(Updated 3/04)
By David Gilbert

While considering changes in EXIT sign standards, our nation (and the world) has an opportunity to make a leap into the future. Consider a new, simplified EXIT sign design:

A standard chevron arrow design has already been widely agreed upon (shown below) backed by NIST research so perhaps these chevrons should be included in the new design:

The pictogram below has already been proposed as a new international design:

Suppose we could pass local, state, national, and/or international law to standardize on a design combining chevron arrows with an even more simplified "door" icon between the arrows. The drawing below features a six inch high "door" which corresponds with the old requirement for six inch "EXIT" letters. Perhaps, an even shorter, more aesthetically pleasing, door icon?á


Standardization is the key. Standardization would result in aná unparalleled learning environment. It would be the most prevalent symbol in the human environment. With such IN YOUR FACE omnipresence there is absolutely no need for overdoing it (w/the running man symbol above). EXITs could be practically invisible unless you looked for one or, heaven forbid, actually needed them to make an emergency EXIT. But, then, that is when they should come to life to save your life!

Keep in mind that direct view EXIT s (featuring point source LEDs) could be made highly visible through smoke, LEDs can be engineered to become brighter as the smoke gets thicker.

Such a design would save energy! It would save building owners up front costs! Worldwide standardization would make it widely and easily recognized. It would be futuristic and internationally recognized (no language problem).á

Architects would love it! It would fit more beautifully and less intrusively into the decor of any facility (including the Starship Enterprise). It could be standard or designed into a small, smooth, oval, be plain or expensively finished. And, being more bright and visible, it would make Luke Skywalker's emergency exits from the Death Star much easier and safer, given the good force gains control of EXITs in time :-)

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