“Out of order”: Temporary signage tells a bigger story

Brand Management

Have you ever been to a client’s office or the bank or even a hospital and run into a handwritten notice on a bathroom door or adorned over a broken drinking fountain displaying some inconvenient news. Maybe it was created with a sharpie or maybe it looks like it was crafted in Microsoft Paint with provocative clipart. It is a simple message for a temporary setback, but it could easily be more reassuring, more professional, and more “on-brand.”

Real life scenario. 

A hospital that gets 1,000 guests a day that walk through the front doors and atrium. Guests are visiting friends and loved ones. A new childbirth class is being offered that evening in a meeting room down the hall. A volunteer is sitting at the front desk, directing traffic and answering questions. An easel with a handwritten message points new parents in the right direction – just down the hall, in room 122. Regardless, if it was left to the last minute or a well-intentioned communication to new parents, it leaves an impression. In some cases, this could be the first time some have experienced a class at this hospital. For others this may be the 100th time they have walked through the hospital atrium. The little things add up when establishing your brand in the minds of your customers or audience.

A temporary sign, poster or even a flyer can be as important as the 20-foot monument sign out front. Temporary doesn’t need to feel temporary. With the correct tools and templates in place, creating something for a moment could be easier and faster than crafting something by hand – and will be more on-brand. Whether you are pointing people to a class, or telling them a bathroom or drinking fountain is out of order, the concept of anybody with three minutes of time being able to develop a branded piece that is serving an important purpose is real and achievable. The bigger story is that all communication, temporary or otherwise, should be thought out, on-brand and crafted with care.