By Tyler Pratt
Marquee signs have been a staple to educational buildings and schools dating back to the classic one-room schoolhouse. They provide the school’s name, logo, colors, and give spirit to the campus upon arrival.
They have evolved greatly over time: starting very basic, then adding customized messages through changeable lettering boxes, to now providing school and community announcements using high-resolution LED displays.
Since technology has increased, and the use of LED signs has increased, school marquee signs have become a very effective tool when used properly.
Value that Marquee Signs Bring to Schools
There are many reasons that adding an LED marquee sign to your school is a great investment. When families and the community pull up to your school, the first thing they notice is your marquee sign.
It is a great way to beautify your campus, give your school an elevated look, and show families the investment that you provide in their child’s education. It is an easy way to enhance school spirit by proudly displaying your school’s name, colors, mascot, and logo.
Not only does it look great, but it is an easy tool to communicate with families. Your marquee sign can display days off, deadlines, distance learning resources, school events, and much more.
The more communication you have with families, the more likely parents will receive the information and plan accordingly. This increases community participation in fundraisers, sporting events, plays, test preparation, etc.
In recent years, the advancement in LED technology has grown exponentially, making it easier for schools to display anything important to the school or community. It started as a few lightbulbs displaying a few words to the capability now of using 281 trillion colors showing small clips and personalized animations or videos with a click of the button. The school can use this increased technology to advertise high-resolution graphics from local businesses like restaurants, shops, doctor’s offices, etc.
Using advertisements on your marquee sign could mean an extra revenue stream for your school site to use to better benefit your students. Local businesses have always used schools to advertise, whether it be on a flyer, a sports banner, or a fundraising event. With an LED marquee sign, businesses can proudly display their advertisements at the front of your campus.
What to Look for in a Sign Company
You’ve decided that a school marquee sign is a great investment for your school and you’re asking yourself “Now what?” It is important that you find a sign company that can fit the needs of your specific site.
Here are some tips on what to look for when finding a reputable sign company:
Look at their portfolio on their website.
Does the company frequently fabricate and install school signs? Just because they’re a sign company does not mean they specialize in school marquee signs. A company that works with schools frequently knows how to properly advise you on permitting and engineering requirements that are specific to schools.
For example, in California, the DSA (Division of the State Architect) requires approval for any free-standing sign over 8 feet tall. It is an added bonus to work with a company that has pre-approved plans through this agency. Pre-approved DSA plans save months of time and thousands of dollars in fees.
Most sign companies represent an LED display manufacturer.
It is important to work with a sign company who partners with a reputable LED manufacturer. Here are some things to look for when asking about the LED manufacturer. They should have a five-year minimum parts warranty. Their parts should be locally based and readily available between three to five business days. The sign should be a quality product lasting around 10 years or more.
Do you already have a pre-existing sign that needs to be updated?
A sign company that you should work with will have no trouble using your existing pole or foundation to mount your new LED marquee sign. If a company is telling you that you must start from scratch, you may want to continue researching.
Note: If there is structural damage, your sign company may advise that they repair existing foundation prior to installing the LED marquee sign.
Post-sales support is very important.
School staff changes frequently, and a new team member may need training on how to change your marquee sign messages. Ongoing software support and resources are extremely important. A good sign company is always accessible in helping you change out your display when needed.
School marquee signs are a great investment to your school. With the incredible growth in LED display technology, you can create virtually any customized message to add to your sign. Along with using your marquee for displaying school news, it is also a great tool to advertise to the community.
With a great sign company in your corner, you can create a great community marketplace right at your site!
Tyler Pratt is director of business development for Quiel School Signs, a full-service sign company that specializes in school marquee signs, www.quielschoolsigns.com.