The Essential Components of a Successful K-12 Signage Plan
Sign placement is important on K-12 campuses where students, teachers and parents all rely on adequate signage to navigate the school and reach classes, events and locations. Eye-catching messaging and visual elements are important in these settings, but creating a plan can be overwhelming.
Let’s break down how to create a successful K-12 signage plan and what components should be considered. This will include understanding your audience, placing signs strategically, using consistent branding and design, maintaining clear and concise messaging, and performing regular sign maintenance and more.
Understanding Your Audience
Before you can create adequate signage design for your K-12 campus, it’s important to understand your audience, including their needs and expectations. Ask yourself:
- Who will be navigating the campus?
- What type of labeling (written words? pictures?) will they understand?
- What information should be conveyed through signage?
Create a description of the people who need to understand the signage on your campus and use this as a roadmap for your signage plan.
Once you’ve identified your audience, the next step is to identify key locations for signage, including the height of the sign and readability. On a K-12 campus, some students are still growing and may be less likely to see signs that are well above their heads. When determining strategic sign placement, it’s important to:
- Determine best size and height for each sign: In an environment where adults and children mix together, it’s important to keep in mind who needs to read the signs the most, and what size and height will capture their attention.
- Choose the right colors for visibility and readability: Colors should contrast enough with the environment to be noticeable.
- Determine what type of sign should be used: The type of sign used should be one that makes sense for the purpose and environment. For example, a sign meant to be seen in an emergency may need to light up, especially in windowless corridors, since power outages can happen during emergencies.
Campus Signage Design and Branding
Branding and design play a role in your campus signage and will allow you to create a cohesive look and feel across your campus. These tips can help you create an effective signage design:
- Avoid small, difficult to read or “fancy” fonts
- Use eye-catching graphics
- Include your logo or mascot
- Use simple language and convey a simple message, in as few words as possible
- Use large letters that can easily be read from a distance
- Use colors that are consistent with your brand
- Leverage visual aids when possible
Clear and Concise Messaging
Clear and concise messaging in signage is critical. Use as few words as possible to convey your message. More words mean more time to spend reading the sign, and that means that fewer people will have the chance to digest your message. If the message can be conveyed with pictures, it should be – especially on a campus with small children.
For example, a sign that says “Library” and includes an iconic picture of a book can be read by students and teachers alike, because it includes one word and a picture. This is an effective sign for a K-12 campus.
Signage Maintenance and Updating
As things change at a school, so does the need for signs. Signs at a K-12 educational facility should be inspected at least once annually, and if needed, the signs should be updated.
To minimize the cost of updating a sign, all signs at the educational facility consider creating portable banners that can be easily taken down and replaced when needed. You should also consider multi-purpose signage that can be used for recurring events or programs.
Start Your K-12 Signage Plan Today
A successful K-12 signage plan will include locations, plans for maintaining brand consistency and plans for ensuring sign clarity for students, teachers and parents.
Once you have your signage plan in place, work with a trusted partner such as Bishop Image Group to help with design, printing and installation. Bishop Image Group is a certified Chicago Public School vendor allowing us to provide quality signage services to CPS students, associations, and staff members. As sign designers, printers and installers, we can help your educational facility develop signage that helps ensure a safe and easy to navigate campus for all who enter your school’s doors. Contact us today to get started on your next printing project!