How to Make a Sign

A job that comes up more often than you might think– making direction signs.

Most production offices have some sort of conference room, which is great for departmental meetings. But it’s the rare office that has room for an entire production meeting (which has representatives from every single department) or table read.1

So, every week to eight days, you have to find space elsewhere on the lot that can accommodate upwards of 40 people. (Well, not you; usually the coordinator or APOC do this.)

Obviously, this means it’s a place most people haven’t been to before. You can give them directions in the email, but studio lots can still be confusing.

God help you if you're meeting in a bungalow on the backlot
Building 6 is between building 71 and building 3, obviously.

You definitely don’t want anyone getting lost, especially the actors (who get lost even when they do know where they’re going). So, you hang up signs, directing people where to go.

The path is probably windy, so you’ll need signs with arrows that point right, left, and straight, right? Nope! Take your cue from the location department–

Ironically, there's a studio on the opposite corner.
Six seasons and a movie!

You don’t need the big yellow sign, obviously. Print the text right side up and upside down, and then you have a sign that can point in every direction. But how do you print the text upside down?

Well, you don’t, exactly. Leave the page in normal, portrait layout. Set the margins as small as you can (probably .5 inches). Then create two text boxes. Set the font to something bold and easily readable from a distance, like Impact.

Type whatever makes sense (“Table Read,” “Production Meeting,” or just the title of the show). Rotate one box 90 degrees to the left, and the other 90 degrees to the right.

Now create an arrow (insert –> pictures –> autoshapes). Draw it vertically in the middle.

And that’s it! Print however many of those you think you need, grab the tape dispenser, and go to town.

Footnotes    (↩ returns to text)

  1. Especially if the studio and network executives come, ugh.
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One Response

  1. Yup. That WB lot can be a beeyatch, even with a map. We use to keep copies on our golf cart both for ourselves and to pass to actors lost on the way to casting sessions.

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