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May 2022

A Guide to Various Signage Groups & Their Purposes


Signage is everywhere, appearing in many different forms. You see them every day; whether you are walking or driving through the streets, hopping on public transportation, or even catching a flight, they grab your attention.

In the modern world, signage is a simple yet powerful medium to inform the target market and the public at large.

What is Signage?

Signage is any kind of visual display used to convey information to an audience. There are many different types of signage, each with a specific purpose. Signage styles vary from sector to sector.

There’re traffic signs, advertising billboards, wayfinding and directional signs, health and safety signs, wall and floor graphics, posters and display boards, and large video walls, underlying the fact that signage has become an essential part of our lives.

In general, signage serves many purposes; to promote, identify, provide information, give directions and to raise safety awareness.

What Are the Common Types of Signage?

Signage can primarily be categorized into 2 groups, outdoor signage and indoor signage, and they can further be classified into various sub-groups.

Outdoor Signage

Outdoor signage is any type of signage that is installed on the exterior of your business, or in another location. This could be a billboard or a pole sign as part of an advert or marketing campaign or a banner placed at an exhibition or event.

Outdoor signage can help your business grow, drive sales and create potential customers. These types of signs can make an immediate impression on passersby who may not otherwise be aware of your company or your brand. This type of signage can also prevent lost business by ensuring that your presence and the key information about you are known.

Common types of outdoor signage include:

  • Digital-Out-of-Home: Digital out-of-home (DOOH) refers to dynamic media distributed across place-based networks in venues including, but not limited to shops, health clubs, educational institutions, airports and public spaces. DOOH can be defined by two major platforms, digital place-based networks, and digital billboards and signage.

  • Billboards: Billboards, also known as hoarding, are large outdoor advertising structures, typically found in high-traffic areas such as alongside busy roads, presenting large advertisements to passing pedestrians and drivers.

  • Banner Signs: Banner signs never go out of style and a key benefit of these types of signs is that they are low cost yet super useful. Banners are commonly used to advertise events like conferences or opening events. However, you can also use them to promote your business on a longer-term basis.

  • Freestanding Signs: A freestanding sign means a sign supported permanently upon the ground by poles, pylons, braces or a solid base and not attached to any building. Freestanding signs include mainly 2 categories, including pole or pylon signs and monument signs.

  • Window Graphics: Window graphics are signs printed on self-adhesive vinyl and placed on a glass surface, such as windows or storefronts. This form of outdoor advertising is ideal to promote seasonal sales or to keep the exterior of your business always fresh, conveying a sense of fun and dynamism that your customers will find irresistible.

  • Wall Graphics: As the name suggests, wall signs are displayed on a wall. You can think of them as huge decals. They are printed on self-adhesive vinyl, which makes them extremely easy to install and remove.

  • Vehicle Graphics: Creatively designed vehicle graphic solutions are becoming one of the most preferred ways for businesses to boost their brand presence. If you have commercial vehicles, trendy vehicle graphics can help them get noticed easily. Moreover, it's cost-effective and can easily be customized based on your needs.

  • 3D/Channel Letters: As their name implies, these are tridimensional letters cut individually to form the name of a business or to convey any other advertising message. Channel letters are often mounted on a wall or above doorways.

  • Safety Signs and Decals: All businesses need to take necessary safety precautions. An essential part of this is to use symbols to warn of any hazards or inform people of any rules that are there to keep everyone safe.

  • Hanging Signs: Outdoor hanging signs are usually seen on the side of business establishments, commanding customers' attention and letting people know about your presence in the neighborhood.

Indoor Signage

Indoor signage is as much important as outdoor signage. Whether you are looking to provide directional assistance to clients and visitors or putting your brand’s logo on display for an impressive first impression, indoor signage can provide a versatile solution for both.

Some of the common types of indoor signage comprise:

  • POP Signs: A point-of-purchase (POP) sign could be one of the most effective tools for your business. Designed to increase interest in a service, product, or place, POP signs are placed in a location where purchase decisions are usually made.

  • Wayfinding/Directional Signs: Wayfinding or directional signs are the most common custom interior signs found in larger establishments such as shopping centers, hotels, and grocery stores are wayfinding or directional signs. These types of signs are used to assist customers, clients, and guests as they make their way through your establishment.

