Future Signage Trends – What’s New?
It’s often said that in order to know where you are going, you need to understand where you’ve been. This adage can be applied to signage so in this blog we explore exactly that… future signage trends, both in Perth, WA and internationally.
How has signage been defined in the past? And what is likely definition going to be into the future?
Before we explore this in more detail, it is probably worth considering how the definition of signage stacks up in today’s world. Take the humble signpost – such a simple concept but an vital communications tool. Is there a place for this sign in the future? Or will we come to know this type of signage as part of a more holistic wayfinding approach?  Safety signage is another important category of sign. Without safety signs – think Danger, Warning, Do not Enter, Live Wires to name a few – hazards cannot be managed effectively with real threat to lives.
Signage Back In Time
Taking a quick flash back in time, here are a few simplistic starters of how signage may have be defined in the past:-
  • Firstly, a notice or public display showing information or instructions in written or symbolic form;
  • Secondly, something that indicates a state or level;
  • Thirdly, as an indicator on a road or route that shows distances or directions to a place;
  • Or lastly, as an aid to help direct movement or serve as evidence of something.
Understanding this, the question becomes what will signage look like in the future? In reality, signage of the future is probably all of the above, but with a very distinct difference. Instead of being a one way provider of information, signs are going interactive in a big way with the advent of digital signage. This is about shared comms – a 2 way dialogue. The regular, run of the mill signpost is being usurped by a new kid in town that offers bright, dynamic, engaging content with an interactive twist.
Despite the current pandemic, the digital signage market is predicted to grow to over US$23 billion in the next 7 years – that’s a compound rate of > 6%. – with retail the largest deployers##. The Asia-Pacific region will see the fastest growth so if there is any further reason to gear up for digital signage, these statistics are proof that digitisation is on its way.
Flexible Signage Gives Fast Response to New Challenges
A fast response to new challenges has never been so necessary as during the current Covid-19 pandemic.  As nations are plunged into both health scares and economic crisis, the need for signage to adapt is paramount.  Government, business and organisations of every sector must be able to adapt and provide ‘real time’ messaging through their signage. Whilst static signage has its place,  in a disaster management scenario the real-time abilities of digital signage become necessary and critical.
Our Covid-19 response in WA and Australia has been widely acknowledged as successful but that doesn’t stop us considering how we should adapt our signage preparedness for the next wave or different pandemic. Those who have invested in the digital signage technology will be wise to how this has helped them during this time.
5 Future Trends in Signage

1. Digitisation – According to the 2020 Digital Signage Today Future Trends Report* digital signage will be used as a visual marketing and communications tool in the future modern workplace. Whilst some companies have engaged digital screens of all shapes and sizes, there is still a propensity for the screens to be bland screens – the ‘black rectangle effect’ – when they could used to display localised content and messaging to reconnect with employees. Looking ahead , the Report* indicates that of all survey respondents, there will be a 79% increase in the numbers of screens being deployed or changed over the next 2 years – refer to chart on right. Those digital displays will become fully integrated with traditional signage with the main reasons cited for the increase in screen usage being increased brand awareness (42%) and staying up-to-date with technology (42%) – all categories are posted in the chart below.

5 Future Trends in Signage – cont’d

2. Simple wayfinding signage – Wayfinding signage is gaining pace to help guide people through a physical space.  Going forward we predict wayfinding will become more of a mirror image of a brand’s personality and an extension of a customer’s experience with it. With simple and effective wayfinding signage the customer will be more engaged and satisfied with their encounter. Holistic wayfinding signage strategies are key to realising this trend.

3. Detailed signage and decals – They say the devil is in the detail! For instance, business is now using signage to inject brand personality into their shops, offices, venues and sales outlets. Take the extra step to engage with visitors during the sales process. And then make their visit that extra bit special by introducing a less sales orientated fun fact, anecdote, sketch, narrative or tale. Leave a customer with a positive spin on your brand’s visual identity. Use its personality and tone of voice to create happy vibes. Finally think extra signage consistent across your floor, ceiling, door, shelves and any other surface you can stick a decal on.

4.Colour & Minimal – The less is more philosophy. Give your viewers less to think about. Signs with less clutter. Less visual chaos. More simple messaging. Letting the key instruction or meaning stand out.

5. Authentic photos – Avoid signage with the immaculate stock shot of the perfect family. The trend appears to be moving towards getting it real! Remove a cheesy stock image. Cut through the glossy veneer of models and staged photography. Let your brand stand proud.

Opening New Markets for Digital Signage

The Report* indicates that the main types of digital signage that respondents have now, or plan to add shortly include:-

  • Interactive touchscreens – 39%
  • 4k display resolution – 32%
  • Interface with Social Media – 32%

Going forward we interpret that the interactive touchscreen is going to continue to be a front runner with a 78% take up within 2 years.  Also progressively popular over the next couple of years will be the interface with social media, such as Facebook, Twitter etc, as the world becomes increasingly socially connected.

In the future, the take-up of digital signage looks to be dictated by four factors:-

  1. security;
  2. stability;
  3. easily up-date-able;
  4. affordable.

One of the keys to increased take-up will also been the introduction of standardised hardware platforms to deliver economic performance and reliability. Turn to the professionals to find out how we can ensure your next signage project embraces these four factors. And most importantly, ensure you choose a turnkey solution with future-proofed technology.

Where are you Going Next?

Our team of professionals are just a phone call away. Stand out from the crowd with traditional high impact sky signs, building or fabricated signage. Or invest in your future and let your customer’s benefit from the new technologies of digital signage – whether it be a shopping centre, stadium, office or hotel!

We will guide you through the process with our turnkey solutions. To talk to us about your next signage project call +61 8 9274 5151 or email. Alternatively check out our Yap!digital signage website.

SOURCE *2020 Networld Media Group: Executive Summary Report & www.afibranding.com.au
SOURCE ## Digital Signage Today
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