The History of Signs in Business

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In OKC, business owners love custom signs as a way of setting themselves apart. Let's understand what signs are before we start digging the history of signs. A sign is any visual graphics that give a piece of specific audience-targeted information — like what a business is about and offers to the public. The first sign dated back to 3000 B.C. The industry of making sign has grown tremendously since then. Below are the periods of development in the signage industry.

The initiation of outdoor signs dates from the Roman and Greek periods, that developed considerably between 3000 and 500 BC. The signs were in wood, stone, terra cotta and leather at that time. Instead of text, the information was provided with pictures, because reading was not a common skill.

For institutions like shops and taverns, sign makers used special symbols to identify their trade. More expensive materials were used for more luxurious organizations, such as bronze, marble, and copper to make signs. Nearly all the shops and organizations used outdoor signs which have been found in ruins of ancient cities from around the Mediterranean.

The period of economic restoration emerged after the 12th century’s Dark Ages. Wealthy artisans and traders had symbols of their own. Under English law, every establishment since the 17th century should have a sign representing its services. Still, letters could rarely be found on a sign, as most people could not read at that time.

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Electric Signs

In the 19th century, the idea of illuminated signs came up. In 1840, in Chicago, Illinois, the first gas illuminated sign was created for museum dedicated to the work of P. T. Barnum. The sign could work for 5 hours at a time. Then gas-illuminated signs spread throughout the United States and Europe. In 1881 the first electric light sign, 'EDISON' was made with filament bulbs.

In 1910, New York City had the world's most famous electric sign, depicting the great chariot race. 20,000 light bulbs in different colors were used to make this brilliant display. Later the illuminated light signs favored neon lights and fluorescent tubes for greater energy efficiency and reduced heat output.

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Plastic Signs

The 40s and 50s were a time of rapid economic growth and changes, including the widespread adoption of plastic materials. People started using plastics more frequently as the cost and maintenance were very low. Everywhere in the 1960s, plastic signs were visible. The most famous type of plastic was acrylic, with or without illumination on nearly every establishment.

Today, there is a new level in the signing industry with the custom signs available in OKC. We can produce perfect signs to match your style with new printers and material cutters. Materials and inks are improving which makes their lifespan longer.

No matter whether you are running a small or large business, you will need to show it off with prominent business signs in OKC and around the state. We are IGG Screen Printing and Graphics where you can get beautiful, affordable custom signs in OKC.