Appropriate Signage Works Wonders

Published: June 25, 2010

To really prevent a crime or keep unauthorized persons out of restricted areas, you have to begin by grabbing their attention. Signs can be very effective tools for accomplishing that task if they are designed to be noticed.

Architects often create signs that blend with the environment. They see signs as objects that distract from the beauty of their design. Unfortunately, distracting and drawing attention is exactly what a sign must do to earn its keep. 

The photo above shows an architecturally correct sign. Unfortunately the sign’s ability to blend in prevents it from preventing non-emergency use of the emergency exit door. The sign below shows signage designed to capture attention. It is large, with contrasting colors and it mounts directly to the door. The attention grabbing power of this sign is supplemented by a virtual barrier; the striped markings below the door. Even persons who walk while staring at their feet will have their attention shifted to the posted restrictions.

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Signs, like the ones in the last photo, can be used to draw attention to other prevention features, such as video surveillance cameras, increasing their deterrent effect. Signs drawing attention to video systems should avoid language that promises more than the system can deliver. Cautions like “activities may be recorded,” will generally do the job without encouraging litigation.

 

 

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Strategy & Planning Series
Strategy & Planning Series
Strategy & Planning Series
Strategy & Planning Series