Signage, refers to the design or use of signs and symbols to communicate a message to a specific group, usually for the purpose of marketing or a kind of advocacy.<ref>The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.</ref><ref name="Random House Kernerman Webster 2005">Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc.</ref> A signage also means signs collectively or being considered as a group.<ref>Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003</ref> The term signage is documented to have been popularized in 1975 to 1980.<ref name="Random House Kernerman Webster 2005"/>
Signs are any kind of visual graphics created to display information to a particular audience. This is typically manifested in the form of wayfinding information in places such as streets or on the inside and outside of buildings. Signs vary in form and size based on location and intent, from more expansive banners, billboards, and murals, to smaller street signs, street name signs, sandwich boards and lawn signs. Newer signs may also use digital or electronic displays.
The main purpose of signs is to communicate, to convey information such that the receiver may make cognitive decisions based on the information provided. In general, signs may be classified according to the following functions:
- Information: signs conveying information about services and facilities, such as maps, directories, or instructional signs.
- Direction: signs showing the location of services, facilities, functional spaces and key areas, such as sign posts 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, or signs conveying rules and regulations.
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