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How Signs Developed over the Years

Like any form of advertising, signs have evolved over time and have developed new ways to showcase information. When you look at the signs from the 1950s and compare them to the signs of today, there are stark differences, but there are also many similarities which are worth noting. Vital Signs manufactures all types of signage for our clients and we are here to help you understand the history of signage.

Humble Beginnings

Signs were originally created to help businesses and individuals advertise their products and services in a cost-effective manner. Between the 1400s and 1800s, signs were simplistic. Text wasn’t used in very early signs because the majority of customers couldn’t read or write. Instead, symbols played a major role in describing the products or services of a business. For example, a bookseller may have used a bible, a locksmith would have used a key, a barber used the classic red and white barber pole, and a shoemaker would have a shoe. These symbols were easily deciphered by anyone and they were effective.

In the contemporary era, salesmen were a major part of a business and they helped increase exposure by visiting clients. Still, salesmen had their weaknesses. They were limited to the hours of a typical workday, while a sign permanently advertised a business, day in and day out. Businesses quickly recognized how valuable signs were and they began to grow in complexity.

Comparing Signs

Simply comparing signs from the early era of signage to modern ones will show a significant difference between the two time periods. A valuable example is the real estate sign. In the past, a property owner that was looking to sell their asset would have placed a simple for sale sign outside. This would let interested parties know that the property was for sale and they knew to contact the individual by visiting them at their home or place of business. Today, a real estate sign features the company, the specific real estate agent, a company website, contact information, and other relevant information regarding the property. Simplicity is still important, but in the modern era, information is vital and a major part of the advertising experience.

Signs Today

Signs today are far more complicated than they were in the past. Developments in 3D printing and the printing industry in general have led to innovations in the signage industry. Businesses have a wide variety of signs to choose from when they are looking to advertise their company. Today, a business can choose from standard wooden, cardboard, plastic, lighted, outdoor, indoor, neon, LED, and many other signs. The choices are unlimited and each of these signs have distinct advantages and disadvantages. A great example of technology in signs can be seen at major sporting stadiums. The giant scoreboards feature advertisements, digital overlays that display scores, stats, and more, and video entertainment for fans attending the sporting event.

We take this technology for granted and see it as normal, but that wasn’t always the case. Major developments in the signage industry have made these kind of changes possible and it has enabled businesses to tap into a new style of advertising, one that combines technology with creativity, to offer the total advertising package that is directly marketed towards the consumer.

Vital Signs has been manufacturing signs for many years. We offer our services to clients located in Toronto, Markham, Newmarket, Thornhill, and all of the GTA. If you have any questions about our company or signage services, please feel free to contact us today. We would be more than happy to answer any questions that you may have.