Signs, banners, and display boards continue to fulfill the same functions they have always had: to inform, influence, educate, and entertain. However, the technology behind them has changed almost unrecognizably. Laser and wide format printing, eco-friendly printing inks and recyclable film and poster board have all made eco-friendly printing accessible. For all kinds of signs from backlit film to construction site signs, sustainability is the new norm.
Signs are multi-functional objects. Their primary function may be to convey information about the location and purpose of a store, an office or a school. But they convey a number of other messages as well. Business signs also double as advertising, bringing in new customers. Almost half of the customers who go into a store or business do so because they are attracted by the sign outside. Design, logos, colors, and even taglines on signs can be designed to appeal to customers and passers by.
As many as 70% of customers say that they chose to patronize a business because the sign outside appealed to them in some way. Signs are very effective advertising, because the majority of a store’s customers live nearby. In fact, 85% of them live within a five mile radius from the store. A strategically placed sign can be seen by passersby as many as 50 to 60 times each month.
Sustainability standards in the world of printing
While signs continue to fulfill their purposes as before, the world of sign printing has been transformed in recent years. Laser printing and wide format printers produce banners and large signs such as construction site signs in vivid color. Eco friendly water based inks and recyclable materials like cardboard and film have paved the way for green eco friendly signs.
Eco friendly printing options now include certified sustainable printing paper and recyclable or biodegradable graphics materials
Green printing paper and other materials have to meet the standards of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) or the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or both. Materials like banners, foam board and cardboard have to be recyclable or biodegradable or both. These are also made of recycled materials. Ecofriendly inks are made without toxic chemicals such as VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and are safer for humans and the environment.
The medium is the message
Signs can carry many different kinds of messages. Construction site signs with warnings, information about the coming improvements that will make it easier for people to bear with the temporary inconvenience, and direction signs marking detours, all have important information to impart.
Display boards for school or conference presentations may well have a game-changing idea emblazoned on them. “Stop here for donuts” will get anybody, anytime. The one thing signs won’t say may be their most important message. When they use eco friendly paints and materials, they’re saying that the business they represent cares for the environment.
New eco friendly signs use materials that are safer for the environment and for people. Signs continue to fulfill their multiple functions, such as providing information and entertainment, but with new technology that makes the industry more sustainable. Using environmentally friendly printing processes, recycled papers, and the lowest VOC inks, all kinds of signs, from backlit films to construction site signs, are signaling that these businesses care about the environment.