The Corps manages 12,000 miles of navigable waterways and hundreds of lakes. Within most Corps projects is a river or lake used for conservation, recreation, and commerce. Water recreation accidents and deaths often occur because people are faced with unfamiliar conditions. We developed signs to visually warn visitors about hazards and instruct them about safe and proper use. Our signage program is credited with annually reducing deaths from drowning by seventy-five percent (375 lives saved annually) and with multi-million dollars in savings from tort claims and related costs.
Through a design/research program that included legal analysis of color development, human-factors design, and systematic approach to design, we developed a visual communications system that would help prevent accidents and save lives. After five years of development and testing, this system has been implemented by the Corps. Meeker & Associates managed the team, which included designers, admiralty attorneys, human-factors engineers, a research ophthalmologist, structural engineers, and graphic materials manufacturers.
Signage for navigation lock
Signage for high-head reservoir and powerplants with frequent dangerous discharge in tailwaters