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8 (Or So) Questions About Your Church Signage

June 20, 2007 by

When I was 10 years old there was a song by Tesla that was rocking the airwaves called “Signs.” All my friends and I loved the song. You are probably thinking of the chorus right now…

Signs Signs everywhere there’s signs
Blocking out the scenery breaking my mind
Do this, don’t do that, Can’t you read the sign

Yesterday I had to take my kids to a medical check-up in a non-familiar place. The check-up was taking place in a local high school in our city and the whole experience felt to me very much like visiting a portable church. We had no idea where to park, what room the event was taking place in, or how we should get there. Basically, my kids and I were dependent on the signs. Overall the medical staff did a good job. There were clear, readable signs on the street directing us where to park. And there was even a sign on the sidewalk showing us which door to use. Unfortunately we missed that one, and so we got lost in the school building wandering around trying to find the correct classroom. The flaw of the medical folks thinking was that once we got off the path they had created we had no way to find our bearings again.

So, how are your church’s signs? It is an important thing to consider. Signs, many times, act like greeters. They can either put people at ease, or they can create confusion. They also carry forth the image and brand of your church, and act as first impression point further developing a picture of your church in a visitor’s mind. Here’s a few thing to consider as it relates to signs…

  • Are they clean, clear and readable? From a distance? From us close?
  • Do they fully embody and represent the ethos of your church?
  • Are your signs attractive and professional and eye catching?
  • Do they clearly direct people where they need to go? Are the helpful?
  • Are there enough signs to help lost people get un-lost? Or, do you have too many signs blocking up the scenery of your church?
  • What image do your signs paint in visitor’s minds about your church?
  • Do your signs help direct a person to the essential areas–such as where to park, the kids area, bathrooms and the worship environment?
  • Can I follow your signs comfortably front the street to my seat?
Post By:

Brenton Balvin


Brenton Balvin is a writer, blogger and speaker who is passionate about helping churches create great first impressions, developing innovative ministry ideas and making sure church marketing doesn't suck. Brenton lives in Minneapolis, Minn. with his wonderful wife and three loud, energetic and basically insane small children (all under the age of four) who he is grooming for the NHL.
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10 Responses to “8 (Or So) Questions About Your Church Signage”

  • Gene
    June 20, 2007

    Better signage is on our church’s to-do list. Starting with the sign in front, which is probably about your age, Brenton :-)
    The song “Signs” was originally by “5 Man Electrical Band”, a Canadian rock group, back in 1972.


  • brian Ayers
    June 20, 2007

    Great post. I think you illustrated well another question to ask yourself:
    -Is everything spelled right?


  • Brenton Balvin
    June 21, 2007

    Brian, I wish I could say I did that on purpose hoping someone would bring up the point you did about spelling.
    Unfortunately, I didn’t. But you are right. Spelling is huge – which proves that doing things too quickly usually gets us in trouble.
    Thanks for pointing out my mistakes. :)


  • Joshua
    June 21, 2007

    I’ll go with my bad on that one. Any spelling mistakes I ought to have caught. We have a couple layers of editing for this, but the evil of misspellings got us this time.


  • philldo
    June 23, 2007

    Yeah, misspellings rears its head far too often on signs. I used to work in a sign shop and we would send the customers proofs for them to sign off on and even after that we would still catch some mistakes during production. I don’t know if you have seen this before:

    Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm.

    Good tips. I’m loving this site.


  • Ron Geyer
    June 23, 2007

    A couple more suggestions from our experience helping churches with their buildings:
    For existing buildings, don’t overestimate your ability to test your signs yourself. Ask someone who doesn’t spend every waking hour at your church to help you identify points of confusion. Confusion = embarrassment = barrier. Great signs and buildings won’t necessarily draw anybody your way, but bad ones will get in the way pretty fast.
    For new buildings, look for ways to organize your facilities that are logical and self-evident, then reinforce it with signage. You’ve set yourself up for failure if you assume you’re going to cure a bad layout with signage alone. Sort of like fixing bad room acoustics with electronics.


  • Holy Guy
    June 23, 2007

    I like the original version of Signs song best, tesla’s cover was ok.
    Put your sayings on pics of real church signs at http://www.CustomSignGenerator.com .


  • kevin miller
    July 6, 2007

    when checking your signage get people folks from different perspectives to check on you. Elderly, Teenagers, Moms, etc. You can’t have too many eyes before you spend your money. The experts don’t know everything.


  • Linda
    July 17, 2007

    I’m often appalled by the slogans that are used by churches, such as one I saw during a recent heatwave “and you think it’s HOT here…”
    If we’re going to use slogans, can we give the masses a meaningful message? Do you know of any resources that might help? A family member is a pastor, and I would really love to recommend a resource, rather than just criticize the slogans they are now using.



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