Retro Vs Modern Signs - Which Is Your Style?

There has been an explosion of interest in vintage style signs for the home and in business. Designers such as Cath Kidston and Red or Dead have created an ever expanding market for quintessentially quirky products that reflect a design essence from the past. They are cool but still manage to evoke a comforting confidence that takes you back through previous generations of memories that most of us are too young to recall and yet still have a fondness for.

In the sign industry, there has always been a demand for traditional styling, whether it be for a well-established small businesses or sites of historical interest. The most commonly seen use of vintage sign making is the Blue Plaque Scheme. Originating in London in 1866, these schemes have been set up to commemorate where a notable person has lived or worked in the past and there are over 850 of these plaques on walls throughout the country, so they are indeed a familiar sight that immediately connects us to the past.

Original vintage signs are collector's items but the market provides us with reproductions that can be personalised with messages of love and humour or that just host your house name or address in a welcoming way. Their old-school appeal provides us with a sense of belonging and usually makes us smile and yet despite our en masse new found love of retro interiors, vintage styling as a consumer is not always what we want to see.

Using cutting edge design in sign making suits many industries and events. A commercial architectural practice for example is going to use progressive design with clean, graphic lines in its profile to suggest creative vision and precision. And a medical practice is not going to use antiqued signage to promote the clinical care on offer as it would be rather disconcerting for any waiting patients wondering if their medical treatments would be similarly old-fashioned. Signs for youth focused events demand contemporary images and styling with traditional designs being seen to be backward thinking and twee. Any promotional imagery being targeted at a younger adult or teenage market is going to have to rely on fresh innovative design if it is to have any appeal at all.

So, with regard to retro signs verses modern signs, each have their place in our streets, in our businesses and in our homes. There is no competition when all we need are the right signs.