The new pictogram gives off very few feelings of “hospital” though.
Back in July, RocketNews24 shared an article about how Japan will be updating its onsen symbol because the old one confused foreigners into thinking there was a “hot food restaurant” as opposed to a “hot spring location”. Mishaps like this are situations that a country should be trying to avoid as they prepare to welcome a host of foreigners for the Olympics in 2020. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Foundation for Promoting Personal Mobility and Ecological Transportation have been attempting to transform public pictograms into widely recognizable symbols that everyone can understand, no matter what language they speak. While many Japanese people were vocal about their opposition to changing the original symbol, many understood the point.
With a somewhat successful campaign under their belt, the pictogram team released their newly designed symbol for a hospital. Well, they may want to go back to the drawing board as this one isn’t being well received either.
ワダツミ (@WadatumiG) October 06, 2016
The most immediate concern is that the pictogram looks nothing like a hospital or a place where one can receive medical care. Instead, it appears to be a guy lying in his deathbed under a cross or a place where corpses are enshrined. We can’t say for certain that this new symbol gives off the right impression. Other Japanese users poked fun at the proposed mark saying that it looked like their grandpa or that the men was about to be skewered by a cross from above.
While the cross in a building is one of the most recognizable symbols for a hospital worldwide, it isn’t the only one, so coming up with a new symbol to represent a hospital isn’t that odd. The general consensus though, is that whatever symbol is eventually chosen, it should be clean, simple and not open to misinterpretation.