Traditional or Modern? What Type of Sign to Use for Your Church

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Tips to choose the right sign for churches

Today, your church needs to find more meaningful ways to reach out to your congregation while also reaching out to the community. Technology has made this easier providing new ways to connect, from social media to websites and email to e-newsletters.

An easy and affordable way to reach your congregation and community is to install a digital LED church sign. This allows you to send out relevant messages from general religious messaging to community events. But is a digital sign right for you, or is a traditional sign just as effective?

Here are some considerations when thinking about adding a sign to your church.

Do you want to grow your congregation?

If you find you need to get messaging out to the public — as opposed to just your existing congregation — a digital sign works best. It allows you to constantly switch up your messaging and even include digital images to draw more attention to your church.

This is one of the easiest ways to bring more people into your fold, using community-based messaging and welcoming invitations to participate.

Are you located on a busy street?

If your church is located on a busy street — even if it is just local traffic — a digital sign is always best. Again, you have more chances to reach out to more people with digital messaging.

The chances are you might be “competing” with other local churches to draw more people into your services or events. However, if your church is less central, then a traditional sign is probably fine.

Is your budget restricted?

Most churches do have budget constraints to consider. If you are getting a new church sign and your congregation wishes to donate to the cause, you can justify getting a digital sign. However, if you tend to be operating at a deficit or struggling to make ends meet, then a traditional sign makes more sense.

One other thing to consider for pricing, however, is the resources to change your sign. If you find you are constantly changing your messaging, consider how much this is costing you. In some cases, you might find a basic digital sign that provides text messaging works in your favour by reducing labour costs.

Are you struggling to keep your sign up to date?

If you find it difficult to keep your church sign up to date either due to physical issues to manually take down the old message and put up the new message, a digital sign might be the answer, because they can be changed at any time from a computer. this makes it easier for you to manage your messaging effectively.

How often do you change your messaging?

Many churches put in a lot of effort to keep their sign messages relevant and timely. Whether it is seasonally driven, clever, or funny comments to inspire the community, newsworthy messages such as collecting for a recent disaster or your community events, messaging is an important function to your church and community.

Ask yourself how often you would ideally like to be able to change or add to your messages. If the answer is frequently, then a digital sign might be your best option. If you do basic messages such as church service times or a monthly event, then a traditional sign is probably fine.

Are you equipped to manage a digital sign?

Digital church signs are operated using specialized software. While this makes things easier, it also means you need a computer and peripherals to operate the sign. You will also need someone who understands the software and can easily change the messaging.

You can probably find someone in the congregation to operate the sign for you, but this might interfere with your ideal schedule. If all of this is too complicated, then a traditional sign is best.

Can you afford the installation costs?

A new digital sign is more complicated to install than a traditional sign. You must consider additional costs, such as providing the source of electricity. You will also often need access to a dependable cellular network to upload messages.

Outdoor digital signs also require weather-resistant cables or wires to be safe. The ‘management software’ provides access for you to manage your sign content. This adds another cost to managing your sign. These upfront costs add to the overall payable price but may be worth it should it result in lower maintenance costs in future.

Are you looking for a better way to reach your congregation?

There can be many times you need to reach your congregation, but not have the resources to call them, create a newsletter, send out emails, etc. You most likely also don’t have contact information for the entire congregation.

In the case where something has happened that causes a service to be cancelled — such as a leak in the church — or if you are adding new services to accommodate Easter or Christmas crowds, a digital sign allows you to get the word out directly to your congregation.

Additional Benefits of a Digital Church Sign

Digital church signs also allow you to:

  1. Rotate more than one message

    Instead of being limited by space like a traditional sign, you can schedule a rotation of messages. This allows you to cover many different topics, including your service hours, seasonal messages, community events, interesting quotes, or humorous anecdotes. You can engage different audiences, getting messages out to your congregation and the community simultaneously.

  2. Schedule messages

    Digital signs offer a scheduling option that allows you to set a time for messages to appear. Whether you want to set up a welcome message for a community event in the morning and switch it up to welcome people to an evening service or have messages for specific days of the week or month, you can manage message timing precisely.

  3. Colour and animation

    Although you can use a traditional sign to communicate to the community, it doesn’t attract the same notice, nor does it allow you to make dynamic messages using images. This is an effective advertising tool to spread your reach using festive colours and animation to provide an intriguing message that makes more impact.

As you can see, there are many things to consider before deciding what church sign your congregation will respond to best.

For more help deciding whether a traditional or digital sign is right for your church, call New Style Signs at (905) 363-0101 or contact us here.


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New Style Signs supplies and installs signs throughout all of Southern Ontario.

We supply and install signs in Toronto and the following surrounding areas:

  • York Region
  • Peel Region
  • Durham Region
  • Halton Region