Safety Signs Blog

The Language of Safety Signs

12th November 2014 |


What goes into the design of safety signs? Our new infographic will show you.

Keeping safe in the workplace is not easy. There is a lot to remember, as you might have a new set of safety procedures and equipment for every area of your office or different piece of equipment. This is where good signage comes in.

Employees rarely have to wrack their brains for safety information, because they already know it from the signs hung around the workplace. But why do these signs work so well? What makes them so effective at warning us of dangers and making sure we are aware of safety procedures?

Our new infographic explains all this. Safety signs are designed using something called 'semiotics': the science of how symbols, colours, shapes and text affect us in different ways. This is used to make signs immediately recognisable, while keeping the information on them easy to digest.

There is a semiotic reason behind every aspect of safety signage, from why warning signs are red to what shape a fire escape marker should be. The infographic explains all of these, giving you an idea as to why safety signs are laid out the way they are.

The infographic will take you through the colours of safety signs, looking at why red, yellow, blue and green are all used for different purposes. We will look at the shape of signs, as well as the history of the shapes and symbols used on them.

Some safety symbols are universal, having been in practice for thousands of years, while others are fairly new. The running man on the 'fire escape' sign, for example, has only been used since the 1980s. The challenge faced by sign designers was making sure it was clear what this symbol meant.

Semiotics was, of course, the key to this. Our infographic will explain how this and many other signs were designed to be as effective as possible. This in turn will help you use them in the best, most sensible way so your workplace signs have the greatest effect and help prevent accidents from occurring.

The infographic will help you better understand safety in the workplace, as well as giving you an interesting insight into semiotics in general. Why not give it a look, and feel free to share it to spread the word about exactly why safety signs work so well!



The Language of Safety Signs




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