.. A lot more to come.
FamilyCurling.com is a powerful domain name. When displayed in a street sign or banner, it conveys both what is offered and where to find out more information in only two large font words, which are easy to process when only glanced at while driving.
If we are going to encourage others to start family curling and we have the FamilyCurling.com domain name and marketing materials already made, then why wouldn’t we share them with you?
Artwork – with the Calgary Family Curling story as context
Promotion is a critical part of launching a new curling program. We are not experts, but we can share our experience and the successful versions of our artwork to help you get started.
Please feel free to use anything we are sharing, especially this site in your promotions. (There is no cost to you and no revenue for us.)
One of the most effective promotional tools we have is street signs. We studied city bylaws about sign size and location restrictions. Through the Canada post website we were able to determine which communities have the most young families. We then studied satellite views of the city trying to identify all the routes people would drive home on in hopes that most families in these communities would see our sign five minutes before they got home.
The design of the sign was a critical piece. In Calgary you need a permit for any sign over 0.6 square meters. So the sign had to be bellow this area. The dimensions of the sign had to fit evenly onto the 4×8 chloroplast panels the signs were printed on. People are driving by the signs so the font and size had to make the signs very easy to read with only a glance. The maximum size of the sign and the large font required meant we could not fill the sign with details. Instead the purpose of the sign was to raise curiosity and bring people to a website, which would provide much more information.
The first batch of signs we had printed included three different sizes, but we soon learned from deploying the signs that the largest sign was by far the easiest to read and the most effective. With this knowledge we redesigned the sign. It is legible from a significant distance.
The next year we modified the signs again. As much as we really like the simplicity of the above sign, we started to feel that not all families realized a 6 year old could play and that grandparents could bring their grandchildren. As a result we added the following line at the bottom.
..we also developed this design.
Download a pdf of the above 2 lawn signs in a zip file. Two signs are printed in one 32″x48″ lawn sign. They match up when printed on both sides. Be sure to tell the printer which of the two designs you want printed. You can make smaller signs by cutting the artwork down to only the top portion. You and your Printer are responsible for the results.
Note: With no referral benefits to us for mentioning this, we used CanadaLawnSigns.com to print our signs. At the time of this writing, if you order 6 double sided color 32″x48″ lawn signs, and then cut them in half to make two FamilyCurling.com signs, the price per ~16″x48″ sign is $17. (This is the same parent company as the banner printer mentioned below)
This new design also worked well for the FortisAlberta sponsorship package.
Lawn Sign stands
Printing and design is one aspect of the signs. Another important aspect is the stand. We started off with metal H stands that political signs use. Thankfully the first day we set up signs in our yard it was very windy. We quickly learned that the signs would either bend a single H stand or bend the sign itself. To compensate, we used two H stands per sign, which held the signs well. After deploying the signs for the second time we learned that, when the city bylaw referred to metal stakes being prohibited, they were referring to these H stakes we were using. So for the third deployment we built some wooden bases for half of an H stake to fit into. These work well for deployment in winter when the ground is frozen and add to the visibility of the sign.
The downside of road signs – theft. The city tells us there are people who hate signs and make it there mission to remove them. These people often believe they know the bylaws and feel they are in the right for doing it, but in the end only caused our families to have to pay more for registration. This is the sad side of promotion. We hope that people will come to understand that we reliably deploy and retrieve all signs within two weeks and that we are not a nuisance. If it was practical, I would secure our signs with cinderblocks.
By the way, the reason metal stakes are prohibited is that these stakes, if left behind, can get caught in a city lawn mower and require the mower to go back to the shop for repairs.
After we had a street sign process running, we added banners on overpasses since there are some areas we can’t put street signs. Another benefit of banners is we haven’t had any stolen.
With banners we see a lot of value in larger banners. They may not be cheap, but small banners that don’t work are extremely expensive. The following 3′ x 30′ banner dominates three lanes of an overpass. It can also be printed as a 2′ x 20′ for half (?) the price. Note the area between the two sizes is 90 sqft vs 40 sqft.
Download a pdf of the above 3×30 banner in a zip file. Your printer can print a banner from this file. You and your Printer are responsible for the results.
The text in the Age and Events areas can be edited or removed. We stayed with white text to maximize readability at night.
… more to come
Note: Banners can be expensive to print, especially for a printer that doesn’t do many and has to do a custom setup to print it. We have used CanadaBannerKing.com and found there quality to be excellent and prices are affordable in comparison to a custom printer. (There is absolutely no referral benefit from this. It took us a long time to find the right quality and price and wanted to share it with you.)
Banner designs with sponsorship include:
… more to come
… more to come
Would you like a different message or format of sign or poster? Ask us to create it, we can probably do that for you.
Create Your Own
Of course you can create your own artwork. If you share it with us, we may share it with the community here.
Many forms of promotion
Eventually the above sign information will likely be moved to its own page and this page will talk more broadly about many ways to promote an event.