• The History of Retail Signage
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    Posted on: February 28, 2020
    Posted by: Graphicworks Staff

    Retail signs are a pretty common part of our daily life. But have you ever really thought about their place in society and in our culture? Probably not. But we can assure you, the experts at GraphicWorks have. Retail signage is not a modern invention. It?s been around for a long? long time. And its purpose has essentially been the same for the entirety of its existence: conveying a message from one person to another.

    old english inn sign | retail signage | Arvada Co

    Ancient Roots

    The history of retail signs goes back pretty far back, all the way to the cultures of ancient Rome, Greece, Egypt and China. There?s evidence of these ancient societies using signage in the same ways we use it today, advertising out front of shops and making announcements. Evidence in China even suggests the use of pretty well-developed branding that could rival our modern-day use of images, colors and promotional materials to ensure recognizability and familiarity in a way that inspires trust.

    Regulations Aren?t New

    By the Medieval period, laws in England and other areas in Europe had actually made some signage mandatory for certain industries. This was mostly to ensure that inspectors could easily locate public houses to make sure that the ale they sold was up to standard. But by the 16th Century, large signs, hanging over common walkways had started to pose a danger and a nuisance on narrow paths. So, laws essentially began to limit the size and position of signage and for the most part became mostly found on inns. During this time, inn signs were often painted by top artists of the age.


    Exterior Letters Signage

    The major difference between modern signage and its ancient counterpart is that, generally, symbols and images were used to convey messages more than words. As the literacy levels of the general populations fluctuated over the centuries so did the appearance of signs. Today, we use a combination of words and images to make sure that a sign is doing the best it can possibly do.

    Modern Signage

    If you?re looking for modern signage that has taken everything that has come before it to perfect the art, you need to contact our team at GraphicWorks. We can help you find the perfect signage for your business.