Advisory Design

When writing for an advisory design, you must use graphics and language that help to portray the severity and consequences of the risks. Signal words are the tool we use to clearly inform the public.

For a warning to be appropriate, use:

  • Identify the gravity of risk
  • Describe the risk
  • Explain how to avoid it

In planning for the advisement, make sure to research the target audience and the product.  Have a thorough understanding of the product, how, when and where it is used, and all the possible risks.


  • Do not assume every consumer has the same knowledge
  • Write to the lowest level of your audience
  • Place the warning before it is needed
  • Use plain English
  • Explain anything unclear
  • Research legal warning guidelines

During design, highlight material by using these techniques:

  • Bold
  • Underline
  • Italics
  • Contrasting Colors
  • Put the content in a box

But do not:

  • overuse techniques
  • highlight excessive amounts
  • use different techniques for the same purpose
  • Capitalize entire sections or sentences

Warnings should be with their associated section, not just all in one area like the beginning (can be easily overlooked).

Examples of Warnings



2 thoughts on “Advisory Design

  1. I find this article to be very important (and an A+ for having pictures!). Advisory signs are nothing to mess with as they can save a limb, or even a life. It is important when getting an Advisory Sign out there that the proper information is being conveyed correctly. i also find it interesting they have changed the Danger High Voltage signage as I thought that was ok.

    • The hope is for a more conclusive set of signs for the world so everyone knows exactly what they mean. (Also yay for the A+)

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