In general, signs perform the following functions:
- Information-provision: signs conveying information about services and facilities, such as maps, directories, instructional signs or interpretive signage used in museums, galleries, zoological gardens, parks and gardens, exhibitions, tourist and cultural attractions that enhance the customer’s experience.A relevant example will be the directional signs that are all over the Alipur Zoo.
- Persuasion: promotional signage designed to persuade users of the virtues of a company, product or brand.
- Direction/ Navigation: signs demonstrating the location of services, facilities, functional spaces and key areas, such as signposts 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.eg:’ In case of fire, break Glass’, a commonplace sign outside a fire alarm, ‘to stop a train, pull chain’, etc.
Pictograms are images commonly used to express the message of a sign. In conventional signage, pictograms follow specific sets of color, shape and sizing codes based on the laws of the country in which the signage is being displayed. For example, In UK and EU signage, the width of a sign’s pictogram must be 80% the height of the area it is printed to. In the US, in order to obey the ADA Accessibility Guidelines, the same pictogram must be located within its own defined field, with raised characters and braille located beneath the field.
For a pictogram to fulfill its purpose, it must be comprehensible across cultures and languages, even if there is no text present. Following universal color and shape conventions increases the likelihood that the pictogram and sign will be understood by all, irrespective of race, culture, or nationality.
The shape of a sign can help to convey its message. The shape can be brand- or design-based or can be part of a set of signage conventions used to standardize sign meaning. Usage of particular shapes may vary by country and culture.
Some common signage shape modules are as follows:
- Rectangular signs are often used to portray general information to an audience, like the direction-based signs in an airport, eg. ‘terminal is to the left’.
- Circular signs often represent an instruction that must be obeyed, either mandatory or prohibitive, for example, the fact that smoking is prohibited within a building is often informed through a circular sign.
- Triangular signs are often warning signs, used to convey danger or caution.A relevant example will be traffic signs like ‘No U-turn’ or ‘Speed below 60kph’.
Technology plays a key role in the muddling world of signs.The material, processes and technical innovations that go into the making of a sign are listed below:
Materials: The common materials used in sign-making shops are Acrylic, Aluminium composite panel, Corrugated plastic, High-density polyethylene, Polypropylene, polystyrene, and other thermoplastics.
Signs frequently use lighting as a means of increasing they’re visibly and to better attract the attention of a customer.
Neon signs are produced by the craft of bending glass tubing into shapes. Light–emitting diode (LED) technology is frequently used in signs. This technology, first used primarily at sporting events like the Olympics and The World Cup, later appeared at businesses, churches, schools, and government buildings.