The History Of Signage

The History Of Signage

Signs have been around for thousands of years. They have evolved significantly as the world and technology have advanced. While how signs work and how they are constructed have changed throughout the years, the importance of what they offer and bring to the table has remained the same.

Where We Think It Started


There is no exact time when signage was first introduced to the world. Historians believe that signage first started with the ancient Greeks and Romans. When looking at what kind of signs they used, they mostly contained imagery due to the fact that a good portion of the population was illiterate. The signs back then were mostly used for specific businesses and all types of government locations. At one point, the Greeks and Romans had issues with the size and placement of the signs due to how rapidly cities were growing. Laws were eventually made about the size of the signs and where they could be placed. Signs really started to take off when the industrial revolution came around because it made it possible to mass produce signs in every area of the economy.


The invention of electricity in the 1800s marked a brand new age for signage in history up to that point. Lights were able to illuminate signs so that people were able to see them at night. A great example of this early on was casinos and movie theaters. When plastic was invented in the 1950’s, printed signage became more popular to pint because of how faster and cheaper it was.


Digital Signage 


As mentioned before, the invention of the lightbulb and the digital age really catapulted the signage industry. Personal computers changed signs; they allowed graphic designers to help create designs quickly using software. This changed everything because it allowed signs to go down quicker because we no longer had to rely on talented artists to draw by hand. Computers also allowed programs to control the display of lights to form digital signs. Early digital signs displayed letters, numbers, and simple graphics. When computing technology improved and higher-resolution screens were introduced, digital signs started to become more colorful and detailed. Today, a modern sign is really just a computer monitor that is able to display anything a business or company wants.

The Future 


It is practically impossible to know how signage will evolve in the future. What we do know is that there are exciting technologies on the horizon that can help business signage advance. We can expect to see holograms in a variety of different environments. In the future, interaction with signs may possibly also change with sensor technology and handheld devices improving over time. Traditional signage will still always play a big role in any advertising or traffic, but digital business signage will continue to transform the way information is perceived and communicated.

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