Printable Safety Signs
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Create a printable safety sign on your computer

safety sign
Designing your own safety sign can be a fun, creative adventure if you follow the right steps.

If you are considering printing a safety sign from your computer for the office or personal use, there are a few easy steps to success.

1. Pick the right wording
The first place to start is deciding on a safety slogan. The perfect safety slogan should feature a minimum amount of words so your message is quickly understood and easily viewable. Too much information or unnecessary information can diminish your sign’s effectiveness. You can even make your slogan witty to catch attention. You can also consider using the standard ANSI headings: NOTICE, CAUTION, and DANGER. This helps create a visual shortcut for the viewer, since they’re used to seeing those headers.

2. Choose your layout
Next, you’ll want to decide on an appropriate layout. Consider shape, size, color, text size, and graphic. Do you want a horizontal or vertical rectangle? Sometimes it’s easier to get more text on a vertical sign without sacrificing text size. Or perhaps you would like a diamond or a triangle. In this stage, you can refer to existing signage since choosing conventional signs means people will recognize them faster. For instance, red or yellow colored signs typically mean stop and warning, respectively. Rectangular-shaped signs are standard and work well with any message but that doesn’t preclude customization! Diamond signs are often used exclusively to convey warning and circular signs to embody community and familiarity.

3. Design the image
Once you’ve settled on a layout, it’s time to open a graphics editor or Microsoft Word and open a new file. If you need a larger or smaller size than the default allows, create a custom size through the page settings located in the toolbar. Then, punch in the dimensions for the height and width, and specify page orientation (i.e. landscape or portrait). Insert a text box and enter in your concise safety slogan (remember brevity is the key!).

After you enter the text, put in any relevant symbol or graphic if needed. Symbols and graphics are great because they not only convey messages faster than text, but also allow non-English speakers to understand. Symbols also allow you to use less text (if any). Often, you can find a good guide for symbols online, from premium sign vendors or from government websites. Feel free to play around with sizes and colors till you are satisfied with the right look. Be sure to save the file so you don’t lose your work and you’re ready to print! For the best quality, print on high-quality printer paper and set your printer’s ink quality to “high.” This ensures that your printable safety sign will come out looking the best.

4. Place your sign
The final step is the easiest: just place your sign in a conspicuous area (i.e. eye-level) for maximum visibility. If you’re going to need the sign in place for more than a few days, you might want to consider laminating it, or even sliding it into sheet protector, to ensure it doesn’t get torn or marked. If there’s a location where you’ll frequently be hanging temporary signs, you may want to install a permanent clear sign holder.

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