Our Marketing Specialist recently took a trip to Ireland, and in small towns and large cities alike he couldn’t help but appreciate the wide variety of signs and how, as expected, they’re as integral across the pond as they are here. Of course we know that signs are universal; however, there are still unique sign stories in countries around the world we may not be aware of. So in this blog we wanted to take a moment and highlight some of the more unique signs and sign stories across our small globe.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

“El Burj Khalifa” by chusico is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

According to ActionSigns.com, the largest LED screen is appropriately on the largest building (as of this writing) in the world! That building is the Burj Khalifa which is located in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The Burj Khalifa, rising 2,722 feet into the air, overtook Taipei 101 in 2009. The LED Screen itself “has over 72 km of cabling and 10,000 connectors, covering an area of 33,000 square meters.”

London, England

Harry Potter 9 3/4 King's Crossing Platform Sign

“Harry Potter at Platform 9-3/4” by Karen Roe is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Rarely does a sign to nowhere garner such interest; however, when that sign is tied to the most successful book series in history then it’s another story. In Culture Trip’s write-up on the 16 Most Iconic Signposts in the World, they make sure to include the 9 ¾ signage that now resides at Kings Cross Station in London, England. Kings Cross Station is most famous as being the station where Harry Potter in the eponymous series first begins his journey to the hallowed halls of Hogwarts.

Kings Cross Station has leaned into its iconic-ness by promoting the 9 ¾ sign on its website as a tourist destination.

Dublin, Ireland

Temple Bar in Dublin, Ireland (Photo by Zippy’s Ventures Photography)

Ireland is world renown for its pubs, and Dublin, as the capital and largest city, is the home of many of the most famous pubs. While the iconography in itself for all the pubs, historic and modern, is a signt to behold, what made these pubs unique for many years is actual the laws they were required to follow.

According to The Irish Times, in “It became a legal requirement to display the proprietor’s name over the front door of the premises after legislation passed in 1872. The legacy of this law is often cited as one of the unique features of the Irish pub. Often, a public house operates under a long-obsolete family name – a signature feature in the boom of “Irish pubs” outside Ireland.”

No longer do pubs need to follow such rules; however, the legacy lives on with many pubs retaining these once required names.

Los Angeles, USA

Hollywood Sign

“Hollywood Sign” by Scott Beale is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Perhaps the most filmed (and destroyed in films) sign of all is the iconic Hollywood sign. It’s not only larger in life in the movies though, as its height and width, 45’ and 350’ respectively, but it’s one of the largest signs in the world and has itself held the top title in the past.

History.com has several tidbits of trivia you may not know about the nearly 100 year old sign, and while we will not share them all here one that especially piqued our interest is the evolution of the sign itself, as its gradually had many of its letters replaced, including a fully new sign replacement in the 70s. Till very recently too the Hollywood sign remained unlit for at least 20 years, and only recently has been lit up again for certain events or occasions such as the BET Awards. Prior to that it was lit up for the millennium celebrations as we transitioned into the year 2000.