Depending on where you live, you’ve probably been in lockdown for two or three months, and have learned the new normal of social distancing. Some experts say we should be in lockdown indefinitely until a COVID-19 vaccine is available, while others want to override that caution due to the practicalities of family and paying the bills (and concern over civil liberties). In an attempt to strike a balance, society has started the tentative and incremental return to “normal”.
During this whole experience, I’ve been intrigued to see how signage has evolved in response to the situation. In mid-March my husband and I shopped together at our local grocery store. I think we got the very last shopping cart available, and soon discovered that the pasta, paper product, and baking aisles were bare (as though locusts had swept through). We waited for an hour to check out, with all of us shoppers crammed in line with our baskets and others who attempted to shop around us.
It didn’t take long for essential business and stores to respond to the new situation, with a whole host of guidelines and practices. Small batches of shoppers were allowed into the store at one time, one-way aisles were implemented, some products were rationed or only available at the Service counter. Signs were used to convey information to customers about what was expected, for both crowd control and health.
Signs can be an important vehicle of information, and an important part of our lives. A good sign is straightforward and easy to read.