Supporting families to make healthy, safe choices based on scientific evidence.
by Hollie Ann Redinger
It is vitally important to our movement that our messages come across crystal clear. Often people forget that this is just a simple advertising campaign and we need to treat our educational material as if this was our own personal business. We HAVE to have quality media to truly be taken seriously. We cannot allow any wiggle room for people to throw out red herrings (we have enough of that already to battle).
No matter what you are making, please keep these things in mind. It must be easy to read, centered, pleasing to the eye, professional looking and of course have catchy, modern phrasing and/or facts. You have to look at everything you put out as if you were on the other side trying to find ANYTHING to nitpick about.
We understand that time is often an issue for a lot of us. We all have busy lives and intactivism can consume so much of it, but please keep in mind that not rushing through the creation of media will REALLY help the movement much more than just making something that is “okay for now”, as I hear said a lot.
It’s pretty safe to say that not all of us have the means to get professionally printed materials but we can all make our own using some simple guidelines. You don’t have to be in advertising to know what is pleasing to the eye and what looks like shit. Please keep all of these things in mind the next time you are making a batch of signs or cards. DO NOT get personally offended, throw a tantrum and destroy your current sets of media. This helps no one and especially not our environment.
1. SPELLCHECK, SPELLCHECK, SPELLCHECK
You cannot possibly expect to be taken seriously if you can’t spell correctly. This may not be a strength we all possess, but don’t worry. Find another intactivist to check over your work before making anything permanent. Proper grammar and spelling is a MUST. No excuses, peeps.
2. CURRENT DATA/FACTS
Providing old, outdated data only fuels the fire of our opposition. If you don’t know something, don’t guess. Ask. There are always tons of people that would be willing to help provide current studies, links, and/or pointers if you are stuck.
3. CHOOSING A FONT
You never want more than 2 fonts on each side of your material. It becomes too confusing and not pleasing to our brain. Keep it simple, clean, uniform.
If you are making your own cards and have to cut them out, please make sure to cut them EVEN. There are small scrap-booking paper cutters you can purchase for $10-20 or find one at a thrift store. If you have those scissors that have the design cut on the edge, these are good. It is better to have uneven, patterned edges than crooked straight cuts.
5. IF YOU WOULDN’T TURN IT IN AT WORK…
Pretend you work in advertising and you were trying to land this HUGE account, ask yourself these questions… Would you land that client or would you get fired?
6. BE CREATIVE!
Be YOU! Have fun, think of catchy phrasing, things to catch attention. Don’t be afraid to TRY NEW THINGS. Don’t make an info card that is about restoration if you know nothing about it and you’re best area is in proper intact care. Make your info cards represent you and your area of expertise. This way you will be able to be sharp and spot on if you are confronted with questions. You won’t reach everyone, but you will reach the people that are like you and when that happens there will be a personal connection and your advocating will be EASIER.
1. STICK ON LETTERS
You can find packs of stick on professional poster letters for $3-7 at WalMart or Hobby Lobby in different sizes. (I like to stock up when Hobby Lobby has them at 50% off). When you hand write phrasing it is not as clear from a distance. Even using stencils is okay BUT make sure you are using a POSTER marker that does not leave lines and uneven coverage. This all may not seem like an issue to you standing 1 foot away from your sign but think about the people down the street looking. Don’t you want them to be able to read them? Slight variations in color/coverage looks VERY different from a distance.
It is VERY important to make sure you do a lot of planning before laying anything down permanently. A ruler is your friend. I personally like to type up my phrase on the computer so I can see exactly how it is centered and go from there. Measure, measure, measure! Make sure there is an even space above the top line, between lines, and underneath the bottom line. Don’t only worry about vertical centering, horizontal is just as important. If you have a hard time with this, please ask someone to help.
What are we doing this for? What type of message do YOU want to send? What will get someone’s attention long enough to read our entire sign? Is it true?
Our main goal is education, to get people questioning, to raise awareness, NOT to promote OUR personal group, Non-Profit Organization or favorite buddies. Cards and LARGE banners are for links, not small signs. This is not a popularity contest. Our job is to relay a message and get the gears turning. Clipart (as cute as it might be) is not suggested for small signs. It is hard to see from a distance and takes up a lot of space on our signs.
5. WHO ARE YOU REACHING?
Think about where you will be using your signs. Is it close contact with people on foot? Only cars from a distance? Across streets? Keep the surroundings in mind when you are making a new batch of signs. What applies for long-distance signs, does not necessarily apply for up close readers.
Believe it or not you will go through signs rather fast if you are protesting with them in various climates. Wind, rain, snow is always a factor. The quality of your sign should reflect where you are going to be using them. DON’T put hours into making signs that will be ruined by weather. You are better off spending $20 and getting a waterproof sign made on Vistaprint or other on-line sources. Your sign will last and you won’t have to make $10 signs every protest that get ruined by the conditions.
7. TAKE YOUR TIME
Don’t rush and settle for something that is “okay for now”. Plan ahead, don’t procrastinate and create media that is going to reflect the solidarity and validity of this important movement.
8. SPELLCHECK, SPELLCHECK, SPELLCHECK
You cannot possibly expect to be taken seriously if you can’t spell correctly. This may not be the strength of all of us, but don’t worry. Find another intactivist to check over your work before making anything permanent. Proper grammar and spelling is a MUST. No excuses, peeps.
9. BE CREATIVE!
Be YOU! Have fun, think of catchy phrasing, things to catch attention. Don’t be afraid to TRY NEW THINGS. Make your signs represent you and your area of expertise. This way you will be able to be sharp and spot on if you are confronted with questions. You won’t reach everyone, but you will reach the people that are like you and when that happens there will be a personal connection and your advocating will be EASIER.