Using signage for sensitivity and social distancing at funerals affected by COVID-19 guidelines

Funerals are difficult at any time, but in the current climate funeral services are facing unprecedented pressure. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed increased demand on services, which at the same time are also being severely affected by official guidance relating to containing the virus. This can add to the challenge of treating ceremonies with the compassion and professionalism required. For example, social distancing measures will mean loved ones will have to sit apart from one another. It could also mean only a small number of mourners can attend each ceremony. 
Some funerals that have taken place during the pandemic have been streamed via the internet, allowing close family and friends to attend while other mourners watch from home. Another solution could allow a limited number of family members into services while other mourners gather outside, viewing proceedings on a screen while standing or sitting a safe distance apart from those around them. Whatever measures are adopted, funeral services need to balance the wishes of families paying their respects to relatives, whilst also keeping staff and mourners safe. In all cases, signage can help funerals to take place safely. 

Maintaining professionalism through print

Following stringent official guidelines can be daunting enough in everyday situations, but it is undoubtedly even more daunting for those saying goodbye to a loved one, particularly in the current environment where comforting one another can only be done at a safe distance. With the appropriate signage in place mourners can be guided through the ceremony sensitively, making the impact of such measures less unsettling. 
Having the flexibility to print signage and stationery to support funeral services can enable professional quality signage that reflects official COVID-19 guidance to be implemented quickly on demand. It also gives funeral services complete control over the messaging, allowing them to ensure guidance is communicated in a sensitive way while personalising each service to the loved ones’ requests. 
Sourcing and implementing such signage can be a time-consuming task often relying on costly third party print suppliers. This is why OKI Europe has launched an initiative with Floralabels to provide free* social distancing media and artwork to help organisations such as funeral services to quickly and easily create their own self-adhesive floor stickers. 
The complimentary designs will help to protect the wellbeing of mourners and staff to remind people to keep two metres apart. The floor stickers are available in three formats: a self-adhesive floor circle (285 x 285mm) and rectangular floor banners in two sizes (215 x 900mm and 297 x 1,320 mm).

Adding a personal touch

Handling print in-house can also help to open up new revenue streams and increase margins by enabling them to print all manner of personalised material. This can include personalised ribbons for wreaths and floral tributes, memorial cards, service booklets, labels, envelopes, business cards, banners and general documents printed on demand, eliminating the cost and lead times that come with using a third-party print supplier.
Many printers can struggle to handle the heavy paper weights and special formats that funeral-related stationery demands. OKI’s multi award-winning C800 Series A3 colour printers can print on a wide range of media sizes, types and weights from everyday documents to banners up to 1.3m long in professional quality and high definition colour. With a compact footprint, smaller than a standard A3 office printer, they are the perfect solution for handling funeral related signage and stationery on demand.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be a difficult and challenging time for funeral services, they can ensure professionalism and empathy while enabling funerals to go ahead safely and sensitively under stringent social distancing measures. 
Please note, for information on specific media that should be used with OKI printers for the applications specified on this page, please contact your local certified dealer or contact us.

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