Cross-cultural differences in symbols

Toilet symbol in AsiaAt the moment I am in Singapore conducting cross-cultural research on visualization, and -beside experimenting – I’ve also been hunting for differences in the use of visualization around the city.

Despite Singapore is quite western, and English is the major language, I noticed a consistent use of visualization on packaging instructions and posters explaining rules of behaviors. This might be due to the fact that there are 4 national languages, and not everybody understand English (new immigrants or older folks), so vignettes are an effective way to communicate across language differences.

Here’s a picture I took in Chinatown, the toilet sign! 😉

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