New York City adopts new International Symbol of Accessibility


84 Responses to “New York City adopts new International Symbol of Accessibility”

  1. G3 says:

    Very cool. And while we’re at it let’s try the metric system again. Please.

  2. vrplumber says:

    Sir Mix-A-Lot approves.

  3. oasisob1 says:

    The children at play icon needs changing to, to represent the more backward-leaning, controller-holding child of today.

  4. agonist says:

    It kind of looks like a Cubist goatse to me but whatever makes people happy.

  5. Marja Erwin says:

    But will this bring a commitment to accessibility?

    Maybe we could use different symbols for different aspects of accessibility and exclusion: for blind people, for deaf people, for dyspraxic people, for epileptic people, for sensory defensive people, etc.

    • Andrew Singleton says:

      Or how about we actually take real steps to ensure people can get around and live in non-metropolitan areas by getting a non-crap public transit system?

      We fix that suddenly you have a crapton of people able to get to and from work that wouldn’t without begging/bumming rides.

  6. Ivor Williams says:

    This is universally a good thing. 

    The second wheel behind the front is not, should be removed for legibility.

    • TheMudshark says:

      Yes, it makes absolutely no sense in terms of consistent design (or “Formsprache” to introduce the appropriate German term for lack of an English one).

      • CaptainPedge says:


        • TheMudshark says:

          I think it doesn´t really convey the same meaning as Formsprache, which means “form language”. Maybe that´s actually a term that can be used in English. I´m not sure, it doesn´t seem to have the same meaning in the context of design as the German word does.

          • knappa says:

            You may be looking for “semiotics”

          • Tynam says:

            Close, but doesn’t convey the same sense – semiotics is much broader than “Formsprache”.  “Iconography” is also close, but too narrow – it doesn’t convey the sense of graphic design consistency.

        • robotmonkeys says:


    • Michael Rosefield says:

      No, it does make visual sense.

      The person in the wheelchair has clearly been pushed away from us.

    • Hanglyman says:

       I agree. Are they going so fast they’re leaving a speed blur? Is the wheel facing away from the viewer twice as large? Do the wheels have monster truck tires around them? The logo is fine, but the extra circle looks out of place.

      • extra88 says:

        They’re going up on one wheel like the General Lee.

      • benher says:

        I was gonna say poppin’ a wheely.

        Replacing 1000s of signs with a kinder gentler image is a sweet gesture and all, but concrete efforts to make the city more accessible for the physically challenged would be a better use of those tax dollars.

  7. flaggday says:

    The idea sounds reasonable, but the actual design is a lot busier and less clear than the standard design in use.

    And while I understand that they think it means “people with disabilities can still be really active!” it also kind of says “this parking space is for cool, mediagenic disabled people who used to be athletes and then were in an accident but still compete in alternative sports, not for all those other chumps with a slightly different disability”.

    • Yes it would be nice to have had the old design in the article to compare, but this one is harder to decipher, for me, as well. For people who are visually disabled, such as the elderly, this would seem to be less accessible.

  8. Mike Guerrero says:

    It’s vaguely reminiscent of the logo for the Paralyzed Veterans of America…

  9. Martin Greve says:

    To me, the second wheel makes it look like its falling/fallen over to me. It is still readable as something wheelchair-related, though, but I agree that it looks a bit over-dynamic. I realise the need for people with a handicap to assert themselves, but outside the world of sports, most pictographics are fairly placid: People are walking or standing, not running.

  10. SomeGuyNamedMark says:

    It is biased against slow wheelchair users

  11. bfarn says:

    Agreed! Falling over and tumbling out of the chair. My brother’s wheelchair only looks like this when something very very bad is happening.
    There was something kind of stately about the old symbol.

  12. oscar says:

    I’m all for updating that symbol, but that double wheel thing is so bizarre. This one is much better, and is freely available:

    • G3 says:

      I think that is actually the icon for the episode when Dwight is working at his desk on that exercise ball and Jim stabs it with scissors.

