What is signage?

Labeling identifies products. Signage identifies places.

Signage is a major component of all wayfinding,placemaking and identity systems, and exhibitions. SEGD is the global community of the designers, fabricators, and vendors involved in using signage to create a sense of place and to enhance peoples' experiences when navigating their way through spaces.

There are a number of great booksdescribing the practice of wayfinding, placemaking, and identity from distinguished members such as Wayne Hunt,David Gibson,Chris Caloriand Richard Poulin.

Signage can be static and physical or increasingly digital and mobile. Digital Signage solutions use Digital Technologiessuch as GPS-based mapping apps, LED, and other electrical lighting screens are becoming popular with the advent of smart phones and mobile computing devices.

Static signage involves the careful design of information relevant to solving the users' experience of a place.Examples of problems that are addressed by static signage are, "Where am I?", "What company is in this building?", "Where do I find somewhere to eat?", "How can I find my way around this space when I do not understand the language?", "What is in this space?", "What am I looking at?"

Digital signagecan achieve the same objectives, but in addition has the ability to deliver a stream of content, in addition to fixed messaging. For this reason, it has been heavily used by the advertising industry to deliver ads to consumers in spaces because it allows for fractional time sharing of the same single screen. This business model would be like clicking on a URL on the internet and all you got at each URL would be 24/7 advertising. No one would use the internet, right. Experiential Graphic Designers believe that digital screens can create much higher value for users if employed to solve real problems for them and to help create a sense of place, branding and identity for the user to orient them and add to the experience rather than bombard them with content that they are not interested in or want to see.

In short, the relationship between signage and Experiential Graphic Design is that Experiential Graphic Designers add value to signage systems using design methodologies, user research, and design thinking to investigate what problems exist for users in a space and creating solutions that improve the experience of that space for users.

There are thousands of great examples of projects in every vertical and every city on this website. Try starting in the Awards section where you can choose to filter results using the index in the right hand column. Also click on the search with will bring up an advanced search screen that enables you to refine your results in many ways. For members, please log onto the website to use the member specific tools which add a whole new level of functionality to get to data effectively.

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