It’s fall, which means many people will return to regular church attendance and you may see more visitors and guests too. Does your church signage help everyone find where they need to go?
Remember, you drive onto the church property more than most. So you probably don’t notice the signage. But those who are new to your church need certain signs to feel welcomed.
If you have a sprawling campus, you certainly recognize the value of church signage. But even smaller church properties benefit from helpful directional signage.
There are five signs you need:
1. Main sign to church campus/property. This large sign needs to be visible by traffic so they can identify the church building or campus. It can be simple with just the name of your church or it can be more complex with your church logo, brand fonts and colors. Some main signs even have service times. Be careful about cluttering the main sign with too many details — most only want a church name. You probably don’t need pastor names, website address or other details most discover when they search your name online. Make the name large on a professionally designed and constructed sign. Resist cleverness.
2. Entrance signs. The main door needs signage to catch the eyes of guests. This can be a prominent door color with a simple sign that says “Welcome” or “Worship.” You want to lead people from their parking spot into their next location. If there are other doors that could be confused with a main entrance, be sure to identify those doors as secondary and why someone might use them. Be clear. Additionally, encourage your regular attenders to recognize visitors and guests and to help them transition from one area to another (like from the parking lot to the sanctuary or from a Bible study class to worship service). Church entrance signs should look similar to the main sign. Match the shape, color, font and construction type of your main sign as much as possible.
3. Guest parking signs. If you have designated guest parking, be sure to mark those spots with signage that can be viewed above parked cars. These signs need to match the overall design of all other signs. Keep the signs simple and legible. “Guests” over a parking area is all you probably need to get them to park there. Be sure you have someone at the door to give a special welcome to anyone who parks in the special spots.
4. Directional signs. Any intersection in your parking area that requires a decision needs simple, legible and brand-controlled directional signs. Ideally, these will match all your other signage. If you can’t see your main entrance from the decision point, be sure to add directional signs to lead people to it.
5. Indoor signage. Once people arrive inside the main entrance, are there ways proper signage could help them feel more comfortable getting seated in the sanctuary or navigating to the bathroom, classrooms or other spaces? Keep signs above the heads of a busy foyer or hallway. At each decision intersection, be clear where all the important rooms are: Worship, Bathrooms, Nursery, Sunday School Classes, etc. It also can be helpful to label exits in a way that points people back to the parking lot at the end of the service. Maintain design standards and brand consistency on interior signs.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Mark MacDonald is a communication pastor, speaker, consultant, bestselling author, church branding strategist for BeKnownforSomething.com and executive director of Center for Church Communication, empowering 10,000+ churches to become known for something relevant (a communication thread) throughout their ministries, websites and social media. His book, Be Known for Something, is available at BeKnownBook.com.