Signs are that which reveal certain information. They are very important because without signs, we cannot know much about our environment. The existence of a particular thing is not necessarily indicated by its presence. A sign is basically a matter, quality, condition, object, or entity that whose existence or appearance suggests the likely existence or emergence of something else. A physical sign bears a direct causal relationship to its object; for example, lightning is a signal of thunder, or the presence of disease in a patient is a symptom of a bodily disease.
A typical modern sign comprises a combination of letters, numbers, and geometric shapes printed on a piece of print-paper, mounted in a frame. Many signs are used in business, and almost all of them have one common factor: they are directed at some target group, typically the audience. Some types of common signs are billboards, neon signs, illuminated signs, and magnetic signs. The most popular modern illuminated signs are those that include words or images printed on fabric, metal, cardboard, plastic, and other resilient materials. Text-based signs come in two types: spoken signs and visually encoded signs.
Illuminated signs, as their name suggests, are signs that are illuminated, usually with the help of lights, to make them visible in the dark. This type of sign has been widely used since the early nineteenth century, when doctors realized that it was possible to diagnose patients by observing the way they reacted to light. Thus, a sign such as a white light inside a red capsule is a form of illuminated sign. A sign can also comprise two words or a sentence, and sometimes both. A text-based sign consists of a series of letters, while a visually encoded sign consists of two words printed on a colored background, the words or sentences appearing beneath the background in boldface, underlined, or colored in another way to distinguish them from a normal printed word.
A sign may be either horizontal, or vertical, but in most cases it is horizontal. Horizontal signs are placed on a fixed position, either on the street or on a building, and they do not scroll. A vertical sign, on the other hand, may be offset from its vertical location, so that it appears to move vertically when viewed from any angle. As sign-makers have learned more about the benefits of using signage, most signs are now very aesthetically pleasing, with the help of carefully chosen colors and textures, and often containing a logo.
The use of signs in businesses has increased greatly over the past few decades, and businesses have had to come up with more creative ways to display their messages. Most signs consist of text, although some signs have graphics, and signs are no longer simply located on buildings, as in the past. In addition to providing directional information, many businesses have found that illuminated signs provide an attractive way to display their products and services to the public. Illuminated signs are commonly used for billboards and other temporary advertising solutions, but they are also ideal for providing permanent directional information at various locations around the city.
Because of their size and weight, signs must be installed very securely. To do this, signs are fitted with steel frames, which can support the weight of the sign face – the text part – for long periods of time. Another option is to have the sign face illuminated, which makes the sign visible even in the dark, and can be controlled remotely via a computer. All in all, the benefits of signage make it an important business commodity, and sign manufacturing companies have created a wide variety of options to meet the needs of businesses.