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Symbol Standardization – And Why You Don't Need to Reinvent the Wheel

Posted by Erin Earley on 19th Nov 2012

To effectively communicate safety, the importance of graphical symbols really can't be overstated. Symbols are able to catch a viewer's attention and engage them in a way that word messages alone can't. And, they're able to communicate across language barriers, an invaluable attribute in today's global workplaces and markets.

When you see a symbol, whether it's on a notice in an airport or warning on a product, at first glance, it looks simple. That's because, when it's well-designed, a symbol's end result should look simple; it should be easy for the viewer to see and understand. But, when it comes to how symbols are created – and how they come to have precise appearance and design elements – the process is anything but simple. There's a science behind symbol design. It involves the careful application and consideration of many factors: the latest global safety standards and best practice symbol design principles, as well as as complete a knowledge as possible of the symbols that have been standardized to date.

How does this apply to the symbols used on your safety signs and safety labels? Because of the fact that there are these standardized elements and components in symbols, you don't need to and should not reinvent the wheel. No matter what type of hazard message or safety information needs to be conveyed, you should let standardized symbols guide your efforts if and when a new symbol needs to be created.

Need a helping hand when it comes to the symbols to be used on your safety labels or safety signs? Here at Clarion, through our knowledge of the standards, best practice design principles, and symbols standardized to date, we can provide expert guidance. The image, below, shows a range of symbols that we've created as part of our work in helping companies to better communicate safety so risk is reduced and people are better protected from harm. For more information, visit the customization capabilities section of our website, or contact us today.

Custom Safety Symbols

Would you like to learn more about safety symbols and symbol standardization? Read the Clarion "On Your Mark" article featured in the latest issue of In Compliance Magazine. Authored by Clarion CEO Geoffrey Peckham, "On Your Mark" is a regular series of columns that explores graphical symbols and how they're used to convey safety messages. Stay tuned here on the Clarion Safety Systems blog for the next article in this series – and for more insight on best practice safety signs, labels, and markings.

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