Shops in the ancient Taiyuan county seat (now Jinyuan sub-district, Jinyuan district in Taiyuan) have hung signs with various commercial slogans, shop signs and signboards.

The shop signs that hang outside the doors of shops and indicate goods sold inside first appeared in the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and still existed during the Republic of China period (1912-49). They are considered an early form of commercial advertising.

The shop signs in Taiyuan in the last century and before can be divided into seven categories according to the types of goods or service items, including signs for accessories related to commodities, flags and curtain covers hanging outside restaurants and tea houses, commodity model signs, and electric light signs outside barber shops.