There are several different types of signs you will see as you leave the hangar and head out into the jungle of taxiways. . . You've got direction signs and location signs galore. . . and they're all pointing in different directions!
Keep in mind, taxiway direction signs can also be displayed as markings painted on the surface of the taxiway. Sometimes these markings are in addition to signs, and sometimes they take the place of a sign.
Taxiway Location Signs
Let's start with an easy one, a location sign is the little blue dot on your GPS, 'you are here' it says.
Location signs are black, with yellow lettering and a yellow border around them, and the letter is the taxiway you are on. Since they are telling you where you are in the moment, these signs don't need arrows.
An easy way to remember which sign on a taxiway is the location sign is to remember that "Yellow on Black is where you're at".
So now that you know which taxiway you're on, you keep going until you come to an intersection. Uh oh. Luckily, on the side of the taxiway there's a yellow sign with black lettering on it and an arrow pointing to the intersecting taxiway.
Direction Signs are placed on the left hand side right before intersections between taxiways, and indicate the letter designator of each taxiway leaving the intersection.
Sometimes, a location sign will be placed next to direction signs for purposes of reminding a pilot which taxiway they are currently on while also letting them know the taxiways they can turn onto.
Direction signs are also used to indicate a taxiway exit from a runway. In these cases, the sign will be on the same side of the runway as the taxiway used as an exit.
The arrow on the sign points in the direction of the taxiway designator indicated, so a sign with the letter "A" and an arrow pointing right indicates a right turn at the intersection would put you on taxiway alpha.
Runway Holding Position Signs
As a quick review from the Runway lesson, Runway Holding Position Signs are mandatory instruction signs that alert pilots before they enter an active runway. You Must Receive a Clearance before proceeding past a runway holding position sign.
If you are on a taxiway approaching a runway, the runway holding position sign will indicate two solid bars and two dashed bars These same markings will also be painted on the ground of the taxiway. Keep all parts of the aircraft on the taxiway side of the solid lines and do not cross into the area beyond the dashed line!