Where can you find signage symbols? Signage Symbols for Wayfinding Identification can be found in public places and in constructed environments. It’s easy to forget the importance of using signage symbols since it’s so ordinary. But since people rely on the presence of these symbols in their everyday activities, their omnipresence is imperative to people’s ability to comprehend and guide the sphere surrounding them.

Depending on if it’s due to illiteracy, a language barrier, or disability, this dependence on symbols strongly influences signage in numerous ways. But given the fact that they are often taken for granted, how much are people really educated on symbols? In order to grasp how symbols are properly used in wayfinding solutions, we can explore the historic background of symbols, how and who creates them, and the standards associated with their installation, in regards to the healthcare industry.

Background of Symbols

Symbols are another form of language, as it’s a visual representation of objects. To give a little background information, the first pictograms or symbols in history were cave drawings. Prior to written or spoken language, pictograms served as a method of communication for ancient people. Over time, language and technology advancements developed, making travel easier leading pictograms to become important in the process of sharing information amongst other individuals.

Contemporary Symbol Usage

Though English is broadly well-thought-out to be the international business language, it is far more difficult for those influent in a common language to efficiently communicate amongst each other. In conclusion, universally known symbols can be very useful in developing a conversation in these situations. In addition, pictograms can be influential in passing on information in less fortunate countries. An example of this would be in countries with high illiteracy rates, symbols can be used to differentiate electoral candidates running in place of ballots.

How Are/Were Symbols Created?

Because the world continually grows and evolves, so does the need for new symbols. Even though symbols were created as a casual practice in the past, private design firms are now accountable for developing original sets. In conjunction with a division of the United Nations, they are required to deliver completed content to the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) for consent. ISO has published a guide for outlining certain symbols for informing the international public.

Varying Symbols in the United States

The standards for symbols vary amongst different cities and states in the United States regardless of the ISO guide. As a result, different cities and states have adopted different rules for wayfinding symbols. Nevertheless, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) doesn’t set basic rules for the appearance of nationwide signs.

Universal Hospital Symbols