All About Signs: Their Important Functions and Uses

Date Publish: Dec 16, 2013

Signs are ubiquitous things that shape people's behaviours and experiences more than they realise. Display stands with compelling signs at a trade show, for instance, has the potential to affect a consumer's buying behaviour. On the other hand, a safety sign at a construction site helps workers avoid accidents and health hazards.

These days, signs are no longer just texts but include any kind of visuals and graphics, whichever caters best to a target audience. You think you may know the purpose of putting up signage, but what exactly are its functions?

  1. To provide information. The main purpose of signs is to convey a message in a way that the receiver is able to make conscious decisions based on the information given. The pieces of information could be anything from maps, instructions for use, directories, services, facilities, etc.
  2. To give directions. Road signs make driving safer, especially on low-visibility areas, slippery roads and accident-prone locations. Directional arrows are also effective in leading people to facilities, key areas and functional spaces.
  3. To raise safety awareness. This is arguably the most important function of signage. Warning signs, traffic signs and regulatory signs all protect people from potential health and safety risks at work, in school, on the road or anywhere. Similarly, using signs on construction safety barriers also protect workers from encountering grave mishaps.
  4. To identify. What would happen if all the rooms in a hotel don't have numbers on the door? Surely, the consequences can be embarrassing or even disastrous. Public toilet signs, room number, building names save people a great deal of time and effort, as well as from the mortifying possibility of a woman mistakenly entering the men's room.

Accordingly, signs can be applied in many ways. Yet, the most remarkable application is in the advertising sector.

Signs help a business gain recognition, attract new customers and boost brand awareness, which can all lead to entrepreneurial success. Whether they are used on display stands, shop fronts or delivery vehicles, signs are vital to a company's bottomline. This is especially true for SMEs who usually start out with small budgets for marketing their products and services. Signage is the most affordable advertising tool available. In order for it to be effective, an entrepreneur only has to focus on the most important aspects of business signs. They have to bear their these aspects in mind when making exhibition or product display stands, billboards, vehicle wraps, etc.

Knowing these things can be beneficial, especially if you were to make effective signage to communicate to a specific audience. The next time you see a sign, you'd probably appreciate it better, knowing how it affects the way you live.


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