How to Create the Perfect Chalkboard Sign
Chalkboard signs allow you to be as creative and unique as you like, and they come in all different shapes and sizes. Chalkboards and blackboard signage has become incredibly popular in recent years. They’re cheap and cheerful and give users a lot of freedom to make the most of their creative flair, but they do require some additional equipment such as a decent range of chalks and chalk pens. These pens need to be both waterproof and easy to clean.
You might be surprised by the amount of thought that goes into the designs on your favourite viral chalkboard signs. It’s an art-form as well as a business tool. But how do you know which sign to settle on? To help you navigate this advertising method, we’ve put together a list of tips that will make you a chalkboard pro.
Whatever your signage needs, Red17 is bound to have a sandwich board or pavement sign to meet your needs – from flexible panels to forecourt signs, A-board frames to swing signs. And they can be yours in a flash, along with their potential for marketing and advertising, through Red17’s online store. Chalkboard signs really are one of the best ways to go if your goal is to communicate your brand’s sense of humour and personality to potential customers.
All you need is your wit and a piece of chalk to encourage passers-by in your local area to discuss your business.
1. Liquid Chalk
Even on traditional chalkboard signs, liquid chalk is more versatile and convenient than traditional chalk. Created in the world’s oceans and seas by micro-plankton, pure chalk is like a natural resource. It plays a role in art, farming, manufacturing and medicine. What’s great is that it can be compacted and shaped into sticks for easy use. Unfortunately, though, this pressing does not prevent it from being prone to crumbling.
Adding an extra “magical” ingredient, ethanol, to chalk allows us to create liquid chalk. Ethanol is a type of alcohol, and allows the chalk to flow freely rather than crumbling, so that it can easily be transferred to many surfaces.
Tip: With so many different customised signage options available, you may find yourself wondering why pavement signs continue to be the number one choice. Encouraging passers-by to take a photo to share with their friends, these chalkboard signs really make the most of their owners’ outdoor advertising space by grabbing the eye of everyone who passes and their mates. Looking for inspiration on the web can be helpful if you can’t think of anything insightful to go on your board.
At the beginning, you will need to come to your board with a little patience, as a liquid chalk pen takes some time to get going. Shake your pen, take off the lid and hold the nib against your sign. Press the nib up and down gently a couple of times, and you will eventually see the liquid chalk coming through the nib’s felt.
3. Washable Ink Pens
For indoor signage, washable ink pens are the perfect choice. They allow you to simply wipe off your message with a damp cloth and start again, so they’re perfect for users who want to regularly change messages like prices. Washable ink pens really come into their own in smaller retail ticketing, though some people do use them to write on larger blackboard displays. If you plan to regularly re-write and alter your sign, a smaller display will be easier to manage.
Why Choose Chalkboard Signs?
The reason for chalkboards’ popularity becomes clear when you consider their benefits.
- Convenience –
Chalkboard signs are much easier to set up than some other types of customised signage. They can be moved with ease and placed quickly and easily. This makes it much easier to make sure your chalkboard sign is placed in the optimum position, and to move it if it isn’t.
- Versatility –
Chalkboard signs can be used in different ways. The main appeal for a lot of people is that there’s no right or wrong way to use them. Special events can be advertised on your chalkboard as easily as items, services and meal deals. If you have nothing new to promote, you can simply use it to provide information about your business.
- They Attract Pedestrians –
It’s extremely difficult to display information to people who walk past your business, as they are often too busy to notice a store or restaurant. However, pavement signs are able to grab their attention in a way that other forms of customised signage aren’t able to. You can advertise yourself to loads of potential customers by simply placing a pavement sign close to pedestrian footfall. Seeing what you have on offer becomes their only option.
4. Washable or Waterproof?
Waterproof pens should be used if the price or information on your sign will stay up for some time, or if your sign is going to be set up outside. (Photo: @johnfraher)
There’s More than One Type of Chalkboard Sign
- Countertop Chalkboards –
Whether it’s your opening hours, special offers, happy hour drinks or WiFi password, table top chalkboards are perfect for providing your guests with information about your pub or café.
- HPL Chalkboard Panels –
Write up ‘thoughts of the day’, new menu items and passwords on these attractively simple boards.
- EcoFlex Chalkboard –
These signs are ideal for displaying opening times, new menu items and quotes, and are designed to be placed on the pavement outside of your restaurant or store.
- Framed Chalkboards –
Framed chalkboards look great in a business context, and are a brilliant place for restaurants and cafes to show their daily specials or WiFi codes.
- Chalk Insert Panels –
Chalk Insert Panels are an economical and convenient choice, as you can fit them easily into your existing sign boards, allowing you to make the most of your existing materials and promotions.
- A-Board Signs –
An A-board sign on the pavement generates interest in your business, helps you gain new walk-ins, and can be a brilliant place for witty quotes.
5. Waterproof Pens
Marks made with a waterproof pen are not permanent, though they are durable. A special liquid chalk marker cleaner spray is available to clean blackboards that have been written on with waterproof chalk.
6. Other Surfaces
The spray cleaner will work on any smooth surface used with your waterproof pens, including clear plastic and glass.
7. Worthy of Sprays
Waterproof chalk will not come off easily even if you use most household spray cleaners. Chalk marker cleaner sprays work because they’re specially designed to clean one thing: chalk marker marks. It’s the best way to get your chalkboard properly cleaned off.
8. Let’s Talk Nibs
It’s important you choose the right nib thickness for your design. Small and medium-sized boards generally work best with a medium-sized nib of around 2-6mm. 6mm nibs are good for colouring in and larger writing, while using the nib at its 2mm angle allows you to create smaller text. Windows, A-Frames and large wall boards can also be written on using larger 7-15mm pens.
9. Ghosting Is Never Okay
If you want a chalkboard that wipes clean every time, it’s best to go for a higher-quality option like those available from Red17. Cheaper models may bring with them the problem of “ghosting”. As long as you clean them properly, permanent marks aren’t really something you need to worry about with liquid chalk.
10. Practice Your Handwriting
Writing neatly on a vertical sign isn’t as easy as it looks. It’s worth asking for help from a colleague or friend who already has nice handwriting. If nobody springs to mind, you could also invest in a stencil that will make anyone’s handwriting look professional – just remember to fill in the gaps when you take the stencil away!