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Modern Trends in Sign Design and Usage

Signs, in the forms that we know them, have been around since medieval times. Even today, in the world of electronic information exchange, they continue to play a major and continuously evolving role in advertising and marketing.

The modern sign

The signs of today bear little resemblance to those of 100 years ago. Today there is mobile and digital signage and visual graphics using neon lights, LEDs, standard lights, all of which are common. Recently, high resolution interactive screen displays have started to be used. Signs today are no longer basic advertising media. They are now highly evolved, innovative design platforms that allow businesses to show not only who they are and what they do, but also indicate how creative they can be. The modern sign does not just convey information about a business or product – it reflects the character of the business using it.

In addition to technology, the modern sign is no longer limited by shape, size or dimension. It can be of any shape, not just round or rectangular. It can be so big it covers the wall of a building. And it need not be two dimensional. It can resemble the shape of the product being promoted.

Making the modern sign effective

Despite the technological advances, the basics of effective signage remain more or less the same as they have always been.

Aim for maximum exposure

With the explosion of other media and the proliferation of signage, signs attract less marginal attention today than what they did in the past. In marketing terms this means that conversion is low. It is this way for all media today. Signs must be placed to attract the maximum eyeballs, even if it is in unconventional locations.

Design for the market

Signs should be designed to appeal to a target audience. Anything that connects the shape and nature of the sign to the product and the potential customer need for it, adds to its effectiveness. Surprising, amusing and in some cases, even shocking the viewer can increase the effectiveness of the sign exponentially.

Use creative designs

More is not always better. With signs becoming increasingly complex and high tech, simple signs in black and white can stand out from the crowd and be memorable.  Being creative with designs means that they should stand out from the context they are placed in so that they grab eyeballs. Often simplicity is more creative than complexity and trumps it in terms of attracting attention.

With so many signage options to choose from, it is difficult to know what will work best for a particular business, product or service. When properly used, signs can be the most efficient way of cost-effective business promotion. Working with a professional signage company will maximize the returns on your investment. They will know what type of sign, of what size and what shape, what materials need to be used and what lighting is required to maximize visibility and memorability. The visible and memorable sign is what brings customers to a business.