Wherever you are, wherever you look, chances are you’ll see a sign or two. At work, at the mall, at the park, and even at home. They all have their own specific purposes, and usually fall into at least one of the most common categories.

This blog explores the purposes behind signage and why particular businesses may use certain signage. To find out more or to get started on making your own sign, contact our team at Signworks Thinks today.

What is Signage?

Anything that is graphical and conveys information to people is a sign. Graphical doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be colorful or elaborate (or both)— this includes text, too! Some signs are just pictures, some are just text, and some can be a combination of both.

What is the Purpose of Signage?

There are several purposes behind signage, such as:

Recognition or Marketing

Brands use recognition to build trust and a connection with their audience or customers. When you see a familiar fast food company’s logo in the distance on a long drive, the recognizable color and shape let you know you’ll be able to stop for food soon. This goes for all types of businesses, regardless of the industry. When you’re going to a new dentist for the first time and you know they’re somewhere on Elm Street, you’ll most likely search for their logo or brand’s color to guide you to the correct building.

Wayfinding or Directional

Wayfinding, or directional, signs offer directions to customers and the general public. These can be the large signs on highways to guide you towards the next town, or small signs within an office to direct you to the room or area where your appointment is. They can be simply an arrow, or include words and/or pictures to depict the information you need to get where you’re going. A business certainly doesn’t want any customers getting lost on their way to them, and they also help both foot traffic and road traffic flow smoothly, so these signs are quite common.

Enticing Customers

Like with our fast-food restaurant on the horizon, a familiar sign can entice customers to stop in to visit a business when they weren’t necessarily planning to. This type of signage also applies to advertisements such as window displays in clothing and retail stores. If you’re planning to go directly from Store A to Store C but Store B is along the way and has an interesting window display, that signage can be irresistible! Enticing signage draws potential customers in to take a look, which can then lead to a sale.

Health and Safety

You’re familiar with the rectangular glowing EXIT signs— these are an example of when a sign can fall under more than one category, as they’re both directional and a form of health and safety signage. It’s important to know where your closest exits are in case of an emergency, whether you’re in a movie theater, store, or airplane.

Health and safety signage is used in just about every industry, and is especially common in places like construction sites and hospitals. Additionally, health and safety signage has become even more commonplace today with COVID-related signage popping up since early 2020. Stand 6 feet apart, wear a mask, sanitize your hands— we’re all very familiar with these by now!

Legal Signage

These signs alert the public to what is illegal within a designated area. A sign depicting a cigarette with a line crossed through it instantly informs you that smoking is prohibited outside of that business, in that cab, and so on. The same goes for anything else with a line across it, such as ‘no dogs in this national park’ or ‘no skateboarding outside the mall’. Legal signage is often instantly recognizable on the road, for example, speed limit signage which indicates the maximum speed you can travel at legally.

Need to Make a Sign?

We hope this blog has helped to explain different types of signage and how they can be useful in particular businesses, industries, and scenarios. At Signworks, we have over 30 years of experience in creating signage for many types of businesses across the US and would love to help you get started on yours. To get started on making your own sign, click below to get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable team today.