Whether you’re looking for a sign to direct people through your school’s hallways or to ensure little brothers keep out of your personal space, there’s no need to spend money on design firms or printers when you can make signs yourself at home. Create door signs on your computer with a desktop publishing program, or get creative with a few inexpensive items from the craft supply store. Each results in a custom, personalised door sign, and takes only a few minutes of your time.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Microsoft Publisher, or other desktop publishing program
- Digital image (optional)
- Sheet of 8.5- by 11-inch paper
- Alphabet stencils
- Glitter glue or stickers (optional)
Open your desktop publishing program and click “New,” then choose “Publications for Print” (programs may have similar links such as “Templates” or “Designs”). Click the “Signs” option and scroll through the preset designs available. Choose one similar to your desired door sign; don’t worry if you don’t like the graphics or colours, because you can change those in the following steps. Double-click a sign and it appears in your workspace.
Click “Color Schemes” in the “Options” panel. Scroll through the colour families and double-click one for your door sign; it instantly updates in the workspace. In various programs, this link may be called "Colors" or "Themes."
Click “Font” and choose a font family to update the placeholder text on the door sign. Various desktop publishing programs may show this link as "Fonts," "Text," or "Formatting." Double-click a set and it updates in the workspace.
Click your cursor onto the sign’s placeholder text and start typing information such as “Max’s Room,” “Philosophy Faculty Entrance,” “Quiet Please,” or “Janofsky Hall, Room 36.” Highlight the text with your mouse, then choose a font, size, and colour from the text toolbar at the top of the page. Increase the font size so it is almost as wide as the entire page.
If you want to add a photo or art, click the “Insert” menu, then choose “Picture” and “From File.” Browse to an area on your computer where you have a photo or image stored for the door sign. Double-click it so it appears on the sign, then drag it into place with your mouse.
Click once on any excess text boxes or design elements from the preset sign, then press the “Delete” key on your keyboard.
Place a blank sheet of paper on a table and lay out the stencils next to it.
Assemble your stencils in the order you want them to spell for the door sign, such as “Keep Out” or “Rose’s Room.” Tape each individual letter into place on the paper.
Colour in the stencils with markers, letting each dry before lifting the stencil up off the paper.
If you like, add design elements with glitter glue or stickers around the edges of the sign.
Tips and warnings
- You can make door signs in a variety of computer programs. Your installation of Microsoft Office may contain Publisher, a desktop publishing layout and design program complete with a variety of preset signs. Microsoft Word has the same clip art and text functionality as Publisher; it’s just not as layout and design friendly. You won’t be able to precisely place graphics and text, but can still make basic signs. Microsoft Office Online has free downloadable templates you may use to find door signs as well. The Creative Suite, available for purchase from Adobe, also has items which may be used to make signs: the InDesign desktop publishing program, similar to Publisher, and Photoshop, a graphics package where you can edit and enhance your own photographs, images, and drawings.
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