It’s something you may not think about when you think about your faith.  But where you worship is a choice. And just like the for-profit world, churches, synagogues, temples and mosques face fierce competition.  Having the right signage can help attract individuals and families to your parish while your congregation, community, family keeps them coming back.

At Forerunner Signs & Graphics, we are often asked how often a monument or entrance sign should be updated.  What type of sign is best?  What should be budgeted and should an investment be made in newer technology like electronic message boards?  Sometimes this seemingly straightforward item can become a complicated task on a church leader’s to-do list.

Why? Because the sign in front of your church building is a significant vehicle for first impressions and you want that first impression to be a good one!

The competitive landscape for churches and faith-based organizations is growing as is the number of worship sites in every neighborhood. While one may invest in electronic signs, others may not be able to afford them.  But there are so many options and at Forerunner, we work hard to find the right sign for your needs and your budget.

It’s important to do some homework to consider your options and the long-term value of what you purchase. You don’t want to cave to peer pressure or keeping up with the Joneses! Consider the following when choosing outdoor signage for your organization:

Make sure the signage company you are working with is aware of the zoning regulations and building codes in your region. You will learn what limitations you have on size and style — you may not be able to place your sign as close to the road as you wanted, but you may discover that your new sign can be larger than the current one.



Once you know what the legal limitations are, make sure that your sign will be visible from the road and unobstructed by other structures (man-made or natural). Should you include some lighting, so that your sign will still be visible at night? Is your church name large enough to be read by passersby? Is secondary information going to be legible from far away?


Remember, the main purpose of your outdoor monument sign is to identify your location. If you’re thinking about including additional information beyond the name of your church, be careful because you have limited real estate and just seconds to capture your viewer’s attention. The more information you try to put on your sign, the more diluted its impact will be. Your church name should be the most prominent information viewers see.

Return on Investment
The cost for outdoor signs can run the gamut. It’s important to consider not only the cost of your sign, but whether its impact matches up with your investment. Yes, your sign is a welcome mat that needs to make a good first impression, but so is your website and social media sites.  Guests will do research before they make a physical visit. So, make sure all of your promotional and marketing needs (signage included) are accounted for in your budget.

Visual Appeal
Your outdoor church sign provides a great opportunity for reinforcing your brand identity. Incorporate colors from your logo into the sign design. And, consider the life of your sign — it may outlast your church’s current logo. If that’s the case, you might consider a more neutral color palette or style that won’t look outdated in a few years. In addition, the type of material you choose can help convey outside what the experience of your church is like inside.

Convenience and Upkeep
Will your choice of sign require any upkeep or ongoing financial costs? An electronic sign may be more convenient to change than the message on an old marquis sign, but a simple monument sign comprised of just your church’s name does the job without requiring the upkeep.

No matter what type of monument or exterior signage your church chooses, make sure you’ve considered the above points.  If you aren’t sure what type of sign best suits your organization?  Contact the experts at Forerunner!  From concept to creation to installation, we’re there for you every step of the way!

Michael Ryan