Attracting customers to a business has involved putting an image in front of the largest population possible with the hope that some of them will come to your physical store. This proved to be such a popular business tactic that municipalities started regulating retail signage with building codes and city ordinances. It seems that voters like retail signs about as much as they like junk mail. But we still have plenty of both -- so they must be effective.
(Credit for this photo goes to the blog Ephemeral New York)
Now that an increasing number of customers come equipped with GPS / mapping smart phones, the need for physical signs could become a thing of the past. Search for what you want on the web, get directions, watch yourself blink across the map on the way there and you can find what you are looking for without ever looking at a sign in the physical world.
(Credit for this photo to the Observer.com)
One of these days we may find ourselves telling our kids that back in the old days we had to find things with the phone book, printed map, and signs posted on the side of buildings.