Language and Linguistics

The 8 types of advertising signs and their characteristics

Types of advertising signs

The types of advertising signs can be divided according to their purpose, content or size. In turn, in this division, we find other more specific subtypes. Advertising is a key element in any type of organization, and advertising signs are one of the best communication tools for conveying messages.

Although many define different types of advertising signs as mass media, it is a tool to convey thoughts and ideas.

The main purpose of the advertising signs will always be to inform, but depending on the specific idea you want to convey, it can be classified in a number of ways. A first classification is based on its purpose and, based on this, there are two types: informative or commercial and formative. But this is not the only typification; advertising signs can also be classified according to their content and size.

Below are different types of advertising signs

According to your purpose

1-informative or commercial

This is the type of signs that is designed to inform the public about a specific event or the launch of a new product or service; even to share with the public the benefits of the brand that is advertised. This type of resource should provide the user with the information they need to be interested in what is being promoted.

Informational advertising signs must have a specific structure so that they can be considered complete. These must contain a main message, a slogan, an image and legal terms.

Even so, this type of signs can also be presented with text only, although in this case it is necessary to use a suitable typology with a contrasting background.


Unlike news, this type of signs is not intended to sell a product or service. They are often used as a means of inviting the public to take notice of certain issues.

This includes signs that aim to create health or cleanliness habits in cleaning people, as well as those of order or safety. Sectors that commonly use training signs are education, politics, nonprofits, and the healthcare sector.

In this type of signs, images play a much more important role than text. In fact, he seeks to make an impact with them. Therefore, the message is usually expressed not in words, but with a graphic that generates emotions and makes the idea that wants to be conveyed much clearer.

According to your content

3- show signs

This is one of the most used types of signs. Show signs have a few subtypes and the most popular are cinema and concert signs, to a lesser extent theater and circus signs. Of the named varieties, the only one still widely used is the cinematographic one.

Concert signs, usually of singers or music groups, are also often used frequently. However, their use often ends up being prohibited, as they are usually trapped in prohibited places.

In the case of circus signs, they are usually limited to the neighborhood where the show will be held. And the same happens with the theater, which in this case is usually reserved for the facades of the premises.

4-political propaganda signs

These signs were born during the great war conflicts experienced in Europe since the beginning of the last century. It was from these events that what is now known as a political or propaganda cartel was born.

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However, today it is a type of signs reserved for electoral campaigns or referendums. But unlike in the war years, the content of these signs is now regulated.

5-fashion signs

This is another one of the most used signs today. It is a material with a very well defined content, frequently used by the big brands in the fashion world and by important chain stores.

The main element of this type of signs is the image of some template next to the advertiser’s logo or a slogan that is usually very short.

6-beauty and hygiene signs

This advertising signs is characterized by hygiene and beauty products such as perfumes, creams and other items. They are usually used for launching new products or as a promotion for renowned lines.

Additionally, they are a widely used feature to promote products in specific seasons. Therefore, they are usually very common on important dates such as Christmas, Three Kings Day and Valentine’s Day. As in the case of fashion, it is used by major brands.

7-corporate signs

This variant is related to large corporations, whether in sectors such as banking, electricity, industrial, among others. Most of the time, they are used to advertise a brand in general. However, they can also be used for launching some kind of new product or service.

8-Institutional campaign signs

In this case, these signs are related to public administrations, organizations and NGOs. They are often used for campaigns targeting the general public.

In such cases, a reflexive reaction from the public is expected, as the objective is usually to raise awareness of a specific topic. These signs promote issues related to safety, accident prevention, health, ecology, among others.

According to your size

advertising signs can also vary depending on how big they are. The choice between one and the other will depend directly on the place where it will be placed.

But also from the distance at which the people who will observe it will be. These two elements are essential in determining the dimensions of the signs. These can be:

  • 70 x 100 centimeters (the most common size).
  • 50 x 70 centimeters.
  • 35 x 50 centimeters.

These measures are not mandatory. However, they are generally the most used and, therefore, the most recommended, as they are designed according to the commercial measurements of the paper. In this way, all resources are used, avoiding waste of ink, paper and time.

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