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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Breaking news: Waterloo International Signage is Rubbish.

spot the signage.

IT’S a nice modern idea, but it doesn’t work. It keeps the platform ceiling light and airy, and the trains decal-free, but putting the carriage numbers on the floor is nothing short of confusing.

In case you haven’t noticed, signs around the world are either on something to tell you what it is, or above the crowd pointing you in the right direction.

I’m not saying the signage at Waterloo International Eurostar completely ignored the concept of putting signs up high where everyone can see them and expect them to be. While each individual train carriage has its very own sign on the floor next to it, every 2 to 5 carriages, there is a sign that lets you know which carriages lie ahead. However, not noticing the floor signage and seeing “Carriages 5 – 8 [up arrow]” made me think my carriage, 5, would be a bit further up. Before I know it I’m being eyeballed by high salary city-types. Oh right, I’ve gone too far and I’m in the world of upper class. Turns out my carriage was right next to the sign telling me it was up there. Eh?

Now, I did only get 2 hours of sleep last night, and security took the coffee I just bought off me when I got to the x-rays, but I’m not the only one who was there asking the chap with a permanent look of, “can’t you count, you fucking idiot?” on his face, where to go.

[Ooh! We’re in the tunnel! This never gets old.]

Basically, I’m just wondering why they didn’t stick to the old system while still making it all modern and eurotronic. You know, crack out the DIN Mittelschrift and slap it on the carriages, have it laser-etched into brushed aluminum on overhead signs, hung from posts reminiscent of the Southwark Council area signs from those wires the cool Ikea ceiling lamps have?

Perhaps King’s Cross will get it right.

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