Elements of Aircraft Safety Card Design

As a passenger, aircraft safety can be just as pertinent to you as it is to the pilots and crew. Understanding where the exits are, what to do in an emergency, as well as what is and is not allowed is important to maintain the safety of everyone. For guidance and instruction, the aircraft safety card has all the information you need and is easily available at your seat at any time. They are a requirement for every commercial flight all around the world, and their design and implementation has constantly evolved since their inception.

When designing a safety card, the most important factor lies in their understandability. From layout to color, every element plays an important part in a passenger’s retention. As there is an expansive amount of information that must be conveyed in a limited amount of space, clarity and efficiency of information is crucial. Many cards implement a grid layout to consolidate information in an easy and uniform method that is both pleasing and structured, rather than cluttered.

Color also plays a major role in comprehension and is an important component to consider when designing. Many cultures have ingrained connotations for various colors, whether it is significance, specific emotions, or other inherent meanings that we derive from them. Because of this, limiting color palettes and choosing specific items and illustrations to color can be a sure way to let passengers know what they should focus on with little hindrance due to perceived meanings of colors. Even if an airline implements a diverse palette, having distinct contrast between what is and is not important can be just as effective while still promoting a brand and creating an interesting card

Illustrations can also be just as important as the text of a flight safety card. A good illustration should be capable of conveying meaning and instruction of a rule or procedure without accompanying text. This can aid in understanding, retention, and benefit those who may be limited in the displayed language. Cards may also utilize different styles in a way that may help the reader find the card more engaging.

Since the 1980’s, flights have also found that having instruction videos can help improve safety procedure retention in lieu of focusing on safety cards and pre-flight instruction. These videos act as short movies, often promoting an airline brand while still remaining informative of rules and procedures. They may also feature humor or recognizable figures, often to aid passengers in their attention and retention. Nevertheless, the aircraft safety card still remains a staple of commercial flight that continues to develop over the years.


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