M&P : Signage pt.1

The research for this has been very interesting. From the time the professors explained this project, I knew I wanted to design a sign for the closing and opening signs in an elevator. For some reason, the sign always confuses me and I have to look at both to understand which is the opening or closing sign.


As I was researching on this, I thought of escalators and staircases as all the three are used to go from one floor to another in a building. But as I was researching, I realised that there is so much possible signage just for each one of them.

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Even for something as simple as staircases I found a variety of signs:

Staircase sign


Warning: Watch your step staircase sign

images high-warning-stairs-sign-3175

Fire/Emergency exit staircase sign

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Avoid a fall, use handrails



I also found that red and yellow were the most common for the fire exits/ caution signs but green was also used at times.



In the case of escalators, I found something vernacular which I have even spotted around Qatar a lot

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I also found signage on caution steps on an escalator



What is allowed/not allowed on an escalator

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Stand on left/middle on the escalator sign


I found this one on dogs really interesting especially since it will be a sign that we might never see around Qatar because of the context we live in.





Finally, I always find that elevators have a lot of signs.

In case of fire, do not use elevators, take stairs


Emergency sign I saw in an elevator


patients only, freight only elevator signs

ada-compliant-interior-sign-patients-only-elevator this_elevator_is_for_freight_only_no_passengers_osha_caution_sign

Out of order elevator sign


No smoking in elevator sign


I found the crush hazard really relevant for the elevator near Student Affairs because I have got squashed between the gates quite a lot of times on that elevator.








At this point in the research, I am a little confused what activity in particular do I want to focus on after realising the wide range of signs that exist in our world just for these places.

Target Audience 

My target audience : people who go up and down in a building using either elevator, escalator or staircase or children terrified of elevators, escalators and staircases 


young children under age 10/ parents or young children & parents going up and down in a building

The building may be a mall, school or hospital

20 x 20 cm square size for the sign would work very well for my sign since these need to go on a wall.

Some options are:

Elevator  – opening & closing sign in a mall, crush hazard in a university or hospital, children under age 14 not allowed alone,

Escalator – caution: watch out! in a supermarket, leaning over handrails not allowed sign on an escalator in a mall, up or down escalator

Staircase – emergency fire exit in a mall, walk slowly in school staircase, hold handrail in school

I also realised that depending on the building, the way I represent the audience will change. for example,


This research also made me think why any of these signs are necessary. One information I found was that though almost all of us are accustomed to take elevators, in an emergency stairways are definitely the safer way to exit.

Also, as a child I used to be terrified of escalators and I still know people who are terrified of elevators and maybe the signs would help to make you feel more safe as long as you do not do the things that are marked not to be done.

We broke down into groups so we could discuss our ideas and narrow down to one idea. After we had the group discussion, I decided that my audience is people who are terrified of escalators and how to convince them to use the escalator. At the moment I really can’t picture anything but hopefully I might come up with something once I start sketching.

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