House Sign Advertising Design and Graphic Application Imperatives

House Sign Advertising Design and Graphic Application Imperatives

Oladokun Omojola (Covenant University, Nigeria)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch530
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Rational individuals and organizations constantly seek ways to make the world a better place to live and do business. No area is this made more manifest than the environment where various types of corporeal property such as land and house constitute a critical factor of shelter and socio-economic growth. Governments, for instance, collate data on buildings for proper street-naming, house numbering and to determine the prospects of internally generated revenue (IGR) from that direction. The property owner also ensures that the house, bought or built with hard earned money, is well maintained in order to enhance its rent and lease value. Similarly, marketers develop clever strategies regularly to sell their products and services, using the most appropriate medium that gives the best mileage in terms of sales and goodwill. The House Sign1 is an advertising design medium through which the marketer can showcase a brand in an attractive and a favorable way on a site provided by the property owner.

The House Sign has a design concept that features three basic elements - house number, street name and a message. Street names and house numbers provide the easiest way of identifying or describing a building in a civilized society where no street should exist without a name and a house without a number. Street naming and house numbering are key issues in urban development. Postal services and police rely on the proper identification of buildings for distributing mails and securing lives and property. The House Sign provides yet another innovative dimension to house numbering in the area of advertising.

This presentation, intended as a springboard for a global discourse on this new medium, has the following objectives:

  • To describe how the House Sign works.

  • To articulate the artistic, advertising, design, print and graphic application characteristics of the House Sign system.

  • To underscore the value of House Sign to identified stakeholders.


Background To The Study

The outcome of a preliminary investigation on house numbering conducted in Nigeria2 showed that house numbers were haphazardly posted. This unsystematic trend was also noticeable in several other African countries including Egypt, Kenya and Ghana (see also House Numbering in some Countries). Number colors were washed off while the plate bearing the number appeared unkempt in many cases. The house sign had been developed as a below-the-line advertising design system to address these issues.

Advertisers are proactively shopping for “multiple-objective” (Bell & Carpenter, 1992:383) ways to expose their products. They are giving new business models a tryout by conducting investigational campaigns and examining the “capability criteria” (Goslar, 1986:81) in order to determine their effectiveness. These efforts are imperative since “it has become increasingly difficult to use the same marketing mix strategies for all consumer groups” (Cui, 1997:122) all the time.

It is surprising, however, that scholars have paid a little or no attention to house numbering as a medium of advertising. Few articles seen have concentrated only on narrow areas (Sitton, 1986:172-181; Robinson, et al. 1981/1982:173-178). In the 16th and17th century England, huge signboards had been used as ornaments to identify houses as house numbering did not exist at that time. Such ornaments posed a danger where they existed. According to The Musical Times (1904:636):

In 1718, one of them actually dragged down the front of a house in London and killed four persons by the fall thereof. No wonder that by Act of Parliament signboards in London had to go…House-signs began to be replaced by numbering towards the close of the eighteenth century…A curious and interesting London house-sign of the sixteenth century was that of the Organe Pype, situated in the parish of St. Stephen’s, Walbrook, the supposed residence of a certain Mr. Howe, an organ maker.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Novelty: The House Sign is a new creation.

House Numbering: A process of assigning a number to a building for proper identification.

Lagos: Nigeria’s largest city.

Street Naming: A process of giving a name to a street for proper identification.

House Sign Design: Image and text graphics that pertain to House Sign.

House Sign: A new medium of three basic elements – house number, street name and advertisement.

FRN 5564: The House Sign Licence Number in Nigeria.

House Sign Advertising: The use of the House Sign as a medium of advertising.

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