Stop Making Signs For Residents That Don’t Read Signs

Your hand written signs are saying more than you bargained for.

You’ve seen them, maybe in your own office.  Hand written signs saying something will not be tolerated or that some place is off limits.   Each of these signs is a decision, usually made by a single employee, to avoid having a conversation with a resident by visually shouting a message at all residents.  Each of these signs takes away from the complex’s communication.  They steal attention from strategically designed signage and train residents to ignore all of the signs, because the sign probably wasn’t talking to them anyway.

This happens in all kinds of businesses.  A convenience store manager catches someone filling up a cup brought in from outside of the store.  Up goes a hand written sign telling all the customers that filling an outside cup is stealing.  The soda theft continues because the vast majority of people reading the sign wouldn’t dream of stealing soda… and the ones that do steal, don’t care to read the sign anyway.

No one likes confrontation but making a sign doesn’t mean that you’ve avoided anything.  Writer George Bernard Shaw said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”  To paraphrase, the biggest problem with your handmade sign is that if the offender doesn’t read it… you haven’t accomplished anything.  And, potentially, you’ve offended a group of residents that didn’t know about the issue in the first place.

Make sure the signs in your complex follow a communication strategy so future and current residents don’t have to wade through extra information that they don’t need.  If a message needs a sign, have one professionally designed to match the current branding and clearly communicate the point.  Finally, don’t mistake a sign for a conversation because when you do, you’ve probably made a sign for the person that doesn’t read signs.

If your property needs signs of any kind, call Exist Graphics.  From a single sign to a complete rebrand, our in-house design and manufacture team can help you through the design process.  We’ll deliver your signs on time and on budget.  Call us at 817-592-2000 or learn more at

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