18 June 2011

Facilities Warning Signs

Small warning labels created to hang
on pipes that facilities may encounter.
Our Headquarters Library branch has been undergoing a internal renovation recently. I say "internal" because what is being renovated is our air conditioning system, and for the most part, all the components of that system are hidden away in the miles of ducts, pipes and electrical systems that are hidden above our heads in the drop ceilings. The old hydraulic system is being converted into an electronic one, and that means our crack facilities team is on the job tearing out and rebuilding the behemoth that the aging system has become over the past few decades.

That brings us to my office: the design department / art room. My room is perhaps the most unique office space in the building, cobbled together over the years by knocking out an original exterior wall to create a lunch room, then divided up to create two offices, then torn apart again to create one large office, and a series of mix-n-match patchwork environmental systems to support each of those evolutions. Above my head in the drop ceiling is a tangle of pipe work like you've never seen in your lifetime (nor would want to). It is the bane of the average facilities worker's existence.

So when the facilities team worked their way to my office, they warned me in advance: "this ain't gonna be pretty." Oh, I believed it without hesitation, having seen one after another of them climb up ladders and the shelving on more than one occasion to tinker and fight with whatever entanglement is up in that ceiling.

So for the past two weeks, I've had a variety of itterations of the following scene in my office, accompanied by the jovial commeraderie of our great facilities team members. After a week or so, one of the guys asked if I could make some small labels that they could attach to a variety of pipes, indicating that they were too hot or not sturdy enough to grab, step on, or use as leverage. They wanted two signs, 20 each for the time-being, approximately 2 inches tall by whatever the length would be, determined by the words and height. I created the labels above and added the iconic black and yellow alternating angled construction stripes to it to help make it more noticeable, then laminated them after printing. They said they were perfect for what they needed. Now if I can just get them to clear on out of my garage...er...office!

Work on converting the AC system turned the art room into the "garage."


  1. Ah, just another job in the life of a graphic designer. I remember the same signs in hospitals I used to work in. Good job!

  2. Facilities signs and facilities clutter. Some things are universal!