Saturday 9 December 2017

Anachronicons 1

If you look at icons and symbols in everyday use, you'll notice something strange. A few of them use old representations of a concept in order to differentiate them from similar visual elements. I call them "anachronicons". Take, for example, the speed camera UK traffic sign from The Highway Code:
Speed Camera Traffic Sign (UK)
Everyone (in the UK, at least) knows what it means, but isn't it strange that the graphic designer used the image of a late nineteenth-/early twentieth-century camera? It's not as if the sign just hasn't been updated; cameras of this form were already defunct when speed cameras (and presumably their signs) were introduced to the UK.

Tellingly, it only seems to be the UK that uses an old-fashioned camera in this way; other countries use words, radar "waves" or images of more modern cameras.

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