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Jun 2022

An Analysis of Outdoor Signage Categories & Their Purposes


Falling under the Out-of-Home (OOH)/Outdoor Advertising umbrella, outdoor signage is any visual media that is installed on the exterior of your business, or in another location so that your potential customers can notice it when they are ‘on the go’.

Since your potential customers are constantly on the move - be it driving on the road, walking down the street, or cycling - promoting your brand in public spaces through outdoor signage is the best way to catch their attention.

Being one of the most effective offline marketing tools for any business, outdoor signage can be categorized into 10 primary groups, including:

  1. Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH)
  2. Billboards
  3. Banner Signs
  4. Freestanding Signs
  5. Window Graphics
  6. Wall Graphics
  7. Floor Graphics
  8. Vehicle Graphics
  9. Channel Letters/3D Letters
  10. Safety Signs & Decals

Digital Out-of-Home

Digital out-of-home (DOOH) refers to a sort of dynamic media distributed across place-based networks in venues like shops, health clubs, educational institutions, airports, bus stations, etc.

Digital out-of-home networks typically feature independently addressable screens, kiosks, jukeboxes or large video walls. DOOH media benefits location owners and advertisers alike in being able to engage audiences and extend the reach and effectiveness of marketing messages.

The digital out-of-home category is comprised of 5 sub-categories, including digital billboards, place-based DOOH, elevator-based DOOH, DOOH on public transport and Point of Purchase (POS) DOOH.

  • Digital Billboards

    Digital billboards are computer-controlled LED displays or electronic controlled off-premise signs capable of displaying ads, words, symbols, figures, or images that can be digitally or electronically changed by remote or automatic means. Typically, large-format billboards appear outdoors alongside roadways, while smaller billboards appear indoors, in places like entertainment venues or retail stores.

  • Place-based DOOH

    Place-based DOOH advertising is defined by contextually relevant environments, designed to reach consumers where they spend much of their time outside of their homes. It includes the types of digital displays that are installed in locations like malls, retail stores, pharmacies, parking spaces, etc.

  • Elevator-based DOOH

    If your audience lives in a high-rise apartment building or condominium, you can engage them with elevator-based DOOH.

    This type of digital signage helps combine the reach of traditional Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising with digital advertising, letting brands reach audiences in a unique space that sees a lot of traffic.

  • DOOH on Public Transport

    Transport media has embraced digital out-of-home (DOOH) with some of the largest and highest-impact digital screens available at train stations, airports, and inside the buses and trains. In these environments, advertisers can engage with captive audiences who often have more time to interact with the DOOH displays.

  • Point of Purchase (POP) DOOH

    In retail environments, visual displays with engaging content in the proximity to the Point of Purchase has the power to inform and influence the purchasing behavior of customers. Studies suggest that digital display screen advertising at the POP can also considerably increase brand awareness.

    Incorporating in-store and retail DOOH advertising as a component of an omnichannel marketing mix provides an important touchpoint for the consumer, connecting with them throughout their entire shopping journey, resulting in a more cohesive and consistent experience.


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

Digital or static, a billboard is a long-standing element of advertising for many companies throughout the years and has proven its worth among business owners. Billboards are the only form of media that offers businesses constant 24/7 exposure that cannot be turned off, thrown away, or ignored, which in turn, makes them very effective at spreading brand awareness to the masses.

Billboards are a powerful way to spread your message to a large number of people in a short amount of time. They allow businesses to choose the perfect location and are often placed along busy roads and intersections for maximum visibility.

Billboards are typically rented on longer-term contracts; because most people travel the same route regularly, people will likely be exposed to your billboard multiple times, which can greatly increase your brand awareness and lead to increased sales and attention.

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 extremely 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.

Banner signs are absolutely customizable and they come in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and every color under the sun available. You can use them for outdoor as well as indoor promotional purposes.

Freestanding Signs

A freestanding sign refers to 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.

