Universal Symbol for Radiation
“Radiation will send snakes after you, but half of them will end up making a home in a giant skull and crossbones.”

The UN, IAEA, and ISO have created and debuted a new symbol for radiation which will become the universally accepted symbol. Which begs the question, what was wrong with the old symbol? Considering the Cold War and all those Fallout Shelter signs in the basement of schools, they’ve become part of our visual landscape – for better or for worse.

If you ask me, this new sign is a bit too complicated. It’s got three separate actions and while it attempts to “tell a story”, I think it loses its affectiveness as a warning sign, or symbol. What I think they should do is put the old one right above this so if someone doesn’t know the symbol, they can take a closer look, and then the warning is revealed. Otherwise, I reckon it will get overlooked.

Props to anyone who can figure out what these signs mean:

Click for larger view

Click for larger view