Sign of the Times for Wide Format Printing – 10 Songs, 10 Signs

Wide Format Printing

Signage has never played a more important role in the success of the printing industry than now. As the digital revolution reshapes the print industry into a marketing/social media/information specialist/print/web amalgomation of its former self, new advancements in wide format printing and substrates have made signage more affordable and versatile than ever. Where signs have always directed people and What use to be the realm of the big players is now open to all businesses and individuals: high quality, branded, professional signs, banners, wall murals, floor graphics, vehicle wraps, billboards. So, to highlight awareness of the power of great signage, we compiled a little musical list in tribute:

The Sign – Ace of Base (1993)

“I saw the sign, and it opened up my mind.” This ABBA-esque quartet from Gothenburg, Sweden had their biggest hit in 1994 with “The Sign.” It spent 6 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Unfortunately, news has come forward now that Ace of Base member Ulf Ekberg, in his youth, was in a Nazi band and had ties to a political party that also leans uncomfortably toward the hate-group side of the spectrum. Not a sign we needed to see.

Sign O’ the Times – Prince (1987)

This was the title song of Prince’s first “solo” album without The Revolution. The “O” in the title was printed as a peace symbol, but that was before the name Prince actually became a symbol. All very symbolic.

A Sign of the Times – Petula Clark (1966)

Catchy, perky pop tune from British singer Petula Clark, which she debuted on the Ed Sullivan Show in February of 1966.

Signs – Five Man Electrical Band (1970)

One of the first 45s I ever purchased. From the heydey of social and political change in the late 60s, the song is actually more of an ANTI-sign anthem, “blocking up the scenery, breaking my mind.”

Sign on the Window – Bob Dylan (1970)

Beautiful, classic Dylan tune from the album “New Morning.” The video link below is a live cover by the singer Melanie from 1975. (Jennifer Warnes does a great cover on her 1979 album “Shot Through the Heart.”)

Love Shack – The b-52’s (1989)

“If you see a faded sign by the side of the road that says ’15 miles to the Love Shack…'” The famous tin roofed shack once stood outside Athens, GA, was home for singer Kate Pierson and the birthplace of the group’s first hit “Rock Lobster.”

Gimme Little Sign – Brenton Wood (1967)

Brenton Wood is a soul singer from Louisiana who had an international hit with this song in 1968. Oddly enough, the exact title never appears in the recording; the chorus repeats “Just gimme some kind of sign…”

Sign on the Door – Edwin McCain (1999)

Soulful Greenville, SC native McCain writes: “My heart used to be / The sweet shop of love / But now the sign on the door / It says sorry we’re closed.”

Signs – Snoop Dogg (2004)

This rap tune features Justin Timberlake and Charlie Wilson, and covers illegal drugs, life in L.A. and the perceived glamour of gang culture.


Sounds of Silence – Simon and Garfunkel (1964)

Written in the wake of the assassination of President Kennedy, this song went on to become the duo’s second biggest hit, after “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and was included on the soundtrack of the film “The Graduate.” “And the sign flashed out its warning / In the words that it was forming / And the sign said, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls / And tenement halls.” An iconic tune of the sixties.

Calling All Angels – Train (2003)

From their album “My Private Nation”: “I need a sign to let me know you’re here/ All of these lines are being crossed over the atmosphere.”

Rely on your printer for advice and direction in branding and marketing with signage. They should be able to guide you in the design, creation and application or display of all your signage, murals, graphics, displays… if they can’t, you have the wrong printer! The best advice, always, is to ASK YOUR PRINTER!

ImageSmith is a full-service print and marketing provider located in Arden, North Carolina. Contact us at ImageSmith for quotes on all your marketing projects, and more useful tips on how to create custom, effective, high impact marketing solutions.