We see signage everywhere – on our way to work, when we go out for groceries and when we take a walk in the park. It is something we’ve become so accustomed to we barely even notice it’s there anymore. But when did all this hype start and what is the purpose of signage?

Although it’s been around for a couple of decades before, “signage” is a term that’s become popular in the late ’70s. Starting with the classic billboards to the modern digital displays, signs are the way a business conveys information to its customers to help them decide what products or services to use and buy.

So, how can you use it for your business’ best interest?

First, it pays off to know the types of signage out there. Then, you just have to choose the ones that suit the personality of your brand, but also the purpose of your campaign.

What Is the Purpose of Signage?

Signs can be used for one of the following five purposes:

1. Advertisement

Most signs fall within this category and they’re divided into multiple sub-categories. Billboards, banners, window vinyl, sandwich boards – these are the most common types of signs used to promote a brand, a product or a certain offer.

What’s the catch?

Their main purpose is to entice customers and get them interested in the advertised product. The idea is not to close the sale on the spot, but to give them enough information to make them curious and interested. The right ad will leave your customers wanting for more, so they’ll visit your store or website to find out the rest.

2. Informational Purpose

A window vinyl with the open hours is the perfect example of informational signage. It doesn’t sell anything, but it conveys important information for potential customers. And that’s a great advantage in a world where almost every sign out there is trying to sell us something.

3. Orientation

Harrison from HBR Signs said “This is an idea borrowed from… traffic signs. And it works great. Your customers don’t know where an office or stand is located? An orientation sign at the shop entrance or in the lobby can help them learn their way around and save time.”

4. Navigation

Remember those footsteps stickers on the floor? Or the directional arrows and maps you can see at shopping centres? You can use them creatively to help customers find your store or office.

5. Reinforcement/ Identification

Be it a simple reinforcement of the brand or even a brand symbol – like McDonald’s famous arch – or a banner at a festival, these signs are there to make the brand memorable.

Although some of these – like orientation or navigation signs – might not seem suitable for a business, there are plenty of ways your brand can benefit from them. For instance, navigation signs can be a life-saver for a large store, while orientation signs can be placed around the city to help customers find their way to your store.

All you have to do before designing your sign is to make sure it suits the personality of your brand.

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