  • Lobby/Reception Signs: Lobby or reception signs are meant to welcome guests as they enter your establishment. It’s important to have signage that properly represents your brand to make a positive and lasting first impression on your customers, clients, and guests.

  • Banners and Posters: If you want to invest in custom indoor signs that help advertise your latest products and services, limited-time promotions, exclusive deals, and the like, then banners and posters are the way to go.

  • Digital Displays: Digital displays are one of the best custom interior signs you can invest in. They are the best possible way to capture the attention and interest of your customers as they shop and walk around your establishment.

  • Wall and Floor Graphics: Wall and floor graphics are perfect for aesthetics and improving the overall ambiance of your business. Whether you invest in a full mural or opt to only install a couple of graphics in certain areas, you can be sure to create a more interesting and inviting place for your consumers. 

  • Hanging Signs: With hanging signs, you can take advantage of the vertical space in a creative way. Hanging signs are ideal for communicating promotions, directions, and any other information to guests within your facility. 

  • 3D/Channel Letters: Channel letters are custom-made metal or plastic letters commonly used in exterior signage on public and commercial buildings, and often internally illuminated. Unlit three-dimensional letters that are applied to sign panels or monuments are usually referred to as dimensional letters. 

What Are the Main Purposes of Signage?

The possibilities for signage are limited only by imagination and budget. Some of the main purposes of signage are mentioned here:

  1. Advertising

    The success of any business is directly proportional to the way it promotes its products and services. If you are a business owner or manage a brand, there are various reasons to use signage.

    Alongside various forms of sales promotions, signage plays a significant role in promoting the business, helping to market the brand, communicating with customers, and driving sales.

    Signage advertising encompasses 3 main elements that include graphical display/representation, communication and target audience.

    You can install signage on the roads, streets, inside or outside the buildings, etc. Common examples of advertising signage include murals, billboards, banners, display stands, street name signs, and digital displays.

  2. Customers Attraction

    Businesses use signage to entice customers by creating curiosity and encouraging customers to venture inside. For example, a creative and enticing window display can lure a customer to at least have a look at the product in detail.

    The truth of the matter is that a creatively designed signage advertising that consists of appealing visuals and thoughtfully written words can convey the brand message, creating an impressive first impression.

  3. Brand Building

    Consistent branding matters in any business. Your signage should be consistent with your overall brand that includes a logo, font choice, tagline, or some other sort of similar visual element.

    When consistent branding is used, people will begin to recognize your brand, whether it's on your social media or one of your signage. Even though the marketing materials don’t need to look identical, there should be some sort of common elements that tie everything together.

  4. Wayfinding and Directional

    For places like healthcare educational institutions, malls, corporate offices, etc., wayfinding or directional signs are essential to guide staff and visitors.

    For healthcare facilities, it is crucial to communicate health and safety information clearly to both the staff and visitors.

    Clear directional signage not only shows visitors and staff where to go but also creates a sense of calm and a feeling of being well organized, reinforcing a positive impression.

  5. Appearance Enhancement

    Signage can also be used to enhance the appearance of premises both externally and internally. From hoardings, wall and floor graphics, posters and banners to seamless video walls, signage play an integral part in incorporating the company's vision and values and reinforcing the brand value.

    If you run a service-based industry such as law or finance, you need to portray trust and reliability. If you are selling goods, it should be about quality and service. When you have creatively designed signage, adding these touches to your interior and exterior, you are presenting a professional space, creating an appealing atmosphere.


Over the years, signage has become an integral part of businesses and organizations worldwide. Whether it is for advertising products or making the customer experience superior, the presence of signage is evident now. Hence, it is important to have a solid signage strategy for every business that should encompass both outdoor and indoor signs.

What Blue Rhine offers?

Being the best signage company in Dubai, UAE, Blue Rhine offers a wide span of high-quality materials that are essential for making outdoor and indoor signage. Our product portfolio ranges from acrylic, polycarbonates, vinyl, ink media and large-format print media to high-end printing and cutting machines, cutting-edge video walls, and digital display solutions.

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