So I decided to put the question to sign industry professionals from all over the world via LinkedIn’s International Sign Association Group, and received some great responses. Here’s just a selection:
What is Signage?
“SIGNAGE: A system term which identifies multiple types of signs and identification information and is broad enough to cover all types of signs, trademarks or accent components. The Glossary … was written to help provide information to the sign industry and provide specific language that would be helpful to planners, designers, code officials, policy makers, legal staff and other related industry professionals. Included are approximately 200 sign types or phrases containing various sign descriptive functions.”
“As we understand and use signs, it is a visual conveyance of information. Sometimes it is words, sometimes it is pictographs. As Sharon points out (below), an audible enhancement is part of advertising or a means of real time information or updates, but governed by a different set of rules.”
“Signage: Signs or a system of signs used to show information about something (such as a business or a road). Let’s keep this simple.”
“…I want to include audible signs in the definition, because to me, they are a way for people who don't see to know what is included in a textual display. I would agree that just any PA announcement is not a sign, but when it is a word for word copy of something that everyone who can see uses as a sign, then I would call it an audible sign.”