March 26th, 2015

Finding the body in signage

directional arrows

How much visual communication is based on parts of the body and the gestures we make with our bodies? Fingers are an easy place to start. And arrows. Arrows are pretty abstract these days. Nobody uses a fist (or manicule: picture of a pointing hand) anymore unless they are putting on an old timey look or want to be cute. But most of the arrows in use remain reminiscent of a pointing finger.


pointing finger (fist)


Arrows on roadways, admittedly, look something like birds in flight as much as they do a crooked finger or two fingers. Other road signs, in common with the roman alphabet, reflect some of the proportions of fingers and the configurations we make with our fingers while we’re trying to get a point across.


traffic sign


fingers splayed


truck with warning pattern

Williams Trent