Dziedzictwo i przyszłość szyldów w reklamie

The legacy and future of signs in advertising

Chapter 1: The history of advertising signs

Advertising signs have accompanied humanity for centuries, constituting an inseparable element of the landscape of cities and towns. Their history is a fascinating journey through different eras and styles, from simple, hand-painted signs to impressive, multimedia installations.

1.1. The origins of advertising signs

The first advertising signs probably appeared in ancient times. In ancient Egypt and Rome, merchants placed signs in front of their shops with information about the products and services they offered. In the Middle Ages, guild signs depicting symbols of a given craft were popular.

1.2. The evolution of signs in the 20th century

A breakthrough moment in the history of signs occurred in the 20th century. The invention of printing and electricity opened up new possibilities in their creation and use. Neon signs appeared and revolutionized the night landscape of cities. In the second half of the 20th century, signs made of plastic and metal became increasingly popular.

1.3. Signs in the 21st century

In the 21st century, advertising signs have become multimedia platforms for information and communication. The combination of digital technology with traditional forms of advertising has given rise to new, interactive signs that attract attention and engage recipients.


The history of advertising signs is the history of the development of advertising and visual communication. From simple signs to multimedia installations, signs reflect technological, social and cultural changes over the centuries.

Chapter 2: Typology of advertising signs

Advertising signs are an extremely diverse group of advertising media. They differ in terms of design, materials, assembly method, as well as function and application. The typology of advertising signs is presented below, taking into account their most important features.

2.1. Division by design:

  • Flat signs: The simplest type of sign, made of sheet metal, plastic or other material, attached to the wall of the building.
  • Panel signs: Signs with a three-dimensional structure, illuminated from the inside, which gives them an attractive appearance at night.
  • Signs with three-dimensional letters: Signs in which the letters or company logo are made of three-dimensional elements attached to the building's facade.
  • Neon Signs: Signs with illuminated neon tubes, typical of the 20th century but still popular in some places.
  • LED Signs: LED illuminated signs are energy efficient and offer a wide range of colors.

2.2. Division by material:

  • Sheet metal signs: The most popular and cheapest type of signs, resistant to weather conditions.
  • Plastic signs: Light and easy to install, but less resistant to mechanical damage.
  • Wood signs: Elegant and stylish, but require regular maintenance.
  • Glass signs: Modern and exclusive, but also the most expensive.

2.3. Division according to the method of installation:

  • Permanently mounted signs: Fixed to the building facade with screws or dowels.
  • Temporarily mounted signs: Attached to the building facade with magnets or hooks, e.g. for promotional purposes.
  • Free-standing signs: Signs placed on stands or pylons, e.g. in front of the company entrance.

2.4. Division by function:

  • Information signs: Provide basic information about the company, such as name, address and logo.
  • Advertising signs: Promote the products or services offered by the company.
  • Directional signs: Provide information about the route to or from the company.
  • Image signs: They build a positive image of the company and strengthen its recognition.

2.5. Application examples:

  • Advertising signs for shops, restaurants, bars, hotels, etc.
  • Company signs placed on building facades.
  • Information signs with the names of streets, squares, institutions, etc.
  • Directional signs for parking lots, airports, stations, etc.


The typology of advertising signs is extensive and diverse. Choosing the right type of sign depends on many factors, such as: budget, company specifics, location and function of the sign.

Chapter 3: Designing advertising signs

3.1. Principles of sign design

Designing advertising signs is a process that requires taking into account many factors, such as:

  • Purpose of the sign: Is it to inform, advertise, direct or build the company's image?
  • Target group: Who is the advertisement directed to?
  • Sign Location: Where will it be placed?
  • Sign size and shape: How much space is available?
  • Content and graphics: What should be on the sign?
  • Colors: What colors will be the most visible and attractive?
  • Font: What font will be the best to read?
  • Lighting: Will the sign be illuminated?

3.2. Choosing the right type of sign

Choosing the right type of sign depends on the previously mentioned factors. For example:

  • For small businesses, a simple information sign with the company name and logo may be sufficient.
  • For companies with high recognition, 3D or panel signs may be a good solution.
  • High-brightness LED signs are best for high-traffic areas .

3.3. Sign location

The location of the sign is important for its effectiveness. Please consider:

  • Visibility: Will the sign be clearly visible from a distance?
  • Competition: What other signs are nearby?
  • Legal restrictions: Can signs be placed in this location?

3.4. Content and graphics

The content and graphics on the sign should be:

  • Short and concise: Easy to remember and read.
  • Attractive: Catching the audience's eyes and attention.
  • Consistent with the company's image: Matching its logo, colors and style.

3.5. Summary

Designing advertising signs is a process that requires creativity, knowledge of advertising rules and legal regulations. A well-designed sign can be an effective tool for promoting a company and building its positive image.

Chapter 4: Legal aspects of advertising signs

Placing advertising signs involves a number of legal issues that must be taken into account. The most important legal aspects regarding advertising signs in Poland are discussed below.

4.1. Legislation relating to advertising signs

The main legal act regulating the issues of advertising signs is the Act of March 27, 2003 on spatial planning and development (Journal of Laws of 2022, item 1073). This Act specifies, among others:

  • Definition of an advertising sign
  • Rules for placing advertising signs
  • Requirements regarding the size and arrangement of signs
  • Procedure for obtaining permission to install a sign

Additionally, advertising sign issues may be regulated by:

  • Resolutions of municipal councils on local spatial development plans
  • Orders of mayors/city presidents
  • Act on the protection and care of monuments
  • Environmental Protection Act

4.2. Procedure for obtaining permission to install a sign

In most cases, the installation of an advertising sign requires obtaining a permit. This procedure may vary by municipality, but generally includes:

  • Submitting an application for a permit to install a sign
  • Attaching the required documents to the application, including: sign design, opinion of the conservator (if required)
  • Payment of stamp duty
  • Consideration of the application by the commune office

In the case of small signs (e.g. up to 1 m2), it is possible to report the installation of the sign to the commune office. The application does not require a permit, but the office may object to the installation of the sign if it is inconsistent with applicable regulations.

Chapter 5: Signs - development prospects

5.1. Technological innovations in signs

Advertising signs are becoming more and more intelligent and interactive. The most popular technological innovations in this area include:

  • LED signs with digital displays: Allows you to display dynamic content, animations and videos.
  • 3D signs: Use three-dimensional technology to catch the eye and engage your audience.
  • Motion-sensitive signs: Change the displayed content depending on the movement of passers-by.
  • Social media integrated signs: Display user-generated content on social media.

5.2. Directions of development in sign design

In addition to technological innovations, more and more attention is paid to:

  • Ecology: Use of ecological materials and energy-saving solutions.
  • Minimalism: Simple and elegant design that focuses on content.
  • Personalization: Signs tailored to the individual needs and preferences of recipients.
  • User Experience: Signs that engage your audience and create positive experiences.

5.3. The impact of digitization on signs

Digitization has a huge impact on the advertising sign market. More and more companies are choosing to use digital advertising platforms such as LED screens and LCD displays. These signs allow you to display dynamic content that is more attractive to recipients and easier to remember.


The advertising sign market is a dynamic market that is constantly developing. Technological innovations, design trends and digitalization are shaping the future of signs and making them increasingly intelligent, interactive and effective.

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