Symbols and signs have been around since the dawn of time, whether we were aware of them or not.
Nowadays, we view signage as providing a sense of direction – whether that is on the road of to locate the right shop! In the stone age, smoke signals were used to indicate if someone was lost or as a warning signal, stones and sticks were used to mark directions.
In early civilizations, the Egyptians were seen to be one of the first to use road markers, the Greek and Romans continued this tradition, the Romans making signs from terracotta!
The first signage to appear above taverns and ale houses came about in the 1500s as King Richard III made it a legal requirement that all nobility must post their lands with their family name or coat of arms, with all taverns to be marked clearly. The purpose of this was to make collecting tax on alcohol.
By the time the 1700s came around, most cities were full of many businesses trying to attract customers to their stores, signage became more elaborate and commonplace. Wrought-iron hangers, customer aluminium signs and artistic graphic designs filled the streets.
Since then, we have seen signs have a more practical use as well as being appropriately decorated!