Signage is the design or use of signs and symbols to communicate a message to a specific group, usually for the purpose of marketing or a kind of advocacy.[1][2] A signage also means signs collectively or being considered as a group.[3] The term signage is documented to have been popularized in 1975 to 1980.[2]
Signs are any kind of visual graphics created to display information to a particular audience. This is typically manifested in the form of wayfinding information in places such as streets or on the inside and outside buildings. Signs vary in form and size based on location and intent, from more expansive banners, billboards, and murals, to smaller street signs, street name signs, sandwich boards and lawn signs. Newer signs may also use digital or electronic displays.
The main purpose of signs is to communicate, to convey information designed to assist the receiver with decision-making based on the information provided. Alternatively, promotional signage may be designed to persuade receivers of the merits of a given product or service. Signage is distinct from labeling, which conveys information about a particular product or service.
Role and function of signage[edit]
In general, signs perform the following roles or functions:
  • Information-provision: signs conveying information about services and facilities, such as maps, directories, instructional signs or interpretive signage used in museums, galleries, zoos, parks and gardens, exhibitions, tourist and cultural attractions that enhance the customer's experience.[27]
  • Persuasion: promotional signage designed to persuade users of the relative merits of a company, product or brand.
  • Direction/ Navigation: signs showing the location of services, facilities, functional spaces and key areas, such as sign posts or directional arrows.
  • Identification: signs indicating services and facilities, such as room names and numbers, restroom signs, or floor designations.
  • Safety and Regulatory: signs giving warning or safety instructions, such as warning signs, traffic signs, exit signs, signs indicating what to do in an emergency or natural disaster or signs conveying rules and regulations.
  • Navigation – may be exterior or interior (e.g. with interactive screens in the floor as with "informational footsteps" found in some tourist attractions, museums, and the like or with other means of "dynamic wayfinding".[28]
Signs may be used in exterior spaces or on-premise locations. Signs used on the exterior of a building are often designed to encourage people to enter and on the interior to encourage people to explore the environment and participate in all that the space has to offer. Any given sign may perform multiple roles simultaneously. For example, signage may provide information, but may also serve to assist customers navigate their way through a complex service or retail environment.
Below is a list of commonly used materials in signmaking shops.
  • Acrylic
  • Aluminium composite panel
  • Corrugated plastic
  • High-density polyethylene (HDPE)
  • High-density polyurethane
  • Medium density overlay panels
  • Modular curved frame technology
  • Oilcloth
  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC or vinyl)
  • Polycarbonate
  • Polypropylene, polystyrene, and other thermoplastics
  • Wood
  • Stainless Steel
  • Plexiglass
  • Channelume Signs
Below is a list of commonly used processes in signmaking shops.
  • CNC routing
  • Laser cutting
  • Abrasive blasting
  • Plotter cutting
  • Printmaking, Screen printing, or sign painting
  • Channel lettering
  • Vacuum forming
  • Steam welding / rolling
Signs frequently use lighting as a means of conveying their information or as a way to increase visibility.
Neon signs, introduced in 1910 at the Paris Motor Show, are produced by the craft of bending glass tubing into shapes. A worker skilled in this craft is known as a glass bender, neon or tube bender.
Light-emitting diode (LED) technology is frequently used in signs. This technology, first used primarily at sporting events, later appeared at businesses, churches, schools, and government buildings.[where?] Brightness of LED signs can vary, leading to some municipalities in the United States banning their use due to issues such as light pollution.[32] Today, LED technology is also used in light panels to illuminate advertising graphics in public places including malls, subways, and airports.