What Happens Here

  • Identification signs
  • Directional or “wayfinding” signs
  • Regulatory signs (“Caution”, Do Not Enter”, “Staff Only”, etc.)
  • Information signs and directories

What to Look For

  • Is signage employed to reinforce or to correct visitor instincts drawn from the campus or building layout?
  • How legible are signs from a distance or in a crowd?
  • Does signage exhibit a consistent visual or graphic theme?  Is it consistent with the character of the architecture?
  • How are signs or directories changed to reflect room reassignments or special events?
  • Have unofficial signs sprung up around the building to accommodate the shortcomings of permanent signage?
  • Are there provisions for temporary posters or flyers?
  • Does the church use electronic signage or directories?  How effective is it?

Why It Matters

We call on signage to carry lots of burdens: introduce us, direct  traffic, warn of hazards, and share important news.  As powerful as good signage can be, though, it’s only a partial fix for a poorly conceived identity or bad building layout.


One of the most common rules of thumb for lettering size says that characters should be no less than one inch high for every 50 feet of viewing distance.  One inch of letter height for 30 feet is better. In other words, a message intended to be seen from across a 60-foot-wide lobby should be spelled out in 2-inch-high (or taller) letters.  Signs intended to be seen from the far side of the parking lot should be increased accordingly.  Visibility is also affected by colors, letter style and margins.

Even when an organization enforces policies against them, it’s nearly impossible to stop the proliferation of unofficial signs and flyers taped to prominent walls and windows.  Consider providing bulletin boards, acrylic sheet holders, or roller rails at popular locations to organize the bootleg material.

Room x Room posts are brief examinations of the nature, purpose and potential of typical spaces used in ministry. The intent is to help users see and consider how each component contributes to (or hinders) the ministry it serves.