Signage played an unmistakably important role during the pandemic. As businesses everywhere needed to communicate messages effectively and efficiently, additional signs popped up everywhere. Although the pandemic is not over, we are seeing less signs directing us where to stand and reminding us of health and safety protocols. That doesn’t mean signage is going to become less popular, however.
For two years people had way more directional, wayfinding and informational signage than ever before, and they liked it. Signs give people a sense of comfort when they know they are in the right place. They reduce stress in new environments and enable independence. This was the case before the pandemic and will continue in 2022 and beyond.
So, we’re not seeing as many “wear a mask” signs now but let’s take a look at what we will be seeing in signage design trends as we head into a new year.
Environmentally Responsible Signage
Consumers are pushing corporations to take more responsibility for their carbon footprint and environmental impact. This also applies to signage and the companies that create them. Consideration of the substances used in signage creation could include environmentally friendly inks, recycled materials and incorporating nature into the final product such as these signs that have living moss inside them.
Becoming ISO 14001 certified proves that a company is adhering to certain environmental standards. The certification provides stakeholders, employees and consumers with the knowledge that the signage company is continuously measuring and improving their environmental impact.
Simplicity In Sign Design
Proving as timeless as ever, minimalist designs are still popular. Easy to read and uncluttered, a sign design with simplicity in mind is effective at communicating a message quickly. Many brands opt for just two or three colours without ornate text. Instead, they rely on lighting, bold letters and the brand values to get their meaning across.
Simple doesn’t mean boring, however. Lots of inspiration can be taken from designs trends of the 1920’s and 30’s, when neat and delicate text was fashionable. Many aspects of “industrial” style are unfussy and modest as well so you could look to that for design inspiration too.
Accessibility and Inclusivity
Creating signage with everyone in mind should not really be considered a design trend as it really just should be part of every signage strategy. Thankfully it is getting more popular and we encourage clients to plan for accessibility in their signage as the expectation for it grows.
Making signs accessible in their design involves consideration for people with neurological and physical conditions, impairments, differences in heights and users of mobility aids.
Being inclusive refers to providing equal opportunities for people who would otherwise be marginalised or excluded. In signage design this could be taken into account when hiring staff, putting contracts out to tender or having a policy in place to only work with clients who meet certain inclusivity prerequisites.
Elaborate Sign Designs
Looking back to past designs trends is not just restricted to the plain and minimal. Consumers are still enjoying more ornate and flamboyant designs as well.
Designers of signage in 2023 can take inspiration from the flowery and bubbly designs of the 1960’s and 70’. Also check out the pastel colours and assorted shapes of the 1980’s and 90’s. Even the elaborate and opulent designs of the Victorian era have their place with certain brands.
It appears that 2023 signage design trends will be very much focused on nostalgic designs from the decades that have a distinct signature look. Whether designers take their inspiration from the past or create their own unique looks, a key factor will be the processes and values of the designers themselves.
When choosing signage designers in 2023, consumers will be looking for how seriously safety and the environment is taken by their options. They will be looking into how accessibility can be incorporated into the design as well as how inclusive the designers are as employers. This is a trend we’re seeing across many industries as consumers change their priorities. The signage industry will be no exception and xsign are more than ready for it.