What is signage and what is its purpose?

Posted by Octink on Jul 10, 2017 5:54:35 PM

illuminated site hoarding at Tooting Broadway by Octink

We see signage every single day – they’re an essential part of life. Drive down the street and you’ll be confronted with road signs indicating which speed to drive at or directions to the nearest town. In the workplace, you’ll discover health and safety signs littered here, there and everywhere. Pop to town for groceries and you’ll notice that shop signage is plentiful, detailing opening hours plus displays of discounts and deals. In fact, even the infamous golden arches of McDonalds can be considered signage!

Signage meaning

So, what exactly is signage? Signage is generally defined as any kind of graphic display intended to convey information to an audience.

Floor graphics, floor stickers and floor decals by Octink

What is the purpose of signage?

Typically, signage tends to serve a few common purposes: to promote, identify, provide information, give directions or to raise safety awareness. Allow us to expand:

1) Advertising & Marketing

Firstly, signs are often used for advertising and marketing by companies or organisations. While advertising hoardings may initially present themselves as the obvious solution for companies, there are other signs that can be used for this purpose. Other outdoor signage solutions and building wraps are an alternative and successful way to advertise a brand. Wide format printing has progressed to a point where large vivid outdoor prints can be put almost anywhere!

Advertising hoarding and large format banner at The Corniche by Octink

2) Entice Customers

Relatedly, retail signs & shop signs (both inside and out) can attract business to a company. Also, to entice customers from the outside, window displays can be successful at creating curiosity and encouraging customers to venture inside. Business signs let people know they’re in the right place. More importantly, if the sign maker has put quality of production centre in their thinking, business signage can create a great first impression of your business before a single door has been opened or greeting made.

Building wrap and display graphics for Broadgate Reading Room by Octink

3) Recognition 

Quite simply, signs are often designed to help individuals recognise or identify a place or brand. For instance, signs help us to identify which restroom to use. In terms of brand identity, Coca-Cola and Starbucks have become instantly over the years, and recognisable high street signs as part of their marketing strategy. Chains and franchises will use similar shop fronts to build brand recognition throughout their locations.

Goodwood event signage, display graphics and building wraps by Octink

4) Wayfinding & Directional Signs

Directional signs are necessary for vast locations such as shopping malls, hospitals and corporations. With these building signs, visitors or customers are less likely to get lost which helps to avoid a situation that could reflect badly on the business. Directional signage can also be useful for large scale outdoor events such as festivals or places where there are multiple buildings or entrances.

Chelsea Flower Show signage and event graphics by Octink

5) Health & Safety Signs

Health and safety signs are one of the main means of communicating health and safety information. They can be found in places such as workplaces, nurseries, schools and offices. Signs provide information and warnings about hazards or threats which are essential to safety.

Segro event graphics and maintenance signage by Octink

6) Appearance

Finally, not all signage necessarily serves an overt purpose! Sometimes a sign may be used simply to enhance the overall appearance of a space or its surroundings. We’ve even created signage using wall murals – with no objectives of advertising.

Battersea Power Station – perimeter signage & hoarding by Octink

Here at Octink we have unrivalled experience of producing all kinds of signage work for companies and organisations. Past projects include Olympic rings for London 2012, building signage in Soho and corporate sign branding at London Ambulance’s HQ. Further to this we are experts in sign design and produce bespoke signage solutions, advertising hoardings and building wraps. In addition, you can see what our clients say about our work in these fields here. Finally, please Contact us today to discover more about our diverse range of signage solutions.

Topics: advertising hoardings, Latest News