The sign on the left is familiar to Americans, but other countries think it is a horrible design, preferring the green running man on the right or a variation of it. Julia Turner of Slate has an in-depth article on the 25-year international fight over exit signs. It's one of a terrific six-part series about sign history and design.
Fans of Ota's running man point to two key advantages: It's a pictogram, and it's green. The sign's wordlessness means it can be understood even by people who don't speak the local language. And the green color, they argue, just makes sense. Green is the color of safety, a color that means go the world over. Red, on the other hand, most often means danger, alert, halt, please don't touch. Why confuse panicked evacuees with a sign that means right this way in a color that means stop? International designers tend to think our system is illogical and consider our rejection of the running man to be as dumb as our refusal to adopt that other sensible international norm, the metric system.
Are the running-man advocates right? This battle over the exit sign has been brewing for 25 years now, and the little green guy is slowly making inroads in the States. But to understand whether he should triumph, we must first understand America's skepticism toward pictograms and symbols, which have long been more popular in the rest of the world than they are here.
The Big Red Word vs. the Little Green Man: The international war over exit signs
“Silence Is Not an Option”
“I Cannot Remain Silent,” former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen writes in an Atlantic op-ed today, “Our fellow citizens are not the enemy, and must never become so.”
In this video, you can see Donald Trump appearing to ask First Lady Melania to ‘smile’ during today’s fascist photo op. Nah, man, you have to pay extra for that.
Even though life is emerging following our COVID-19 lockdown, it’s not exactly time to celebrate defeating the insidious virus just yet. CDC officials warn that once a resurgence of the virus hits this winter, it could prove even more disastrous for the U.S. healthcare system than the opening salvo. That would follow the pattern suffered […]
When you were 10 and your mom demanded you finish your vegetables or go to your room, you were mad. Even as kids, we hated it when we were ordered to do something. Car insurance is a federal mandate, yet that’s only one of the reasons why most Americans would rather do just about anything […]
We all know the drill. As the overlords of the smartphone and tablet markets, the braintrust at Apple very seldom hold sales on their signature devices. So rather than spending almost $1,000 on a brand-new iPad Pro, the folks in Cupertino are instead giving you the opportunity to score one for about a third of […]