Formed in 1966, the ESF updated its original goals to encompass the following ambitious aims:
- Promotion and enhancement of the appreciation of signs and the image of signmakers throughout Europe.
- Promotion of technical, environmental and economic improvements within the European sign industry by providing a forum in which information on new developments can be exchanged.
- Representation of the interests of the European sign industry in world-wide markets including, where appropriate, co-operation with other bodies.
- Protection and development of the mutual legal and economic interests of its members.
- Encouragement of the creation of national sign associations in those countries where no such body exists.
- Creation of harmonised technical regulations, including wherever possible, participation of international committees responsible for the creation of such harmonised regulations, in order to encourage the reduction of barriers to international trade.
- Encouragement of friendly links between members which facilitate the free exchange of information on and experiences in individual national markets.