Subverting the Sign: The Potential of Lenticular Print Animations

F. Yauner, P.A. Rodgers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


In a world with far-reaching developments in technology our environment is full of increased risks that are no longer necessarily self-evident, which we must find ways to warn against [11]. But why do we keep looking to traditional static and analogue solutions, when a more effective solution might come from embracing subversive interactive technology? This chapter explores the potential of subversion as a technique to increase effectiveness of safety signage. The paper reflects and builds on the first author's design work in this area, which took the insight that 'safety signage is so ubiquitous it goes unnoticed' as its starting point. In the chapter we look at other industries using interaction and subversion techniques to increase penetration, brand take-up and sales, and ask whether these techniques could be applied to signs and symbols in the workplace and public space to increase safety and compliance? The chapter goes on to describe ongoing work by the first author where the focus is on subverting Fire Exit signs to create surprise through animation-based interaction to increase user-engagement. The first author's earlier fire exit sign, Signs of Life, a digital artwork, has been acknowledged for its contribution to design through its inclusion in the permanent collection of MoMA, New York. To develop this work towards realistic implementation in public spaces, the author has translated the Signs of Life project to use 'Lenticular Print technology'. Lenticular prints allow multiple images to be sliced-up and interpolated, which when mounted behind a lenticular lens can be seen one image after the other as the viewer moves past the image. This allows for animation to be created using a single mounted image and removes the stability and cost issues of digital technology, whilst maintaining the ability to use interaction through animation. This paper includes a case study that shows how lenticular print technology has been applied in hospitals to increase infection prevention and other ongoing explorations in the use of lenticular print safety signage systems are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSigns and Symbols for Workplace and Public Use
EditorsAnnie W.Y. Ng, Alan H.S. Chan
Place of PublicationNew York, NY
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2013


  • symbols
  • signs

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    Yauner, F., & Rodgers, P. A. (2013). Subverting the Sign: The Potential of Lenticular Print Animations. In A. W. Y. Ng, & A. H. S. Chan (Eds.), Signs and Symbols for Workplace and Public Use (pp. 81-94).