Info Glyphs, as they are commonly called, are more properly referred to as the Simplified Infoglyph Mnemonic Protocol system (S.I.M.P.). They are/were HPD&MC's revolutionary brainchild, as executed by R&D. The plan, like so many, was simple and ingenious: why bother training all those INFRARED_Citizens, most of which would never advance, to read? Reading is a complex and intricate task, and frankly many INFRARED drones just aren't up to it, and many never achieve more than the most rudimentary proficiency. Wouldn't it be simpler, it was asked, if we could devise a protocol whereby we could communciate the necessary information to them without having to teach them to read? This would have the additional benefit of cutting down on accidental treason, by preventing INFRAREDS from reading any materials they shouldn't, even were these materials to be left around where they could find them.
Thus was born S.I.M.P., and thus, the Info Glyph. A given communication was fitted into a system of communication categories, and each category was assigned a corresponding shape. Thus, the shape of the label indicated the type of information it contained, while the symbols inside the label transmitted the necessary message. I've selected some examples for the edification of my colleagues unfamiliar with the system:
http://home.comcast.net/~brawdymchwil/star.gif The Star label indicates message category "Alert". Here, the label clearly alerts people to the presence of radiation in the area.
http://home.comcast.net/~brawdymchwil/circle.gif The Circle label indicates message category "Property". Thus, this label indicates that the relevant object is the property of a Reactor Control Team.
http://home.comcast.net/~brawdymchwil/nonagon.gif The Nonagon label signifies message category "Warning". A "Warning" differs from an "Alert" only in severity: while a "Warning" indicates steps should be taken to avoid the relevant circumstance, an "Alert" merely implies that there's something the viewer might want to be aware of. Here, the label warns of a possible Spontaneous Combustion Hazard, probably for a foodstuff.
http://home.comcast.net/~brawdymchwil/octagon.gif The Octagon is intended for message category "Instruction". In this case, the label tells citizens to stay behind the line; this almost certainly was intended for a PLC depot, although I imagine it would be used in briefing rooms as well.
http://home.comcast.net/~brawdymchwil/septagon.gif The Septagon means message category "Forbidden". "Registered Mutants Not Allowed!" screams this Info Glyph, a useful warning for high-security areas where these admitted traitors should not be permitted.
http://home.comcast.net/~brawdymchwil/hexagon.gif The Hexagon indicates message category "Contains". Intended for shipping crates, bottles, bags, and the like, this label lets us know this container holds lightbulbs and replacement limbs!
http://home.comcast.net/~brawdymchwil/pentagon.gif The Pentagon label signifies message category "Public Announcement", and was intended for large-scale displays. Here, all citizens are told, "Fire!". The choice of a Pentagon label (as opposed to a Star or Nonagon) in this instance suggests a "Remain calm, continue about your business" context, soothing to the viewer. Everything is fine, things are under control.
http://home.comcast.net/~brawdymchwil/square.gif The Square label was reserved for message category "General Information". If it didn't fit into one of the other categories, it went into this one. This label, however, points out one of the problems with the S.I.M.P. system. What is this? Some sort of vortex? I asked three of the researchers responsible for designing the system, and none of them could recall what this was supposed to indicate.
http://home.comcast.net/~brawdymchwil/triangle.gif The Triangle indicates message category "TREASON". Rest easy, colleagues, it means a warning against treason, not that the message itself is treasonous. In this case, the lable clearly warns of treasonous unregistered mutations.
Unfortunately, various problems arose with the system, and it now faces serious review and calls for revision. The first problem, of course, is the proliferation of symbols necessary to communicate the vast array of concepts in Alpha Complex. It has proven rather difficult to, for example, create a simplified symbolic representation of a can of Bouncy Bubble Beverage that is immediately and visually distinguishable from a can of Mutant Spew Cola, a can of algaebeans, or a can of concentrated solvent. The second problem is the massive proliferation of labelling as a result of the system, until, as my colleague Screwz-U has stated "every sticker has a sticker on it to tell you how to read the sticker". In some cases, the entirety of a package or wall has been overwhelmed by labels. This leads to a certain amount of information overload, and has been indicated as a major cause of Mnemonic_Meltdown and Neuro-Cascade_Failure. The third problem, simply, is that most INFRAREDs have a great deal of difficulty distinguishing between, say, a nonagon and an octagon, especially at a glance. This has, unfortunately, led to such terrible incidents as the PopRox_Massacre, when warning labels become confused with instructions. Lastly, some critics have suggested that over time, the system could lead to full-scale illiteracy at all clearance levels. This has, so-far, been scoffed at.
Commentary: Hmmmm... as I recall from my IR days...
Meant "Press to Flush".
But that would be an Instruction, and therefore require the Octagon label.
I remember seeing those too, the "Press to flush!" octagons... but this was just used to label the button. Strictly informational.
Ah, that reminds me of the good old days in the Department of Redundancy Department.
I know what it means: "Come here for free psychiatric treatment." I posted it outside the Volunteer Interrogation Chambers once... good times.