  • Pole or Pylon Signs

    Pole or pylon signs are mounted on poles and are often utilized to direct traffic to a business or to help your customers navigate an outdoor area, such as a parking lot. They can be mounted on one or two poles, depending on the size of your sign. As a general rule, the larger the sign, the more support it will require.

    Pole signs are versatile; they come in many sizes and can convey many different types of messages, including branding, wayfinding indications, and even historical information. This type of outdoor signage enhances the visibility of your brand and strengthens the relationship with your customer base by allowing you to create many timely branding opportunities without straining your budget.

    Pole signs are ideal for use in a variety of sectors, such as shopping malls, healthcare facilities, event venues, petrol stations, etc.

  • Monument Signs

    Monument signs refer to signs that sit low to the ground or at eye level and usually have the business or establishment’s name or directions. They provide an excellent format for street advertising while representing an image of the pride you have in your company.

    Typically installed low to the ground, a monument sign is a detached, freestanding sign whose sign surface is attached to a proportionate solid base or structural frame. They can be internally or externally illuminated.

    These permanent structures can create a professional entrance to your company.

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.

Window graphics are a high-impact, cost-effective advertising solution that has proved to work for organizations of all sizes. From family-owned restaurants to global brands, all kinds of businesses are using window graphics to boost sales and you could be next. Window graphics are easy to install and require only minimal maintenance.

Wall Graphics

As the name suggests, wall signs are displayed on a wall. They are printed on self-adhesive vinyl, which makes them extremely easy to install and remove. Large format printing technology has evolved at a dizzying speed and even the boldest branding vision can be brought to life with an outdoor wall sign.

Wall signs are easy to install and remove, reducing downtime for your business to a minimum. Since they are printed on vinyl, they are also durable and can withstand extreme weather conditions without fading.

Wall signs never fail to make an impression, so if what you want is to raise awareness of your brand, this is one of the best options. If your business has an exterior wall, then you have space that you could be using to promote your brand. Some businesses and organizations that are already leveraging the potential of wall signs include restaurants, retail stores, event venues, etc.

Floor Graphics

Floor graphics are a creative advertising method that can feature any design, image or message of your choosing. When customers come to your business, they want to find what they are looking for quickly and effortlessly.

New customers want to feel comfortable navigating your store for the first time, instead of wandering around feeling lost. Floor graphics can serve as effective wayfinding and directional signs to guide both new and repeat customers to the products they need.

Branded floor graphics can be an effective method to reinforce your brand identity and spread awareness of your company’s values. Whatever the type of your business, custom floor graphics can perfectly capture the personality of your brand. Floor graphics can be designed to match the exact branded color and font of your business or feature your company logo or motto.

Vehicle Graphics

Creatively designed vehicle graphic solutions have become one of the most preferred ways for businesses to boost their brand presence. Studies state that vehicle signs can produce 30000 to 70000 impressions in a single day. The fact of the matter is that fleet vehicle stickers can boost your brand name 15 times more than any other form of advertisement.

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 varied needs.

Channel Letters/3D 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.

Channel letters project a contemporary look that will leave a lasting impression on your customers. Due to their structure, channel letters offer some added advantages compared to other signs. For example, if a letter on your sign is damaged, all you have to do is replace the individual letter, not the entire sign.

Channel letters are durable as well as versatile and can help advertise almost any kind of business. Some of the businesses that are already using channel letters regularly are malls, health centres, retail stores, hotels, etc.

Safety Signs & 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.

Some of the common safety signs include:

  • General danger signs
  • Electrical safety signs
  • Biohazard signs
  • Chemical hazard signs
  • High voltage warning
  • Fire escape signs


According to many studies, outdoor signage is one of the most important marketing strategies for businesses, as it can be used for both branding and advertising. Small or large, if you have a business, you should have your outdoor digital signage content strategy aiming to draw the attention of your target audience.

What Blue Rhine offers?

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

No matter the size of your project, we have the right resources and expertise to provide value-added products and services to you. Just consult with our signage experts and get insights for making your projects efficient and exceptional.

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