University of Cincinnati design students have been working on a new set of logos to guide people in clinical facilities from one place to another. Although this must be the millionth time that new medical signage has been designed, the aesthetic of these ones is definitely of a contemporary nature. As a side note to the students, we would like to point out that the first symbol is a useless one: no patient ever wonders from radiology dept or lab looking for “anesthesiology”. Plus one of our editors, an anesthesiologist, couldn’t even recognize the symbol.
The project challenge for students is straightforward but substantial: Develop symbols that could serve to guide any population – speaking any language and representing any reading or education level – to specific points in a hospital or other health-care setting. So, for instance, develop a symbol that would communicate and guide users to specific service areas: hospital admission, dental care, genetics counseling, mental health services, ophthalmology, nutrition counseling, pathology, radiology and more.
A first round of testing on the student-created symbols will begin in September 2009. That’s when students’ final symbol designs will be reviewed in a series of recognition and comprehension tests.
The symbols judged to be the best performers in terms of comprehension and recognition will then be integrated into surveys administered in pockets of language groups (both English and non-English speakers) in Cincinnati, Ohio; Kent, Ohio; and Ames, Iowa.
Finally, the symbols that “make the grade” in terms of this community user survey/testing will be made available to actual health-care settings, pilot sites already working to implement health symbols as signage.
Press release with slideshow of other logos: UC Project Goal: You Won’t Get Lost at the Hospital…