poster case for schools

5 Benefits of Using Poster Cases in Schools

Nowhere makes as much use of paper displays as a school. They are on every corridor, in every hall, on every wall and you’ll even find them stuck to windows and glass panel doors. And there’s a huge range of things being put on display too: learning aids, information posters, classroom rules, daily notices, weekly bulletins, timetables, rotas, instructions, advertisements, letters, pupils’ work, rewards charts, maps of the school, you name it. Inside and out, schools are awash with displays which, despite best efforts, are often chaotic and unattractive and where some of the more important information fails to get its message across. What’s the solution? Poster cases. Here’ we’ll explain why.

1. Move information outdoors

Some poster cases are waterproof and are designed for outdoor use, complete with lockable cases. Putting these in outdoor spaces provides a number of benefits. Firstly, a noticeboard for parents and visitors can be placed near the entrance to the school where they can access information without having to visit the reception or make a phone call. This also gets rid of the unsightly practise of Blu-Tacking sheets of paper to reception windows.

Placing external poster cases in the school playground enables pupils to read them during break and lunchtimes. This means the items don’t need to be displayed in corridors where groups gathered to look at them can impede the traffic of others as they make their way around the school. Not only does this lead to more punctual lesson starts; it also makes the corridors safer.

2. Stops defacement and vandalism

Every school has a serial defacer who can’t resist the temptation to add their moniker or ‘artwork’ to a display.  Vandalism of such nature can be inappropriate, offensive to many and embarrassing to the school, especially when the head is showing the Ofsted team around the building.

A poster case puts a stop to defacement by keeping your notices and posters behind a protective casing. Even better, it’s not just the posters themselves which are protected; with anti-vandal glazing and secure, anti-tamper locks, the poster case itself is vandal-proof.

3. Stops information being taken down or covered

The competition for wall space in a staffroom often leads teachers to take down or cover over important notices so that they can put up their own. Hence the schedule for next week’s training day will be usurped by a notice about the forthcoming staff social.

While all these posters serve a purpose and are no doubt important to the people who pin them up, some of these are critical to the effective running of the school and need to remain prominently on display. One only has to think of the chaos that can happen if the cover list or duty rota go missing and pupils are left unsupervised as a result.

The solution is to reserve one area for a secure, lockable poster case. The fact there is only one of these means everyone will know that’s where the really important information is to be found. And to ensure only important information goes in there, you can issue keys only to those who need access, such as senior leaders, the head of admin and the head’s PA.

4. Prevents inappropriate posters being put up

It’s common practice in schools for children to organise events and create all the promotional materials. While these cross-curricular activities are beneficial from an educational point of view, sometimes the final versions of the posters they produce are not given proper scrutiny and can contain images and texts which run contrary to the values of the school. It’s not just pupils at error either, non-politically correct posters made by staff even hit the headlines, as any Google search will show.

Aside from these ill-considered faux pas, there are, unfortunately, some more serious problems with unauthorised posters. It is not unheard of for parents with businesses to ask their children to put adverts up around the school, nor for children to put up flyers for events that are inappropriate for their age group. Today’s politically and socially conscious kids might also display material for causes and organisations that the school cannot approve of, perhaps because of its own religious affiliations or because of its need to remain neutral on such topics.

Once again, the use of lockable poster cases prevents anything from being put on display without first being authorised by the school.

5. Longer lasting classroom displays

A great deal of work goes into making classroom displays and they can turn an ugly old room into a vibrant learning environment. Over the course of the school year, however, they get leaned on, picked at, scribbled on and torn and soon become tired and in need of replacement. That means more work for the already overworked staff and more expense for backing paper, borders and lamination.

At the same time, some of the things which go on display have personal value, such as a pupil’s best work or something of sentimental worth they have brought in from home. At some point, they will want these back in good condition.

A poster case protects wall displays from the dust, dirty fingers and accidental damage that can shorten their longevity and make the room a less appealing place to learn.

