The Sign of the Times: In a Digital World, Physical Signs May Be the Best Way to Get Visibility for Businesses, Organizations & Clubs by Andrew Witkin
The late summer of 2021 is going to feature something that hasn’t happened in a few years: college students are returning to school to start their academic year in person. This is something that we have taken for granted for nearly a millennium – the University of Bologna was founded in 1088 and is still a major center of learning in Europe – but thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, students missed out on this experience last year. As the new school year kicks off, they are going to be making up for lost time as they join clubs, fraternities, sororities and other on-campus organizations.
There is going to be a lot of competition to get their attention. Even during normal times, rush week features dozens of Greek organizations try to recruit the same students. Ditto for everything from the chess club to the intramural tennis team to the school newspaper. In today’s digital world, a lot of that visibility comes through posts on social media, emails and other electronic channels. But sometimes it takes more than that to really stand out, especially in the first post-COVID school year. That’s where custom-cut yard signs can really “pop” and make an impression.
Let’s face it: most signs are pretty boring. If you’ve ever driven down a busy street during election season or walked through a neighborhood with multiple houses for sale, you will notice that just about every sign is a rectangle with text on it. That may be fine for some people, but it’s not a great way to distinguish yourself from the crowd. Colleges are no different. Students are going to be overwhelmed by thousands of posters, flyers and signs all trying to get their attention, so it takes something special to cut through the clutter.
Custom signs provide a number of benefits to organizations that want to get noticed. For starters, they can be cut to an infinite number of shapes and sizes. If you’re trying to promote the chess club, why not put up a sign in the shape of a knight or a rook? If you are recruiting for the 4H club, consider a sign in the shape of a cow or a scarecrow. There are literally no limits to what organizations can design. And it’s not just the shape of the sign that matters: text and images are also fully customizable.
Die-cut signs have been around for years, of course, they haven’t always been the right choice for campus organizations because they have historically been much more expensive to print than rectangles and squares and until recently the signs had to be ordered in bulk. If you are looking for DJs to work at the campus radio station, you probably don’t need 100 signs. Fortunately, advances in laser printing and cutting have made it possible for minimum orders to be eliminated, so if you only need two or three signs to post, these are a viable option.
Custom signs don’t just need to be used for the first week of school. Events throughout the fall, including homecoming games, Halloween and other on-campus activities are perfect opportunities to make some noise without breaking the bank. Even things like student council elections are great opportunities to design placards that help candidates stand out from the crowd. It’s one thing to see a sign with someone’s name on it, but quite another to see a sign in the shape of the person running for office!
College students are incredibly creative, and thanks to the pandemic, this fall will see an explosion of creativity as they return to campus for the first time in a year and a half. Custom signs will not only allow them to showcase their unique gifts, but also draw attention to the causes and organizations that they are passionate about.
Photos courtesy of StickerYou. This post is sponsored by StickerYou.