Back to the Future

Steve Williams on Making the Sign of the Future

The Sign of the Future blog has been on hiatus since May due to some dynamic changes we’ve been making here at Harbinger. As any strong brand should, we constantly re-evaluate who we are as a company, what we are trying to accomplish, and what our slogan “Sign of the Future” actually means to us. As a sign company, the latter is a tough question to evaluate. Most people might not spend too much time thinking about the importance of signs, but as sign makers, this is something we constantly think about. From our perspective, signs are kinda a big deal. They keep us safe on our roadways, help us locate necessary amenities, convey value, and keep order—all through strategically presenting vital information. Signs help us orient ourselves in the present and understand our world. They also help us understanding the future. Few indicators direct us as clearly as signs. From a sign that tells us “merge ahead” to a particular company or organization telling us what we can expect if we do business with them, signs are always helping us predict the future.


What Signs Have Meant / Do Mean / Will Mean

In ancient times, people went to an oracle for signs from the gods about what their future held. These early futurists would tell people about the coming of someone or something that would affect their lives. In the early days of English monarchies, the harbinger was a member of the royal household that preceded the royal court to prepare for their arrival.   A harbinger is a herald, a premonition, a sign, a prophet. Dating back to ancient marks and symbols that eventually formed written language to the contemporary study of semiotics, signs have been and always will be a fundamental part of our world.  That is why we overlook them; our reliance on them has become so ingrained that people don’t even think about it anymore. Except sign makers. We think about it all the time.  

From cave drawings to brand identities, sign makers have crafted the art of visual linguistics for millennia. This narrative and craft continues here at Harbinger Innovation Group. In 2015 we will lead the future of sign making with interactive experiences, digital signage, branded environments, and projection. We intend to maintain the vanguard of what signs are capable of. Stay tuned here for details on current projects, client insight, and future sign innovations. The future will not be televised; it will be webcast.

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