Evolution of Signage Part 2

by April Angele

We recently took a look at the history of signage – from prehistoric wall paintings all the way up to the mainstream adoption of the personal computer. Despite signage taking many different forms, it’s always served a similar function: to communicate, share, teach and entertain. As technology progresses and we understand all of the possibilities of signage, it’s clear that the industry is set for a revolution. We’ve already taken a look at the history of signs. Let’s take a closer look at where the industry stands today and how we expect it to evolve in the future.

Production

Laptop computer
Photo Credit: Luis Llerena

In the past, signs were typically individual pieces that were produced by a small team of artists, or in some cases, a single person. This process was both time- and labor-intensive. That process has improved over time and will continue to become more efficient.

Custom Designs: The design and printing technology of today has connected businesses and signage experts. Business owners and marketing teams are now able to collaborate with professional graphic designers to create custom signs that are specific to individual business. Generic sign templates no longer restrict designers or the businesses they work with. That collaboration ensures that all possibilities are explored and important details aren’t left behind. Because signs aren’t just a way to identify a business, they connect customers emotionally to a brand.

Mass production: Many businesses have recognized that they need to be consistent with their signage from one location to the next while maintaining quality. That’s where modern production practices have ushered in a new era of signage, where custom designs can be replicated and produced with accuracy and quality.

Technology

Many people are unaware just how closely the sign industry is related to general technological advancements. Some of the most interesting and advanced new projects have come from the sign industry. Here are a few of the latest developments.

Sign technology video 

Projection floor graphics: When it comes to taking advantage of advertising space, we don’t normally consider the floor as a valuable environment. But projection floor graphics are changing the way consumers interact with the ground they walk on. Projection technology allows brands to project custom content on to the floors of their business. But the technology is now going further, allowing customers to interact with the floor projections. Customers can play games, modify content and take part in a dynamic experience that provides more value than standard signage.

Visual attention software: Visual attention software is now able to complement the collaboration between businesses and graphic professionals. Starting in 2015, FASTSIGNS added 3M VAS, a software tool that analyzes images based on vision science research. The tool is capable of predicting what image or message is more likely to grab a viewer’s attention in the first three to five seconds. This allows businesses to zero in on not only an aesthetically pleasing sign, but a sign that is backed by science.

Evolution of Signage Part 2 - Clarus GlassBoardsEvolution of Signage Part 2 - Clarus GlassBoards

Clarus GlassBoards: Traditional dry erase boards have been replaced with interactive glass whiteboards. Clarus GlassBoards retain all of the features of the old-fashioned boards but also add a sleek presentation with multi-purpose functionality. Many businesses are installing the transparent boards over digital screens as a way to present and emphasize information. Other businesses are taking advantage of its aesthetic qualities, using the boards as palettes for colorful brand signage.

Integration

More than ever, businesses are bringing their message and products to the consumer. Whether through apps or interactive content, businesses must have the ability to reach customers in an environment they prefer.

Interactive: Consumers are now very comfortable with touchscreens. In the near future, nearly all digital screens will be met with the expectation of instant interactivity. This allows businesses to provide an experience that is mutually beneficial. A business gains information and revenue while the consumer gains discounted products or a shareable experience.

Custom Content: Signs no longer have to be static advertisements. Digital signs allow businesses to rotate, modify and create content in real-time. This allows businesses to measure and analyze sign performance. It also allows them to adapt to customer feedback and develop consistent content strategies that produce real results.

The sign industry holds a profound potential for growth as technology pushes forward, and FASTSIGNS is happy to be a part of the history of signage. If you’re curious about what FASTSIGNS can bring to your business, contact us at 800-FASTSIGNS. We’d love to help!

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