Development of Road Signage – from Motorways to Digital Signage Billboards

Signs are everywhere. From those that give us orders, to those that there to warn us of danger we must encounter hundreds of signs each day as we travel around the country’s road networks.

Billboards, hoardings and even outdoor digital signage are now a regular feature along roadsides but road signs have gone through a unique history and the ones we see on our motorways and trunk roads were not always that way.

Before the 1960’s there was no specific format for road signs. Speed limit indicators and direction signs could, and quite often were, different on one stretch of road to another, as were the rest of the signage along our highways.

However, once the fist motorways opened it was soon realised that a standard format for road signs was required and the design and font system (Transport font) that are so familiar to us today were developed to create unity with the different signs up and down the country.

Now uniformity in our signage system is commonplace but our roadsides are now awash with even more methods of signage and passing of information.

Outdoor digital signage is one of the latest developments in the signage industry. These roadside hoardings and billboards that are now starting to spring up at bus stops and along curb sides are based on the same technology that our TV’s at home operate in.

Many of these outdoor digital signage systems are protected by waterproof LCD enclosures to ensure the sensitive electronics inside the device do not get damaged in the elements.

And now, thanks to this burgeoning technology, the roadsides of our motorways are starting to change – just as they did when the first motorways induced the changing of the signage – taking our highways right into the twenty first century.

This post was written by Richard N Williams

Richard N Williams

Richard N Williams is a writer and journalist based in Birmingham, UK. He has many years of experience writing about all aspects of the internet and digital technology. He is the author of several technology related books and his articles have appeared in various publications, trade magazines and online journals.

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