Signs For Schools
From elementary schools to college campuses.
We can all remember our first day at a new school, whether it was an elementary school or college or somewhere in between. The excitement and nervousness of entertaining this new environment can be very stressful, even more than when you have to navigate a new location, finding your way to classrooms, restrooms, and other places in the school. It can be quite challenging.
School signs can ease the transition by providing the basics of way-finding and safety, and by creating a welcoming environment with wall art, informational signs, and more.
If you're looking for a sign company that can help you with your needs great and small, we're here to help. From installing new or replacement ADA signs to designing and installing wall graphics, lobby signs and more, we work with schools to create a signage strategy that is aligned with their brand and with their budget.
How Signage Can Help with Safety, Compliance, and Wayfinding?
Let us talk about some of the challenges schools face and how signage can help for safety and compliance and way-finding.
The number one goal for a school is to keep students safe. This begins from the moment they arrive to the moment they leave. The first signs that they will encounter are location signs.
In front of the school, you probably have a monument sign of some sort. Monument signs are usually pretty big structures. Most of the time, they are either brick or some other hard structure and will often have some sort of message boards.
In the olden days, they used what we call reader boards, where they use the sliding letters. These signs are informational and give information to both students and parents alike as to what was going on at the school.
Today, we're seeing a movement more towards the digital LED boards. These allow the messages to be changed more frequently than the reader boards. Some of them also allow for a lot of graphics to be included, in addition to just words.
These signs do a very good job at keeping everyone informed about important information, like when school is closed, when registration or open houses are, or anything like that.
They are usually located at the main entrance to be highly visible. You may have some smaller signs that are similar in nature at some of the minor entrances to the school, but the one you are really going to want to focus on, the one that is going to give you the most information, is the monument sign out front.
Pedestrian Crossing & School Traffic Signs
When traveling to and from school, as well as around the school campus, it's very important for people to be able to find their way.
When dealing with big college campuses, like Georgia State University, directional signage is very important for the students to be able to find their classrooms, teachers’ offices, and school departments. You’ll see this same concern in smaller schools as well as larger ones.
We frequently work with GSU on sign projects ranging from ADA signs to branding signs like wall graphics. GSU is located in the middle of Atlanta, GA. The main campus stretches out 4 by 7 blocks and can seem difficult to navigate, particularly for new students. Directional signage is important to help ease the minds of students and help them get to the right place at the right time.
Who would typically provide this type of signage?
Usually, a local sign company works with the school. A lot of the signs are put in when the school is first built; therefore, the contracting company that is building the school would work with various sign companies to provide the necessary signs.
ADA & Handicap Signs
ADA signs are required for all buildings to have and provide people that have disabilities with equal access to all public facilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act gives a set of design standards that all signs must follow. The ADA Standards for Accessible Design provides guidelines about the finishing and contrast, fonts, pictograms and symbols, and braille used in signs as well as requirements for the installation and mounting of signs.
Here, you can see a couple of examples of these types of signs. The Boys, the Girls and the Stairs signs are traditional ADA signs, using raised pictograms, letters and braille.
The GSU sign is an example of how ADA standards are met when a room can change in designation and use over time. The window signs has the raised room number, 514, and the braille which are required by ADA standards. The window allows for a paper insert that shows what the current use of the room is.
The New Student Orientation sign is an example of a lobby sign. You’ll notice that, even with the light hitting it, the sign is still very easy to read. The font and the letter size makes it easy to read. Signs that identify departments is very good for letting students know where they are quickly and easily.
Other Regulatory Signs
Also at a school, you'll probably see signs that manage the flow of cars. This is especially important for the lower level grades where you've got elementary kids and middle school kids going to a carpool line and a bus line. You want to manage the flow of traffic – both cars and kids – so that everyone stays safe.
These types of signs can be obtained through just about any sign company. They can be plain, generic signs. Or you can customize them to feature your school’s mascot or name.
Promote & Inform
Everyone forgets things from time to time, so informational signs are very, very important to help us to remember things. There are lots of different ways that schools can inform or let students know and even promote the school and create a sense of school spirit. This comes into play with the monument signs and message centers at key areas around the school, but it also includes things like banners.
Sports programs will use banners for sponsors. The various teams will raise funds for their home team by going to businesses and ask for support. In return, they'll have some sort of signage that advertises that business and shows that business supporting the school.
Another example of promoting is by using wall graphics to highlight the activities at your school, such as the supports teams. We’ve also created rigid signs for schools which are usually used as temporary signs to promote events. We have done results boards that allow schools to track and even do a little bit of competition within the school itself.
Branding is also important. Your brand image is more than just a logo; it’s an idea. Building that brand is key, particularly with schools and the importance of alumni associations. When your school is well branded, it’s easier for students and families to rally around it, to create a strong community.
Branding is more than just putting your logo on something. In this example, GSU included wall graphics with a lighted logo in their on-campus pizza restaurant. This causes students to associate that image with the logo, creating a good branding experience.
When looking at ways to brand your school, look at the high traffic areas, like if you have a nice big wall when you first walk into the entrance of the school. That would be a great place to put some sort of wall mural that might feature your mascot, logo, and tell something about the school. Your only limit is your own creativity when it comes to branding your school. If you are looking for ideas, contact us.
Custom scoreboards are one way to engage with your students. These two particular schools in Gwinnett County wanted to some competition between the different classes at the school. They setup custom scoreboards that allowed them to track things like academic achievement and other things. The boards were displayed in the school cafeterias and were branded to the school.
Another fun sign that we did was for an elementary school for their annual fundraiser. They had previously been using an old refrigerator box and decorating it. We took their design, cleaned it up and used metal panels to put it together. The cleaner, more polished sign allows them to measure what their pledges are for a fundraiser, look at the goal, and see the amount that has been collected toward the goal.
Another way that you could use wall graphics is to motivate students by having motivational or inspirational text that you could put on the wall to just kind of tease students to think about better ways they can do things or just to inspire them to do better.
Then let's not forget that in May, at the end of the school year, we'll start seeing around the Atlanta area a lot of graduation banners. These are very, very popular and usually will feature either the student's pictures. Depending on whether we do it for an individual or a group of students, we'll usually have the school logos on them and talk a little bit about the students.
Even though I showed a lot of signs from Georgia State, we have worked with other schools. We just didn't happen to capture a lot of the pictures that they represent. We can work with your schools. We can do all types of signs from your simple ADA signs to banners, wall murals, window graphics are also another way you could put graphics in your school to inspire your students, anything you might need. Just give us a call and start telling us what your needs are and we'll work to try to do that and work to help stay on your budget. Thank you.