Many schools today function as multipurpose learning centers that are open to the entire community for a variety of purposes. Although the primary goal is to provide quality education for school-age children, many schools offer literacy classes, parenting skills, and job training for those who need it. Because the school building and campus coordinates a number of activities on any given day, clear signage plays a major role in ensuring everyone gets to where they need to be as well as doing what they are supposed to do.
Schools can be large structures of several floors, plus additions, extensions, and outdoor areas for gym class and recess. Strategically-placed signs at key locations will help new students or adult visitors to know where they are at in various wings of the building. The signs should be the same color and design for easy identification. The school office and restrooms are among the most sought places to visit in a school building, along with classrooms.
Directional signage is helpful in pointing the way to a series of locations or those sites that may be challenging to find. Printed arrows, words, phrases, and images show people where to go when searching for a specific location. Main signage can be placed at the entrance to corridors or wings to indicate what is found there, and by omission, what is not. Inside large areas, smaller or more specific signs can be posted on walls or posts to help guide pedestrians to their destinations.
During special events, like seasonal fairs and celebrations or community activities, signs with print, photo, or painted graphics can explain visually what is happening at each designated site. In classrooms graphic signs using cartoon figures or other types of images may illustrate gymnastic routines and exercises, like how to do a pull-up correctly or how to dribble a basketball. Graphic display signage can also be used to teach a progressive topic like a foreign language or math formulas.
School-age children need clear warnings about how to avoid danger such as steering clear of utility closets or chemistry labs. They also benefit from reminders of do’s and don’ts of certain protocols as when entering no-talking zones or not running in the halls. Swimming pool signs, gym signs, and playground signs are also helpful to keep kids following the rules and reduce the risk of injury.
In addition to somber indicators and warnings, fun signs sometimes depict amusing reminders or humorous references to social activities and community events. These signs are often decorous with bright colors or distinctive shapes and may be adorned by streamers or balloons.
Anyone who thinks signage is unimportant should consider how a school would look and be utilized without the presence of signage. Well-designed signs keep the day running smoothly so everyone can accomplish their goals and stay on schedule. With a range of options and styles to choose from, there are plenty of styles for every school-related occasion and multiple purposes.