[Quiz Time] The Secret to Barrier-free(accessible) Signage! What Expression Should We Prioritize?

[Quiz Time] The Secret to Barrier-free(accessible) Signage! What Expression Should We Prioritize?

【This article is all about accessibility in Japan.】

Hello everyone! Today, we’re going to talk about something you see every day – “signage.” But not just any signage. We’re going to learn about barrier-free(accessible) signage that everyone can easily use, and we’ll do it through a quiz!

Barrier-free(accessible) Signage Quiz

Alright, here’s the quiz! Think carefully before answering.

Q: When considering signage, it’s preferable to prioritize [____] over text.

Did you figure it out? The correct answer is “pictures” or “images”!

So, why do we prioritize pictures over text in signage? The reason is to create signage that can be understood by people who can’t read or by children.

Let’s Look at the Reasons for Prioritizing Pictures in Detail

  1. Overcoming Language Barriers: Even if someone can’t read Japanese, they can often understand pictures, right?
  2. Easy for Children to Understand: Young children who can’t read many words yet can often understand pictures.
  3. Visual Clarity: Pictures can be understood at a glance, which is convenient when you’re in a hurry.
  4. Memorable: Pictures are often more memorable than text, making them easier to recall later.
  5. Consideration for People with Reading Difficulties: Those who struggle with reading (such as people with dyslexia) can often understand pictures more easily.

In this way, signage that uses pictures becomes more accessible to a wider range of people. This is the essence of barrier-free(accessible) design.

What About Signage Around the World?

In fact, picture-based signage is widely used around the world. For example, in places where people from many countries gather, like airports, train stations, and Olympic venues, most signage uses pictures (pictograms).

Think about the symbols used for Olympic sports. These are also designed to convey the type of sport without using words.

Let’s Think Together! Better Signage

Now, I’d like you to think about something. Remember the signage you’ve seen at school, in parks near your home, or in stores.

  • Which was used more, pictures or text?
  • If you were to create signage, what ideas could you come up with?
  • What kind of signage do you think would be easy to understand for a friend from another country or for your younger siblings?

Thinking about these things is the first step towards a barrier-free(accessible) society. It would be great if we could all work together to create a society where everyone can live comfortably.

Barrier-free(accessible) signage is one of the important elements in creating a society that’s kind to everyone. From now on, try paying attention to the signage you see around town. You’re sure to make some new discoveries!

Barrier-free(accessible) Classes for Elementary and Junior High School Students / Seminars for Companies

Barrier-free(accessible) design is essential for everyone to lead a safe and comfortable life, and it’s an important educational topic. Lahaina’s LLC and the NPO Japan Disability Idea Association offer the following services. Please feel free to contact us.

◆ Barrier-free(accessible) Classes for Elementary and Junior High School Students

Click here for details

  • Let’s make barrier-free(accessible) goods!
  • Let’s think about barrier-free(accessible) ideas together!

(Adopted by the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education’s Olympic and Paralympic Education Support Program)

Also, as developing products and services that everyone can use easily is directly linked to corporate profits, we offer the following services for companies:

◆ Barrier-free(accessible) / Universal Design Seminars and Consulting for Companies

Click here for details

Note: This article has been slightly edited from the official standards as its main purpose is to generate interest in barrier-free(accessible) design rather than provide precise information. Please check the websites of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (Japan) or relevant agencies in other countries for accurate information.

Please verify the accuracy of this article through an internet search. It’s okay if there are minor inaccuracies. Please verify whether it is generally correct or not.