Portuguese Tourist Signage: Design as a Competitive Factor

Portuguese Tourist Signage: Design as a Competitive Factor

João Vasco Matos Neves (Research Group on Design for the Territory, CIAUD, Portugal & Lisbon School of Architecture, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal) and José Miguel Gago da Silva (Research Group on Design for the Territory, CIAUD, Portugal & Lisbon School of Architecture, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3628-5.ch012
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Social, cultural, and technological changes on a large scale, combined with increasing mobility and consequent globalization, have decisively influenced society and consequently tourism, assuming this as one of the main sectors of the world economy, with constant global growth. The tourist activity motivated a greater influx of people to certain territories, generating the need to guide citizens in unknown spaces and communicate basic messages with a universal language. This chapter is the result of a research on information design, which aims to analyze tourist signage systems, to propose principles for the development of these systems, which can contribute to the aesthetic and functional improvement of tourist signage of information and guidance, to innovation and to the competitiveness of the tourism sector.
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Travels And Mobility

Tourism, understood primarily as a multiplicity of phenomena linked to travel, dates back centuries, not being a current fact and above all, it has become mutable in time and space.

Countless are the historical accounts of travel in antiquity. Examples such as journeys in Mesopotamia and Egypt in search of raw materials and trade (Brito, 2003, p.71), or the Greeks' journeys to their second home outside Athens, to the Olympics, or to religious pilgrimages; the trips in search of health and well-being provided by the Roman baths or the countless shows like the theater and the games offered to the populations and religious pilgrimages to Rome are examples of embryonic tourism (Alexandre, 2001).

With the Middle Ages and the instability caused by multiple armed conflicts, great pilgrimages to the Holy Land, Compostela or Mecca and other world sanctuaries appeared. At this time, there were also several expeditions of kingdoms and free men’s made from West to the East, journeys narrated in various publications such as itineraries, guides and travel narratives (Brito, 2003, p. 114).

Still in the Middle Ages, the first universities appeared, which constitute a system that allows the beginning of the formation of an international network of professional and cultural knowledge among schools, universities, students and teachers, generating trips of masters and apprentices (Brito, 2003).

With the artistic development verified in the Renaissance, associated with cultural and scientific movements, an increase in artistic and cultural trips fomented by patrons appears.

The epic of the discoveries brings to knowledge new routes and destinations and the great journeys of the colonizing powers are made in the company of low-income households and missionaries who populate various parts of the world, fostering religion, commerce and consequently the travels.

The first means of accommodating travelers more comfortably began to appear in large cities, especially for aristocrats and artists, who travelled more and more frequently and for longer periods.

With the industrial revolution and the invention of the first steam mechanisms, animal traction is replaced by mechanical traction. This is the turning point and the democratization or generalization of travel for the different classes. Large national and international rail lines are built, allowing much faster trips, more comfortable and for the whole family. In addition to the railway compositions, the steam engine is incorporated into the vessels, also allowing it to reduce travel times and increase the size of the boats.

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