Writing a Good Sign

So you want to make a protest sign. Awesome! What should it say?

Anti-Brexit sign from UK protest
An excellent slogan, if I do say so myself.


  • Three Word Chants. Keep it short. Keep it memorable. Three words is a great target. Here are some examples where I mostly make the target. Feel free to steal, adapt, and/or mutate.
    • Fund Science Now
    • Evolution Works
    • No Politics in Science
    • Let Scientists Work
    • We Love Science
    • Climate Change is Real
    • Science Denial Kills
    • Science Supporter
    • Stop the Brain Drain
  • Bright colors, high contrast. Make it stand out from a distance. If we end up with an official color for the march (fingers crossed for Science Department Blue!), consider using that.
  • Single topic. This goes with the “three word chant” idea. Seriously, stick to one thing. We can all love different parts of science; pick your favorite and go with it.


  • Science jokes. I’m sorry. I know. You have a great one. This will not be the time or the place. One of the most common complaints leveled against scientists is that we are constantly blathering on about things that no one understands or cares about. If we all show up with in-jokes on our signs, the joke will be on us, because no one will know why we were there. Here are some bad choices:
    • What do we want? Science! When do we want it? After peer review!
    • I react strongly to Trump because he’s not noble.
    • Your misunderstanding of DNA doesn’t makes my genes tight.
    • Social Scientists do it with with Personal Data
    • You Can’t Take the Sky from Me
  • Long slogans. Same reason as above. The more complex you make it, the less people will care.
  • Insulting things about Trump’s appearance or family. You may wish to insult his intelligence, his ethics, or his policies. That’s ok. Those matter. The size of his hands is unimportant. His family is 100% off-limits. Rise above.
  • Don’t make it actually say the words “Three Word Chant.”

Obviously, if you have a large banner, you can put more on it. Therefore, next post: What size paper? (To which the response is, “Why do you think we’re stopping at paper?”)


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