Shadow Play Signs

This is one of those ideas that I really can’t explain how I came up with it.

It just sort of happened.

About a month prior to having this idea, I had a realization: use all of the front entryway windows at our main library building for programming flyers. Prior to this idea, all events were limited to the windows in and next to the front door. It was getting crowded since we hired an amazing Adult Services Librarian, and this was such an elegantly simple solution that I know that I ::headdesked:: the moment that the thought occurred to me.

We dedicated the door’s windows for super-special events (like in the image below, there is a Food for Fines sign in the door’s upper window). So the event windows go from left to right: Kids Events, Teen Events, and Adult Events:

The front exterior of our main library building where programming signs are posted within their respective age groups.

And yes, my regular readers will immediately spot how clean and shiny the windows are. I believe in first impressions being good ones, and having clean windows? It shows we care. Or like shiny things. Or both.

The thing with window signs is (and I hate to admit how long it took me to realize this with our event flyers – I’m talking years, they need to have things on both sides so that the people inside aren’t left to look at a bunch of blank sheets of paper taped to our windows. And with how much sunlight our building gets? It can make reading the signs difficult from the inside with all of the bleed-through – so after years of looking at the blank back side of flyers, we started puting either a sheet of dark paper or card stock between two signs to make them easy to read.

A closeup of both the Teen Events and Adult Events windows featuring lots of flyers.

All of that brings us to the idea that I had one day: why not cut out a fun silhouette related to the event and use that to sandwich the two signs? I tried it out and immediately fell in love with it. Depending on how the sunlight is hitting the library, you can either see the shadowy image hidden within the signs, or it completely disappears.

The toughest thing is finding a good, simple image to cut out. If it’s too fussy, then the sign will be even more difficult to read. Once we find a good image, then it’s printed it out onto a piece of card stock, and then cut it out.

Black and white clipart featuring a fork, knife, and spoon printed on card stock and cut out.
Silhouette of a dog wearing a witch hat for our October therapy dog reading time flyer.

Here are some examples of the finished product:

A jack-o-lantern's shadow appears when the sun shines through our library's All Hallows Read sign.
A silhouette of a spoon, knife, and fork appear when the sun hits our library's Cook Book Club sign just right.

I cannot fully express how sad I am that there were water spots on our windows the day that I took interior photos. Okay, I’m not that sad, but it still irks me a bit.

We don’t do this for every single sign, but I definitely think that the ones with hidden images are more eye catching.

There you have it: a simple way to kick your window signs up a notch. Yay!

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