into the finished sign.
Importantly, you should also choose a company whose installers are fully DBS checked, safe to work in schools and who undergo safeguarding training.
As you can see, getting the right sign for your school takes some thinking about. It needs to encapsulate your brand, display the necessary information, be designed to have a presence and displayed where it can be clearly seen. The best way to achieve these things is to choose the right signage company, one that will produce the sign you need and carry out the entire process for you.
If you are looking for a new school sign, check out our School Signage page.