DIY Bold Protest Signs

Photo of Atlanta Women’s March, by Alan Sandercock

What you’ll need

  • Adobe Illustrator*
  • Paper cutter
  • Printer
  • Standard foam core board
  • Spray mount

Most foam core board you get a grocery store is a fine size for protesting. It’s usually 28" wide by 22" high, make note if yours is a different size. Open up Illustrator and create a document using the sizes (in inches) to match your board.

What you put on your sign is the fun creative part. I recommend big bold typefaces, and keeping the messaging short, to the point, and unmistakably clear. Keep in mind that this will be viewed from a distance, so simpler is better.

If you don’t like the fonts you have to choose from on your computer, there are a bunch of bold display fonts available for free from google.

Print using Illustrator’s dialog and set “Scaling” to “Tile Imageable Areas.” This is the magic that saves you lots of time.

This will print out 9 pages. Each will have a standard edge where the printer can’t reach (usually around 1/4 inch). Use the paper cutter to trim that off (you can trim the entire stack at once).

Line up your paper on the board, you’ll see that there’s about 1 1/4 inch of extra paper around the edges, this is ok, you can trim it off later.

Take the board and papers outside, spray the board, then spray the back of each paper and place it as you did before.

After they are all placed, flip the board over and trim off the excess paper with a blade or scissors.

Repeat for the back side if you like. You’re done!

*I realize that not everyone has Adobe Illustrator, and that it’s rather expensive. I’m describing it because it’s just what I happen to have. If someone knows of an application that will do easy print tiling like this, but doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, send me a link and I’ll add it here.

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