Designing signs for children: A study of children’s drawings for safety signs

Kin Wai Michael SIU, Mei Seung Michelle LAM, Yi Lin WONG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

Abstract

Children’s drawings could give new insights into how signs should be designed for children. Safety signs in public places, such as parks and shopping malls, are sometimes not comprehensible to children. In this study we extracted children’s comments and opinions on safety sign design through their drawings. Sixty-five primary school children in Hong Kong aged seven to 12 were asked to draw 12 safety signs and their responses and drawings were then analysed. It was found that the children tended to express their ideas by drawing the signs with different human figures, symbols, environments, tangible and real objects and consequences. Some of the children’s drawings differed from the registered safety signs, which may be due to the differences between adults’ and children’s cognitive abilities and the way in which children see the world. Five suggestions are proposed to assist designers in designing safety signs for children. These suggestions serve as a starting point for the research and design of signs that consider and value the needs of end users. It is also hoped that the perspectives provided in this article can optimize the design of existing signs to increase children’s understanding. Copyright © 2015 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-123
JournalCommunication Design
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Citation

Siu, K. W. M., Lam, M. S., & Wong, Y. L. (2015). Designing signs for children: A study of children’s drawings for safety signs. Communication Design, 3(2), 106-123. doi: 10.1080/20557132.2015.1122960

Keywords

  • Safety sign
  • Sign design
  • Children

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