How was the biohazard's mark designed?

ByTony Webster

A disaster caused by leakage of harmful substances such as bacteria and virus from the laboratory and hospital to the outside is called "Resident Evil(Biological disaster) ", and a symbol mark is issued to warn about the presence of harmful substances. A radio program "99% Invisible" talking about design and architecture explains how this symbolic mark was made.

Biohazard: Iconic Symbol Designed to be "Memorable but Meaningless" - 99% Invisible

Prior to the unification of the biohazard symbol marks, marks indicating the presence of hazardous substances existed like mountains, scientists had to deal with every mark when using dangerous samples. For example, in the first half of the 20th century, the US Army Research Institute used a blue inverted triangle, the US Navy a pink rectangle, and international mails marked white canes and snakes in purple ground. So in 1966, chemical manufacturersDow · ChemicalCharles L. Baldwin who works for the company and Robert S. Runkle of the National Institute of Health (NIH)(PDF file)Papers on biohazard's markTo Science in the science magazine and announced the symbol of the biohazard that was to be adopted all over the world today.

In establishing the symbol marks, radioactive contamination and biological hazards are hardly visible and tasteless odorless, so it was very difficult to symbolize the danger. Also, in order to warn of the presence of dangerous microorganisms, viruses, and toxins, it was necessary to create marks with high visibility. Dow · Chemical is concerned that "Because the marks indicating danger are not unified, it is highly likely that the experimenter will be hit by dangerous substances." In order to deal with this problem, internal engineers and designers jointly Started working on unified marks, we first decided the following six criteria to create a symbol mark.

· Shapes that can call attention
· Unique and clear shape which is difficult to confuse with other symbol marks
· Easy to recognize, easy to remember shape
· Easily copyable
· Symmetrical design easy to see visually from any angle
Design accepted by various ethnic groups

Based on the above six conditions, the Dow and Chemical team made candidates for Mark, and conducted a test to select "Design that is easy to remember and meaningless". In response to the interview, Mr. Baldwin says, "We were looking for a design that is easy to remember in memory and not meaningful, because people can get used to the meaning of Mark."

In the test, we first offered 6 kinds of candidate for biohazard symbol marks for 300 citizens of 25 cities, and furthermore, we showed the character of craft foods ·Mr. PeanutAnd the fuel brandTexacoWe showed 18 famous marks including star mark, shell oil, red cross, and national chapter of Nazis. Participants answered the meaning of each mark, and the project team scored the meaning of the mark based on the answers. After another week, about the total of 60 kinds of marks, 24 kinds of original marks created by the project team and 36 kinds of existing marks, asked participants "Which marks saw one week ago", based on the answer "Mark rememberability" was scored.

It was the mark that combines the circle in a three-leaf type that recorded the high score because it is the easiest to remember among the six types of candidates and the meaning does not overlap with other marks. Although this mark seems to be a complex design at first sight, it is somewhat difficult to copy it to a door or a box, but it is possible to draw with only a straight ruler and a compass.

Also, because it is a three-way symmetrical design, there is also a merit that it is easier to recognize even if you put the box upside down.

The symbol of the selected biohazard was made with emphasis on the point that it is not similar to existing symbol marks. However, it is one of the family crests in Japan, and Kabuki actor'sMr. Bando BandoFamily crest "Three large letters(Mitsui Dajiji) "has been pointed out that it has a form very similar to the biohazard mark.

In addition, the biohazard mark was invented several decades agoRadioactive labelThere are also indications that shapes are similar to. Radioactive labeling was made at the University of California at Berkeley as a mark showing X-ray equipment, laser treatment equipment, particle accelerators and so on.

The radiolabel is a very simple design that shows that radiation emanates from the central atom, but there are shields similar in design to the ancient Roman era (lower right in the image).

Mr. Baldwin and Runkle argued in the paper that "to use the biohazard symbol marks for equipment, containers, rooms, substances, laboratory animals to show the substantial and potential dangers of biohazard, I defined the word hazard as "an infectious agent that poses direct and indirect risks to humans." The US military biological laboratory, the Department of Agriculture and the National Institute of Health consulted about the use of Mark over a six-month period and the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) adopted the mark In the United States, the three-leaf type symbol mark spread as a mark showing the danger of biohazard.

However, as the mark became more prevalent, bags and accessories with biohazard marks appeared, ironically even the original effect of "warning about dangerous substances and saving lives" began to fade away.

Therefore, in order to classify hazardous substances in CDC, a new four-stageBiosafety LevelWas enacted.

Biosafety Level 1:Hazardous substances that do not affect healthy people. The laboratory is always locked, only stakeholders can enter, and eating and drinking in the facility is basically prohibited. There is no need to isolate the facility itself.
Biosafety Level 2:There is a possibility that a human being is infected, but it can be handled in the laboratory. Attention is required when entering or exiting the facility or when using sharp objects.
Biosafety Level 3:Dangerous substances that may cause serious illness or death if inhaling. Protective clothing is essential for handling, room to store material is aseptic room and carpet banned. Floor, wall, window, door must be sealed.
Biosafety Level 4:Hazardous substances that give life to human beings, vaccines and treatments do not exist. Human with advanced training needs to wear high pressure suit and handling it, you must remove pollutants through an airtight doorway when entering the room.

Thanks to the establishment of the biosafety level, researchers have come to be able to handle dangerous substances without being confused with everyday biohazard marks.

in Science,   Design, Posted by darkhorse_log