Friday, November 16, 2012

Garage Sale signage - dos and don'ts

Another installment of Deep Thoughts by Heather.....

"Garage Sale signage - dos and don'ts"

Size of sign and lettering
The garage sale sign needs to be large enough to see from a distance away.  Make the sign large enough and lettering large enough to read in the 2 seconds that people have while driving past your sign.  Ensure the sign lettering is dark enough against the colour of the sign board. Use bold lettering with a felt pen.

Signage Material
Use signage material that is structured so that it doesn't bend in the wind.  All of your hard work creating and posting signage will be for nothing if the signs bend and fold in the wind.
Do not use flattened cardboard for your sign. The lettering doesn't stand-out, and it will fold in the wind.

Information to include/exclude
The most important information you want to convey is the address, so print it large and print it at the top of the sign, not the bottom.
- Include only the address, date(s), & time.
- It's not necessary to include an itemized list of the category of items you are selling, people generally know what things are available at garage sales.
- Time - set the start and stop times on the hour, ie. 9am-3pm. It is easier to read at a glance compared to 9:45am-3:30pm
- Do not use "Today" as the date.  I usually disregard signs with 'today' because more often than not, the sign is old and the sale is over.
1234 Main Street
Sat, June 3rd

Put your signage at major intersections in your area.  Put up additional signs along the route from each major intersections to your house.  Be sure to have a sign with arrow at each turn.  Ensure you have a sign posted every few blocks so people know they are going the correct direction.

Sign design
Pick a design theme for your garage sale signs.  Use colour, borders, an image or balloons.  Whatever your design, all of your signage needs to be consistent. Consider that there are likely many garage sales being held the same day as yours, and you may be posting your signage at the same intersection with many others. Make sure your sign is easy to read and stands out from the crowd. Making your signs all the same design allows you to lead your customers to the sale like a trail of breadcrumbs.
Draft your sign lettering in pencil before using the marker.
It's also an idea to 'laminate' the sign by covering it in clear packing tape so it will stay in tack if it starts to rain.
Use coloured bristol board for your material, and affix it to a wooden garden stake or bamboo garden hoop.  This creates a stand-alone sign that doesn't require a post to attach to.
Do not use a distracting scripted fonts
Do not just outline your lettering, fill it in with the marker.

Remove your old signs
Once the sale has concluded, remember to remove your garage sale signs.  It is actually a by-law in many cities that your sign cannot be posted more than 24hours before, and must be removed 24 hours following the advertised event.


What not to do:

Although this sign includes all of the information it should, this sign is too small, it's not readable at a distance, and I actually spotted it several weeks afterwards.

That is all I have to say about that.