  13. beb says:

    When a sign has to be explained before it can be comprehended it has failed as a sign. Personally, it did not look like a person in a wheelchair at all.

    • benher says:

      I agree completely. It looks like the person on the sign is careening over one of the cities fine pot holes.

  14. weatherman says:

    This is a design failure. There are other examples of “leaning forward” and dynamic wheelchair symbols that aren’t such a visual mess as this.

  15. Brainspore says:

    Also puzzled by the double-wheel thing. It doesn’t even really imply forward motion.

  16. KaiBeezy says:

    hermit crab playing volleyball?

  17. Marja Erwin says:

    Is there some kind of offset and chain between the wheel for the hands and the wheel for the ground?

  18. KaiBeezy says:

    stripper emerging from a giant oreo?

  19. KaiBeezy says:

    child sucked into airplane toilet?

  20. KaiBeezy says:

    dreadful deli slicer accident?

  21. Carver says:

    I’m not sure I understand what was wrong with the original in the first place.

  22. wygit says:

    I still want to know why public restrooms are segregated for people wearing capes and people not wearing capes.

  23. imag says:

    It is extremely odd that after all the discussion of a new symbol, they chose a design that is based entirely on a wheelchair user who has full use of his or her arms.  Many do not, including two people in my office.  I’m not sure this will be a pleasant reminder to those folks.

    • Boundegar says:

      Furthermore, the person appears to be alive, which could be insensitive to the feelings of the dead. What is really needed is an icon of a person who has every “different ability” all at once. Until that day, signage is a form of oppression.

  24. Stay_Sane_Inside_Insanity says:

    I don’t know why we need special parking spaces for people with ion drive propulsion units installed in their asses — they can just fly everywhere! 

  25. Dave Pease says:

    i’m happy they’re enthusiastic about it, but for reasons that many have already mentioned this is an awful logo.

    • Brainspore says:

      And at least one other reason: unlike the old logo and most other variants, this one won’t work as a stencil. Good luck with marking all those parking spaces.

  26. Johnny Come Lately says:

    While I enjoy the dynamic element of the new logo, this is the definition of a solution looking for a problem.

  27. Drew Griffith says:
    What about for the majority of “wheelchairers” I see?

  28. Elliott C Bäck says:

    I was afraid for a moment, that the actual signs would have such poor anti-aliasing, but clicking through to the main article showing a printed sign has convinced me.  These are pretty great!

  29. Darron Moore says:

    Dude, that guy’s balls are gigantic.

  30. Andy Simmons says:

    That poor person appears to be in the process of being devoured by a giant yo-yo.

  31. Thebes42 says:

    Looks to me like the guy is having some serious problems with his toilet…

  32. pjcamp says:

    I admire any symbol that can take a corner on one wheel.

  33. looks like a yoyo with an tangled cord

  34. Curmudgeon says:

    It looks like a sign for a disabled emergency exit.

  35. cstatman says:

    really?   no one??/ no one mentioned how much this looks like DRI?

  36. Blob Dhobbs says:

    Looks like a big balled man (Elephantiasis?) reaching around for a wipe. Can’t wait to see what they come up with in twenty to twenty-five years to replace this and all the negative associations it has gathered.

  37. Rob Wheeler says:

    Hey! Hey! He’s tipping over! Somebody help him! Wait…are we supposed to let him be independent right now? 

  38. I’m in a wheelchair and the new symbol with the arms arched up way behind only reminds me of the torture my poor rotator cuff has endured over the years, so much so that I now use a motorized chair!

    icon fail…

  39. TheOven says:

    Was the previous one unclear? This new one is.

  40. duncancreamer says:

    Wait, which one did they choose? That article has at least 3 different new logos. 

  41. duncancreamer says:

    This is teh logo I think they plan to use – well, the one on the shirt seems different than the one on the sign. Either way, not too legible.

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