Conclusion

Posters and notices in all their varieties continue to play an important role in schools. However, the way they are displayed can cause issues of its own. A poster case is the ideal solution to ensure you only display what is authorised and that what goes on display remains protected.

For more information see our Poster Cases page.

 

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School Signage – A Class Act

Many of today’s schools are large, densely populated campuses where significant numbers of people are constantly moving around and where there is more and more important information to be displayed. In environments like these, getting the message across in the most effective way is absolutely critical and great signage is the key to doing this successfully. In this post, we’ll look at the widening use of signs and how they are benefitting schools.

Creating the right first impression

The good use of school signage begins outside the building. It starts with an external sign that presents the school to those in the wider community and to staff, students and visitors who enter the premises. This is the sign that depicts the school brand – its values, its status and its identity – and sets the tone of what people should expect at the school. A well-designed school sign doesn’t just have impact; it forges a perception of what your school is like. These signs, which can incorporate your logo and motto and be designed using school colours, can be mounted on posts, affixed to walls and fences or even be created from cut out 2D or 3D letters that are attached in prominent places at the entrance and illuminated for 24-hour display.

Banners are another common form of signage seen at the school’s exterior and are used for a variety of reasons, such as to promote events like open evenings, summer fairs and drama productions or to advertise your successes, as many schools do with outstanding Ofsted inspections or fantastic exam results. Made from robust materials, these highly versatile signs can incorporate everything from the latest graphics to eye-catching photographic images and are easily affixed to railings and fences. They are also reusable and can be rolled up and stored for safekeeping or transportation.

Taking the confusion out of campus design

Modern schools, especially larger secondaries, often have more than one building for people to find. For new students and staff and for visitors, it can often be confusing where things are. External wayfinding signs provide a simple yet effective solution combining helpful fingerpost signs, that point people in the right direction, with reassuring building signs that identify each separate location. With these latter signs in place, people know when they have arrived at the right building without having to go inside to check. External wall signs with directional arrows can also be incorporated into this navigational system.

Internal navigation

Internally, schools are never the easiest buildings to find your way around. With a sprawling network of endless corridors, often repeated over several storeys, it’s not only hard to get to where you’re going; it can be easy to get completely lost. For newcomers, a single wrong turn can take them to places that make it impossible to find their bearings, which is not good in environments that look unfavourably on the lateness of teachers and pupils alike.

Improved punctuality and the benefits that come from it can all be achieved from ensuring that the external wayfinding system mentioned above continues indoors. Good school wayfinding can include ceiling hung corridor signs, signs at corridor junctions and stairwells, directional wall signs, departmental entrance signs and the obligatory door signage. These can be created affordably in acrylic or even Foamex and easily attached to the structural features. They can also be colour coded and be used for branding purposes by including the school or even the department logo.

Reinforcing values

Over the last few years, it has become popular for schools to use signage to reinforce their values throughout the building. Some schools use large and prominent signs to depict important keywords, e.g., tolerance, respect and responsibility, while others create signs listing their main school rules for placement in classrooms or display excerpts from their core value statements to put in places like assembly halls. These important signs serve as a continual visual reminder to all members of the school community of the expectations on students and staff with regard to how they conduct themselves when in the building.

Health and safety

Health and safety are paramount in any working environment but one can argue that they are even more important when the majority of people in the building are minors. Children’s natural tendency to play around can put them at risk of harming themselves and others, especially in subject areas where potentially dangerous equipment is being used, such as in technology, science and PE. Prominent signage can reinforce important health and safety rules and lessen the risk of injury.

At the same time, schools have certain signs that they are legally required to display and maintain, such as those which identify the location of fire extinguishers, emergency exits and mustering points. Often the type of health and safety sign used, its location, mode of display (e.g. whether it needs illumination) and maintenance are prescribed by legislation.

Conclusion

School signage plays a number of important roles, from helping to promote the school and its brand to keeping staff and students safe. There is a wide selection of signage options available to carry out these functions, many available in a range of colours, sizes, shapes, designs and materials. Hopefully, you’ll be able to find the right combination of signage options to improve your school.

