Great signs, sensational images and remarkable brands - where did it all begin?



Historically, the earliest advertising medium was that of a ‘crier’ or ‘barker’.  As trade developed, businesses had a fixed abode and advertised their goods by hanging out identifying insignia.

Between the 14th and 18th century, there is evidence Richard 11 required publicans (tax collectors) to exhibit a sign but it only became compulsory for other businesses by the 17th century.  Signage became common place in Europe exhibiting the following symbols:


Bookseller Bible
Perfumer Civet Cat
Locksmith Key
Apothecary Motar & pestle
Barber Red & White striped Pole
Shoemaker Shoe
Baker Sugar Loaf
Pawn Broker Three Golden Balls


Shops were extending their signs over streets, becoming more elaborate and heavier causing a serious health and safety risk to pedestrians which led to the introduction of sign regulations in the 1700’s. Streets were not named or numbered so signage provided directional information for newspapers, tradesmen, customers and the general public.

Today’s sign industry is firmly rooted in earlier centuries, starting with simply carved and painted symbols expanding with travel and the growth of the retail industry, developing into the sophisticated graphics industry it is today.

Signs are an important element of visual communication. They provide communication on our streets and highways and are essential for an effective transportation system to get us where we want to go.  Similarly, on-premises business signage is essential for the efficient function and success of many businesses. Effective signage can drive job creation, generate tax revenues and provide quality access to goods and services.

Tara Signs have been making some pretty stunning signs and recently employed the services of a great photographer to capture them in their full glory. One of our specialities is translating brands into signage.  These signs range from high-rise buildings in Canary wharf,  luxury retail & iconic fashion brands, nationwide automotive rebrands and 10ft multibrand totems to name a few.



Should you want to see what else we’ve been up to please visit our website and see our case studies.  Our experienced sales team continually come up with creative and innovative ideas to enhance and improve corporate images for our clients. Call us on 01903 750710