I've always thought about collecting these but my slight fear of stewardesses has always kept me from slipping safety cards into my carry-on. Are they complimentary like the in-flight magazine? Or if I take one, will the next person who later sits in my seat have an unsafe experience? Understandable in any language, safety cards are an overlooked underground art. Thankfully, collected here is a wonderful international history of these laminated gems, dedicated to save your life and that of the child sitting next to you. Very informative with great illustratations throughout.
Recommended by Amy
Synopses & Reviews
Design for Impact
is a loving, if occasionally wry, look at the colorful, quirky safety cards that air travelers inevitably encounter but usually stuff away behind their in-flight magazines. With a lively text that entwines graphic and aviation history, it traces the evolution of these icons of universal design from the kitschy pamphlets created for Pan-Am's Flying Clipper in the 1930s to the simple, plasticized pictograms used on today's jumbo jets.
Removed from their seatbacks and gathered together here for the first time, the cards of Design for Impact offer a humorous primer on a most basic and urgent form of visual communication.
You know you're supposed to review it, although few of us do, and it is there for your own protection in the "unlikely event," in every seatback on every airliner from every country throughout the world: the laminated safety card. Yes, these colorful works of universal illustration all answer the same basic questions Where's that life vest? How does the oxygen mask work? Where's the closest exit? but every plane and every airline has its own unique system of graphic shorthand to communicate quickly and across language barriers. Design for Impact
is a compendium of the most interesting and imaginative of these airline safety cards, from the earliest booklets created for planes like the 1930s Pan-Am Flying Clipper to the simple pictograms used on today's jumbo jets.
This wryly humorous primer ("Gentlemen should loosen their ties before impact" counsels a 1960s British Air card) on the most basic and urgent form of visual communication inlcudes cards from planes like the De Havilland Comet, the Lockheed Constellation, the DC-3, the Boeing 727, and the Concorde, along with airlines such as BOAC, Eastern, Air France, Ghana Air, Lufthansa, PAN AM, Qantas, Swiss Air, and Sudan Airlines, among many others, all reproduced at their original size. Design for Impact will appeal to both aviation buffs and information designers.
From the earliest booklets created for planes like the 1930s Pan-Am Flying Clipper to the simple pictograms used on today's jumbo jets, "Design for Impact" is a compendium of the most interesting and imaginative airline safety cards. 136 color illustrations.
About the Author
Eric Ericson and Johan Pihl are Stockholm-based graphic designers and members of the firm Der Kern.