Here are some expert tips on creating the most effective protest signs

With protests happening more and more frequently, it’s never a bad idea to get prepared. Don’t quite know what to put on your signs? Well, linguist and podcaster Daniel Midgley shared seven tips to make sure we all have the most effective protest signs — sans pink glitter and boas.

Not that there’s anything wrong with jazzing up posters and cardboard. It’s just that protests have historically never been creativity contests. The messages have always taken precedent.

So, listen up! Because according to Midgley, your protest signs is guaranteed to reach a lot more folks if it follows these linguistic-backed tips.


Signs that say “My Body, My Choice” or “Tiny Hands, Huge Ego” will catch more eyes because of its structural similarity. Not to mention that the slogans are short and sweet.


We all live for the moment when we come across the perfect slogan that both makes sense and rhymes. So, slogans like “Defiance for Science,” or “Respect Existence, or Expect Resistance” are perfect.

3Personal attributes

Having a sign that makes blatant references to someone or something in particular, will guarantee to get you some “hell yeah’s,” as well as a few laughs. A sign that says, “We Shall Overcomb” clearly draws a reference to Donald Trump’s infamous hair. And as far as Midgley is concerned, it’s an awesome one.


Protests should be taken seriously, but it’s always nice to have humorous slogans in the mix to lighten the mood a bit. But, you always want to make sure that your sign is supportive to the folks around you.

According to Midgley, a sign that says “I’m With Them,” with a series of arrows pointing in every which direction is a perfect example of this. It plays on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential election campaign slogan, and shows solidarity with fellow protestors.


Taking a popular slogan that doesn’t necessarily relate to the protest at hand, but switching a few words to do so is also a great idea. Midgley uses the Dunkin’ Donuts tagline to perfectly illustrate his point. Instead of “America Runs on Dunkin’,” a say “America Runs on Science.”


We know that protesting rarely comes at the result of anything upbeat, but having protest gear that gives a positive edge is another way to show solidarity with other marchers. Signs like “Science Saves Lives,” or “Love Trumps Hate” can go a long way.


And lastly, feel free to recreate a sign or slogan you’ve already seen floating around. The more notable, the greater of an effect it’ll have on spectators.

Go forth and up your sign game!!