Signs and symbols exercise – movement

Movement as in directional movement ie going from one place to another; waymarking (here are the roads and paths); controlled and permitted movement  ie. you will go this way (or not).

Back to Gerd Arntz – this is how he represents movement:

Gerd Arntz isotype - movement

Ampelmannchen and Karl Peglau’s traffic lights – snippet from Wikipedia. The Ampelmannchen was the symbolic person shown on traffic lights at pedestrian crossings in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR – East Germany).

The Ampelmännchen is a beloved symbol in Eastern Germany, “enjoy[ing] the privileged status of being one of the few features of communist East Germany to have survived the end of the Iron Curtain with his popularity unscathed.” After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Ampelmännchen acquired cult status and became a popular souvenir item in the tourism business.

Karl Peglau Proposed Traffic LightIs this true?  Also on German traffic control… the traffic lights on the left were designed so that they could easily be seen by people who were (red-green) colourblind. However, they were never put into production because they were too expensive.

21st century British leisure culture. It’s quite hard finding any directional signage in the UK that doesn’t include an arrow somewhere – either as part of the outline shape of the arms on old road signs or as symbols attached to the directional information, or just an arrow on its own.

Directional signs and the cult of the yellow arrow

I think this is how it is supposed to work at the moment… Casual footpath signage is in the process of evolving from primary colour-coded spots or blobs to uniform arrows – the lead colour is currently yellow for footpaths (visible, national uniform identity), sometimes white (cheap, practical) or green (nature, forestry, healthy living). Bridleways are blue (?open skies?). National trails are also branded with acorn symbols, and there is a whole subculture of lesser more localised trails with their own branding, some of which is quite complicated – for example the Jack Mytton Way is one I came across and puzzled over for 3 days until I got to the page in the book that explained it – and of course my image of the person, based on the sign, was way off the reality by then. Some sections of footpath have many names where several trails use the same path, and some fields have many differently named footpaths criss-crossing them in all directions – and so some signposts carry a whole array of arrows and symbols and logos.  On the collage above note another use of directional arrow (deadly electricity), on the ‘danger of death’ sign – most of these seem to be yellow when you’ld expect them to be red.  Also I’ve included a neat directional yellow roadsign depicting an arrow moving around a static object.


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