Signage has evolved rapidly since the 1990s in lockstep with advances in technology and business models. Newer business models and more companies entering the fray automatically call for more aggressive, unique and insightful marketing. Signage has evolved from a mere necessity around the premises, to an important component in the advertising story. Various influences from technology and marketing trends are shaping modern day signage..
Marketing trends shaping signage
Simple designs: Clunky signage with a lot of messages crammed into it is becoming extinct. Simple and short messages in unique, elegant and modern fonts are the rage. They stand out from the clutter and scream “class” from a distance. Backgrounds and borders are also more refined to help the text and imagery stand out.
Vintage designs: Vintage designs from the world war era have an antique value and bring a smile on viewers’ faces. This is being exploited cleverly by advertisers in industries where the offerings are simple, and trust is important while buying. Hand-lettering, aged timber, the worn-out look and various other techniques help recreate the vintage look.
Newer printing techniques: Wide-format printers, flatbed printers and UV-resistant ink have all made it easy to generate attractive and long-lasting signage, that can be used for outdoor advertising such as banners, hoardings, vehicle wraps and signage at event venues.
3D Printing: 3D Printing has come a long way from being merely used to create models for architects and medical institutions since the 70s. Today, it is revolutionizing signage with its ease of generating unique, odd-shaped and intricate designs that hugely differentiate advertisers from their competititors!
Technology trends shaping signage
LEDs for Neon lighting: Neon lighting which so far has been using gas tubes at its core, is now being replaced by LED lights. The LED lights give Neon signs more flexibility, making it easy to generate signage that is unique in their look and feel. LEDs are also less expensive and more energy-efficient compared to Neon-gas cores, thereby reducing the overall cost to advertisers.
Digital signage: Digital signage maximizes the space available and capital invested in the signage space by allowing messages to change constantly. This alone is driving many advertisers to migrate to digital signage. Further, digital signage is evolving rapidly by incorporating newer technologies that makes it more effective. Some of them are interactive and self-service screens, touch screens, data analytics, 3D screens etc.
Programmable DOOH: Digital Out of Home (DOOH) advertising which includes digital signage, radio and TV advertising has also evolved with time. Unlike traditional DOOH which requires a lot of human intervention and management, programmatic DOOH uses advances in wireless communication, data analytics, smart software and special screens to program the content to be displayed from time to time. This helps advertisers push messages with considerable insight while reducing the overall cost and hassle.
Responsive and dynamic content: Interactivity is the buzzword everywhere. Touch screens which display actionable messages help consumers make bookings or download information such as brochures and data sheets. They can also choose to view more details on the screen, play a different video, or listen to a testimonial in the background. All of these help shorten the time to purchase.
Signage will keep evolving with time in order to stay relevant and reflect contemporary trends. This opens up a world of possibilities for advertisers and helps them maximize returns from their advertising spend. It helps achieve what marketing and advertising Guru Peter Drucker hinted at, when he said “The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous”.