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June 26, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: Sign at Oakland Airport

OaklandairportScott Souchock submits a picture taken by Brian Jones in Oakland, California:

My friend Brian Jones sent me the photo above. He commented: "For me, in person, it was hard to decipher what was to the right and what was directly out the door to the street that this sign was above."

To solve this problem most clearly would be to print "Through door to" or simply "To." on the sign.

I believe we rely on arrows maybe a bit too much. In either case, things that are through the door should have a downward pointing arrow because you're going under something.

Airports and transportation facilities in general, should have the highest quality of signs anywhere, because a lot of people coming and going are one time or infrequent users.


I think what's making this sign so difficult to decipher is that it was poorly altered at some point. I'm thinking the two items with the arrows by them aren't thru the door. It would be helpful tho to actually SEE the doorway too... and oh yeah, First! (sorry, I had to...)

Posted by: ambrocked at June 26, 2007 12:36 AM

Adding more text may help the majority, but in airports, especially large international ones like Oakland, not everyone will understand English, so unambiguous pictures are the requisite. In this photo, it seems the main problem is the remaining white arrow at the top - cover it with another blue square and problem solved. Typically, things straight ahead are designated with an arrow pointing up. If the arrow were pointing down on this sign, someone might read that as "look below this arrow" which would be another arrow to the right and Terminal 2.

Posted by: klew at June 26, 2007 01:44 AM

I think the stuff on the column on the left is straight ahead, while the stuff on the column on the right is to the right. And of course, terminal 2 is to the right.

Broken indeed- the lack of up/down arrows means that it looks like it says that everything is to the right.

Posted by: redbull47 at June 26, 2007 08:52 AM

This isn't that bad compared to the signs at Boston's Logan International Airport, the most confusing airport I've ever been to. I live in the Boston area go there like every two weeks and get lost half the time. To make it worse, there is construction everywhere and tons of detours...not to mention giant concrete panels that fall on people.

Posted by: jon at June 26, 2007 11:06 PM

Left? Right? Straight??? *crashes into nearby pillar*

Gosh, is that confusing.


Posted by: Maxaxle at June 27, 2007 08:43 PM

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