wheelchair-access-logo

In Roman Mar’s podcast Icon for Access, he talks about how there is a mad dash to get a new design for the accessibility symbol out and to the world so it can replace the one that is out of date. He describes it by saying “It’s still a white figure in a wheel chair positioned in a blue field, but the head and body are tilted forward” (5:12.) This is a great way of putting an image inside the listener’s head, recalling the original figure that is very well known and then explaining the minimal details that can make the person listening picture the new symbol in their head.

In the slate they talk about Roman’s podcast and basically outline the new logo at hand as well as explaining what ISO is and the importance of these logos. They state “the accessible icon project has created a new logo that it hopes will ultimately replace ISO standard.” Using alphabetic text as well as an image of the new logo at hand helps state the cause at hand while also showing the reader what the difference between the new and old logo is.

While both quotes have the same main purpose to tell the listener/reader about the new logo, the one from the slate article also includes an image. Though Mar’s and company do a good job of describing the new logo so the listener can picture it in their head, an image is a sure fire way to make sure the audience is 100% on the same page as you because by imagining the image there can be some difference between their image and yours if you’re not careful.

In Mar’s podcast he has several guest speakers, one of them being a man named Brendon who has a disability in which he has to speak through a computer. Brendon states “I have painted the new icon in several businesses in New Burn” (9:25.) He was made head of the operation at getting the logo out there because he was “kicking everyone else’s butts at it.” This is a great example of affordance because that quote could have been put somewhere else in the podcast or not used at all, but instead of putting a different person’s quote there he used Brendon’s.

Scrolling through the slate you see several different pictures, one of them being a group of people spray painting something on the ground. Above that image you read “Some people from the Accessible icon project have taken to altering signs with the current universal symbol of access.” Again, this is another great use of alphabetic text and images. You have the text explaining what is going on because if you just looked at the picture on its own, you might guess that these people could be painting a numerous amount of images.It also shows an example of what they mean by saying “the project has taken to altering signs.”

Both quotes mention how there are people altering the old accessibility logo, but there are still many differences between them. The podcast includes a man with a disability of his own and talking about how he has gotten the right to change the old logo in the parking lots of businesses in his town. It shows that there are people with disabilities who actually care ago changing the logo instead of it just being people with no disabilities trying to change things they presume to be for the better. Not the say that the slate is bad because it doesn’t have people with disabilities talking, it still shows people are working hard to change the symbol on their own accord, taking time and money out of their own lives in order to help change the symbol.

Of course there generally has to be a reason for people wanting to change a logo that is politically important. It’s pointed out that the original logo “guaranteed when you go out you’re going to find one of these spaces that are reserved” (3:46), but “people with disabilities and their allies found it kind of lacking” (4:03.) This gives a standard as to why people are so passionate about changing the logo, using an affordance by stating how people with disabilities as well as people who support them find the old logo lacking in such a way that makes them want to change it for the better.

Finally we have on the slate, near the end, a statement that not only tells you why this project is so passionate, but it sticks in your head as well. The author of the slate writes “having one unified icon can tell one clear story all over the world. But sometimes stories change.” Not only is this whole slate a form of circulation, a media type in order to get the word out about the changing of the accessibility logo, but this sentence alone can be its own type of affordance and circulation. It’s something that people will want to quote in order to sound profound, and when people ask where they got the quote from, they can tell them all about this article and its purpose.

Both of these quotes summarize the meaning of the article/podcast at hand. Though in my opinion I enjoy how the slate article uses such a profound way of stating their purpose, stating that stories change and making the reader think of the whole logo industry as telling a simple story in a logo. But, the podcast makes the listener understand right away that their purpose is to make the accessibility logo more friendly and makes people with disabilities happy with the symbol.

One thing I noticed that was different between the podcast and the slate affordances is that the audio seemed to be a little more diverse and friendly. Though the Slate included pictures that showed people helping the cause by changing the old logo into the new, friendlier one, it didn’t include a lot of quotes by people with disabilities and their allies. I enjoyed that some people in the audio didn’t proclaim if they had a disability or not, yet in the beginning a woman speak about how “you know you are guaranteed when you go out you’re going to find one of these spaces that are reserved.” Though she doesn’t say “I know when I go out,” it can also be implied that she is including herself when saying “you.” But, it can be implied in such a way that she isn’t talking about herself and instead “you” refers to anyone who drives, disability or not, they can see parking spaces that have the universally known symbol for accessibility. In text it’s easy to get away with simple descriptions of a person or symbol because you can easily just put an image in your text. Though it also takes skill knowing when you should or shouldn’t include an image and what type of image you should include. The writer of the slate could have included many symbols to make their point of what a universally known symbol is, but instead they include one image that has a bunch of symbols on it. But, both resources go full circle by talking about a universal logo and what it is in the beginning and then making a small joke at the end about the universal logo for poison, making a full circle. The only difference is that with the podcast, the listener just sees the image in their head while with the slate, the author put an image of this logo for the reader to see.

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