Just how much power does design have? I have already argued that it is a language, a means of communication, and even a conversation. But I recently ran across this article that suggests that design is even used to solve the problems of the world.
Graphic designers create signs all the time. For example, all of the street signs and highways signs have all been designed for the purpose of communicating and informing drivers and travelers. But in 2004, a group of graphic designers noticed that a change in font on the highway patrol signs could increase “legibility” and “reaction times.” Because of this, the Federal Highway Administration authorized the switch from Highway Gothic to Clearview. According to the article, this change improved the reading distance especially at night by an additional 80 feet. There was also a significant 14 percent increase in legibility by elderly drivers. Just by changing the simple font of these highways signs, and thanks to graphic designers, driving on the highway was made safer than ever before.
Design has the power to solve problems, and it even has the power to improve human lives. Because design is everywhere in our modern day world, we can always be impacted by it—for better or for worse. Technically this article would be a basic example of design impacting the world for better, and hopefully more often than not, that is the case. Because after all, is that not one of the most important intentions of designers? Designing to make the world a better place.