Friday, 15 July 2011

Signage: A True Global Language

Walking on the streets of Phuket, unbelievably thirsty, of all the Andaman Sea water around me, I wanted a fresh water tap/ bottle and I spot a familiar water tap sign. What a relief!!! A foreign country, an unknown place, language differences and a sign that is literally water to thirsty!

Signage is any visual graphics created to display information to a particular audience. It is a crisp information display that can be globally understood. The most common places for display are Roads, Hospitals, Public Places, and Airport. Signages are designed with smart appropriate usage of following elements:

Shape: The various needs lead to range of shape. Rectangular -the most commonly used shape appropriate to display information. There can be a picture and text to convey the message within the shape. Triangle, Square, Hexagonal, Circle, Oval, Block arrow are other shapes used across the world.

Color: The basics of color psychology using red to show stop, danger; yellow for Alert; green- positive sign to give permission. Various background colors example white, yellow, and black to enhance the graphics, text used in the sign.

Fig 1: Shapes and colors for signages

Pictures/Graphics/Pictograms: A sketch, outline or picture of known objects, Graphics of relative things and beings. Adding graphics to signage’s helps in relating the sign.

Text: Alphabets, alphanumeric characters are used in signages. The usage of variety of font types, font size, Font colors. The text can be country, language specific.

Fig 2: example showing signage’s by combination of the elements

These elements can be used together in various permutation and combination for a Signage Design.

There are different types of signage’s to serve variety of purpose. A signage can be to direct the person to the right information, guidance, Branding. Based on the purpose it serves, broadly signages can be:

Street/Traffic Sign: Seen in every part of the world. Used to identify traffic roads, traffic rules, types of roads.
Fig 3: Traffic Signs

Banner Sign: Banner is a flag or other piece of cloth bearing a symbol, logo, slogan or other message. Banners are used mostly for advertisement, Marketing.

Commercial,Public Places signage: These are pictorial or brief text signages used in various commercial, public places. These signage’s help to identify the required information.

Fig: 4 Signage’s example at Public Places

The Usage of the signage’s helps in finding the way, expanding the information reach beyond language and cultural barriers.

1 comment: said...

I need Help said...
How about designing something for people who cant find their way through the huge new delhi airport..