The War Over Exit Signs

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Word vs Icon. Which will win?

Should the US ditch the classic red “exit” sign and replace it with a green man? There are arguments both for and against. For the red:

The contrast between the letters and the background renders it highly legible, the illumination stresses the importance of the message, and the color is evocative of both fire and fire-safety devices (fire extinguishers, fire engines, fire alarms, and the like).

But in other parts of the world, pictograms rule. The “running man” sign was designed by Yukio Ota and adopted internationally for exits a quarter century ago!

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?

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Trapped for 41 Hours in an Elevator

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_bMhNI_TY8[/youtube]

Scary! Very scary!

The longest smoke break of Nicholas White’s life began at around eleven o’clock on a Friday night in October, 1999. White, a thirty-four-year-old production manager at Business Week, working late on a special supplement, had just watched the Braves beat the Mets on a television in the office pantry. Now he wanted a cigarette. He told a colleague he’d be right back and, leaving behind his jacket, headed downstairs.

 

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