Access Symbol Competition Winners

In January 2022, the International Union of Architects and Rehabilitation International launched an access symbol design competition.

The competition was open to architects, graphic designers to create a new international symbol of accessibility.

The winning entry by Ukrainian architect Maksym Holovko.

The winning entry features a white square embedded in a black circle. A black rectangle on the right hand side of the white square resembles an open door. The judges said it was easily recognisable, indicating openness using basic shapes.

Second and third prizes are simple and clear.

The second prize went a German graphic designer, Lena Seifert. The design of a black cross with a black dot within the arms of the cross indicated equality and inclusivity.

The third prize went to Czech architecture student Barbora Tucanova. The simple enveloping design of two curved shapes reflects some of the original wheelchair symbol.

The winning designs were submitted to the ISO/TC 145 “Graphical Symbols” working group for consideration. As at January 2024 we are still waiting for further information.

It’s been said many times that the current international access symbol is misleading. That’s because it makes people think of wheelchair users as the only people needing access considerations. However, it’s so well recognised it’s difficult to change. So we shall see if this competition works.

You can view the extensive gallery of entries to see how varied the ideas are.

Thanks to Ergonomics in Design for All Newsletter for this information.

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