Why Visual Sign is important during COVID-19 Pandemic?

By : Siti Hartinah Ahmad

Business Process Improvement Consultant/ Lean Sigma Trainer/Process Engineering Professional

In this situation of uncertainty where people are still struggling to understand the nature of Covid-19 virus, we must find out the best preventive actions to slow down the infection rate, to save more lives. The authorities persevere to keep a good track for a reduced number of cases. They generate and review all the health procedure related to Covid-19 disease. Resources are engaged to enhance people’s awareness.   Whilst campaigns are continuously carried out at any types of social media and advertising method, not to mention some of public visual signs.

During pandemic, we can imagine how visual sign contributes to reduce the spread of viruses as it touches base to people who do not relate directly to a formal health procedure as their guidance or reminder.  Number of 65% most people who are visual learners could be a reason why visual sign is still important.

A Visual sign communicates ideas between creators and their users. It mediates  the idea of first party e.g. organizer, government, management team,  schools, hospitals, public transports, not to mention by individual to another party either customers, societies, employees, students, patients, passengers, or in general it is mentioned as users, the targeted people.  People see how visual sign plays an important role in public area, it eases and guides us to comply the sign’s content, thus first party can attain their purpose and expectation. Visual Sign elevates something the way it is.  It is lifeless but powerful as if it talks meaningfully. In my opinion, visual sign is one foundation of our daily lives that ease an activity or a process how it must be followed, as most of the time, we are users of many activities.

People realize how a visual sign facilitates us to find out a way of particular actions needed to be addressed and being followed. It can be discovered easily at home, in the office, public service area, transportation, hotel, any places that people are in. Visual sign is very fundamental for safety and healthy guidance, as it relates with the lives of people. People find visual actions in various  designs; a simple as one emoji, universal icons, a recognizable logo of a broken glass, one big letter of “P”, a short and aggressive word of “Danger!”,  a detail map of posted lay out, an awareness ribbon of black and yellow or others meaningful ribbon’s colors, not to mention the collaboration of words and pictures construct a detail visual sign. Most visual signs should be fairy understandable, and they are truly intuitive as they should be ‘transparent’ to someone who never seen it before.  Some of the visual signs are a global standard which people understand it easily at any places.

Visual Sign applies all creativity, many people involve artistic features when it is created. It is allowed as long as people not to fail the focus of what it is intended for, therefore a visual sign is designed in the perspective of users.  Most of people only focus on an eye-catching, attractive, simple, explicit and understandable sign instead of fancy or sophisticated one as  they only have a glance at it, just have it in few seconds as they pass by,   please bear in mind  not to lose the focused idea of a visual sign. And this is the reason why the originator should not fail those important aspects. Another aspect  is the consideration where a visual sign should be located for people to discover it extremely fast, therefore it is emphasized to locate the sign at an appropriate place, in a proper lay out, for the right purpose. Most of visual signs link to a main idea which is stated in a standard procedure. As visual sign is also a life document, hence it is allowable to change, edit, or remove it based on necessity. There should be a review on visual sign, as it refers to the parameter or measurement that could be a trigger why it is created.

In the correlation with Covid-19 pandemic situation, that visual sign plays an important role to prevent the spread of the virus as one of reminder method. It is the authorities’ who cascade down the standard health procedure into visual signs.  Those visual signs must be able to communicate a basic requirement for people’s compliance during Covid-19 pandemic.  It reminds and intensifies people to be disciplined to reduce the spread of disease at almost certain places, therefore it results in reduced number of infections during this full-fledged global pandemic.  I share some pictures of Covid-19 visual signs, people globally must understand those signs as most frequent signs either depict a face mask, a hand sanitizer, or a social distancing illustration.  They are the visual signs which were taken from one of beautiful city in Europe, Budapest. During Covid-19 pandemic situation, local tenants of shopping malls, restaurants and cafes tenants, the authorities of public transportation have displayed those visual signs as part of contribution to support the government’s campaign to reduce the spreading of Covid-19 virus in Hungary.

Some of the visual signs are still being maintained as it is now a new normal condition. Everybody is familiar with this new phenomenon, yet they still need to be reminded of new standard, e.g. wearing face mask and keep a social distancing, though some of the signs can be removed. It is part of visual sign’s review as it is a life document. The authorities keep continuously review based on the measurement, in this situation is number of Covid-19 cases.

In summary, a good visual sign requires:

  1. Idea to be shared or communicated
  2. Linkage to the main standard procedure
  3. Eye-catching, simple, and explicit (illustrate your creativity)
  4. Appropriate placement or lay out
  5. Review based on measurement

Let us personally contribute by conforming standard visual signs at any places we are, empower ourselves, stay safe and healthy!

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