The history of signs is a fascinating one. From cave paintings to 3D interactive displays, signs in one form of another have always played a huge role in society – and where there’s a need for signs, there’s always a need for franchises like FASTSIGNS!
You probably barely notice most of the signs around you on a daily basis, right? Even if you are in the sign manufacturing industry, it’s easy to take signs for granted when they are such an everyday part of our lives. Road signs, pub signs, signs on doors and stores – they’re everywhere, and always have been. For tens of thousands of years, if not longer, signs have been the number one way for humans to give each other information about a place or activity.
Probably the most historic signs are the hieroglyphics of ancient Egypt. While undoubtedly beautiful and artistic in nature, hieroglyphic signs and language were inseparable for the Egyptians. While the most famous examples are those adorning tombs and periods which talk about Pharaohs and animal-headed gods, hieroglyphics were also used to convey everyday information in Egyptian society. They described how certain plants and animals could be used for food and medicine, the best times to sew certain crops, and recorded important events and trade deals.
In this respect, hieroglyphics are the perfect example of how creativity and innovation can be used to create highly effective signage. On the surface, it might seem a stretch to compare ancient Egyptian engraving to what modern signage companies like FASTSIGNS do on a day-to-day basis. Nowadays, sign-makers might focus more on factual security information, rather than warning trespassers about the dangers of being dragged into the underworld by flesh-eating beetles, but the principle is not so different! It’s still about using the right signage to maximise the impact of your message in exactly the right way. Being part of the FASTSIGNS franchise is about much more than just making signs – it’s about using innovative methods to convey information which makes it really stand out.
Signage took its next evolutionary step with the invention of a more modern form of written language: using words rather than pictograms. However, as so few people could read until fairly recent times, symbols and pictures have always been an important part of signage. Many ancient symbols are still with us today. For example, the Christian “fish” and the cross, are great examples of how a simple image represents a recognisable concept, for people from various backgrounds and cultures. Another example are pub signs, more ubiquitous signage we take for granted! This one started after it was made law for pubs and inns to have them, in 1393. Who doesn’t instantly recognise a “Red Lion” when they see one these days?
Fortunately, by being part of a franchise like FASTSIGNS, with its cutting-edge manufacturing technology, you won’t be spending your time chiselling hieroglyphs out of rocks in the desert, or carving pub signs out of wood – at least, not usually! Undoubtedly, those ancient sign-makers would have loved to have access to the kind of techniques we use nowadays, and we can only speculate on what future generations might consider commonplace.
Of course, a lot has happened since the 14th Century; in particular over the last few decades, which is changing the signage landscape, like never before. The invention of electric and gas lighting brought new opportunities with signage for those who were ready to grasp them. The increase in cheap, mass-produced of plastics after the Second World War, brought a whole new raft of potential material applications. And, just a few decades later, the computer revolution has brought us the extraordinary advances of digital photography, printing and signage.
As technology progresses, we can expect even more extraordinary developments to influence the future of signage – perhaps in the form of fully immersive displays, or using materials we can’t yet imagine. Sign-manufacturing is continually evolving, and FASTSIGNS is constantly striving to ride the wave of evolution into an exciting future. This is a journey we want you to be part of.
By creating innovative signage, you don’t just meet a demand for information. You play a critical role in how individuals and companies carry out their business. As exciting new technologies emerge, the demand continues to grow for sign manufacturers, like FASTSIGNS, who are always one step ahead.
The future of signs is an exciting one and, like the past, will be owned by those best-equipped to meet its changing demands head on. Find out how you can be a part of that future with FASTSIGNS. Get in touch today to learn more.