AskDefine | Define signboard

Dictionary Definition

signboard n : structure displaying a board on which advertisements can be posted; "the highway was lined with signboards" [syn: sign]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A board carrying a sign, or on which signs may be posted.


Extensive Definition

A signboard is a board carrying a sign or notice, usually used for advertising of products, events, houses for sale or let, etc. They are also used for cautionary or educational purposes. A common term in the signage industry
The ancient Egyptians are known to have used trade signboards. In ancient Rome, signboards were usually made from stone or terracotta.
In 1389 King Richard III of England compelled landlords to erect signs outside their premises. The legislation stated "Whosoever shall brew ale in the town with intention of selling it must hang out a sign, otherwise he shall forfeit his ale." This was in order make them easily visible to passing inspectors of the quality of the ale they provided (during this period, drinking water was not always good to drink and ale was the usual replacement).
Another important factor was that during the Middle Ages a large percentage of the population would have been illiterate and so pictures were more useful than words as a means of identifying a public house. For this reason there was often no reason to write the establishment's name on the sign and inns opened without a formal written name—the name being derived later from the illustration on the public house's sign. In this sense, a pub sign can be thought of as an early example of visual branding.
During the 19th century, some artists specialized in the painting of signboards, such as the Austro-Hungarian artist Demeter Laccataris.
England "Petty apartheid" sign on Durban beach in English, Afrikaans and Zulu languages
signboard in German: Schild (Zeichen)
signboard in Russian: Шильдик
signboard in Finnish: Kyltti

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

arrow, blaze, compass needle, direction, direction post, finger post, fist, guide, guideboard, guidepost, hand, hour hand, index, index finger, lead, lubber line, milepost, minute hand, needle, pointer, signpost
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