Clear Signage is Kind Signage
You’ve heard the adage clarity is kindness. That phrase – most often attributed to Brené Brown, though it didn’t originate with her – simply means that we need to be overly clear on the things we expect and what we communicate if we really want to see transformation happen.
Enter the lowly church sign.
You know I’m a fan of church signage. To be clear, not the roadside letterboards which remind us that GOD ANSWERS KNEE MAIL or warns us that IF YOU THINK IT’S HOT HERE… No, I mean a good solid a-frame with a simple insert that gives directions and helps people navigate your spaces.
What I’m not a fan of is church signage that makes sense only to the insiders among us.
Several years ago, one of our ministries started a program called WKLY. It was catchy and cool for those who understood it meant “weekly,” as in “weekly gathering.” But it was indecipherable to those who didn’t understand it. Add to that, it was not written in a typical Helvetica-style font, but a jumble of letters that overlapped with one another. So even if I could figure out what WKLY meant, I would’ve never known it said WKLY.
As you might imagine, that sign was an attention-getter, and not in a good way. “What does that say?” “What is a W-K-(is that an L?)-Y?” “Who put their four year old in charge of drawing signs?”
Let’s just say that WKLY didn’t get past the first few WKS. (iykyk)
This week, let me challenge you: walk your space. Glance at signs. Ask yourself: “If I were new, would I know?”
The lowly church sign holds a secret superpower: it has the power to quickly draw people in (“I know what to do…where to go…how to navigate!”) or to push people out (“I don’t understand this language…I can’t find my way around…I really am an outsider.”)
Get clear in your signage. It’s a kindness to your guests.