For more information, visit our Schools Signs page.

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school signs at Castle Hills Primary

5 Things to Consider When Buying a New School Sign

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Conclusion

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.

 

 

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7 Tips For Creating Effective Wayfinding Signs

Wayfinding signage is important to a lot of organisations. If you have large premises with a complicated layout or simply have visitors who don’t know their way around, wayfinding signs are the solution that helps people get to where they need to be without getting lost.

They help students get to class on time, patients make appointments and customers find the products or services they are looking for.

Putting together an effective wayfinding system, however, requires some thought and forward planning. To help you create a better system, here are seven tips for creating effective wayfinding signs.

  1. Design for the first-time visitor

The aim of a wayfinding system is to ensure that everybody can get to where they need to be. To ensure this happens, design your system for those who have never been to your premises before. To do this, you need to think like a visitor. What things would they be looking for? Where would they want to go? How would they try to navigate through the building?

  1. Survey your premises

Before making a wayfinding system, you need to have a complete and accurate record of where everything is. There are some premises where no single person has complete knowledge of the space and without a full overview, potentially important places are going to be absent from the system.

You also need to engage other people’s opinions about which places need to be included on the wayfinding system and which, if any, can be left off. For example, managers might not consider the boiler room a necessary inclusion, whereas the contractors sent to service it might find it very useful.

  1. Display signs at decision points

One of the key aspects of an effective wayfinding system is putting the signs in the right places. Generally, we are very good at finding things if we are travelling in a straight line: it is when that straight line deviates that we expect to find a sign to help us on the next part of the journey.

This usually means putting a sign at a place where we need to decide about which direction to go and, in most cases, these are at entrances, exits, staircases, lifts, crossroads, junctions and larger spaces where there are multiple exits each leading to different places.

  1. Maintain consistency

Wayfinding signs need to be recognised as such and should, therefore, all have the same design. This means using the same colours, shapes, fonts and symbols consistently so that people can spot them easily and know immediately that they are wayfinding signs.

Another important consistency feature is to ensure that all places are labelled according to their officially assigned names. This requires all places within a premises to be given an official name and for the use of that name to be encouraged by staff. The typical example of this is where building extensions are sometimes referred to as the ‘new block’ but have an official title that nobody uses. Someone sent to the ‘new block’ would have difficulty finding it when it was labelled as something else on the signage system.

  1. Display information succinctly

The best practice in creating an effective wayfinding system is to keep information limited to what is necessary. This means labelling the destination, pointing the direction and, if required, showing the distance or travelling time. Always aim to use the minimum number of words and where possible, e.g., for toilets, use universally understood symbols.

Keeping information to what is necessary ensures it is presented in a clean and precise way that is easy to follow. This is especially important if there are several signs, all for different places, placed next to each other.

  1. Giving distance and time information

Not all organisations will need to provide distance and/or time information but those with large or multiple buildings or which have outdoor spaces may find it helpful. Providing information about the distance to be travelled and the approximate time it can take to get from A to B can be particularly helpful in university campuses, theme parks, zoos, hospitals, transport hubs, holiday camps and so forth.

  1. Maintain up-to-date signage

Places change over time: rooms get reassigned for different uses and internal building work can mean some rooms and even routes disappear. As anyone who has ever used an out of date Ordnance Survey map will tell you, this can be very confusing. To prevent confusion amongst your visitors and staff, make regular checks of your premises and ensure that any changes that might affect the wayfinding system are notified to the person responsible for its maintenance.

Conclusion

When properly designed to meet your needs, wayfinding signs can bring many benefits to your organisation. They cut down on wasted time and missed appointments, improve customer satisfaction, reduce confusion and stress, and help people find the products and services they want quickly and easily. Hopefully, the seven tips provided here will help your organisation design a more effective wayfinding system that is truly fit for purpose.

For more information, visit our Wayfinding Signs page.

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