Guidance for the wording of the description for a symbol original

Following information has initially been taken from IEC 80416-1 Ed. 2.0 in accordance with "NOTE The most recent guidance for the wording of the description for a symbol original can be found on both the ISO TC 145/SC 3 and IEC TC 3/SC 3C website."

Last update: 2009-02-10

B.1 Basic guidance

The following provides examples on how a description is worded. The examples are descriptions that could be applicable to a symbol original with the title "Brake".

It is assumed that the intended user of the graphical symbol has sufficient knowledge about what a brake is and that an explanation of brakes and braking actions is not necessary, i.e. the examples are of minimum length. Where this is not the case, more explanation will be necessary about:

The definite article should be used instead of the indefinite article, for example "the brake" instead of "a brake". The singular form should be used instead of the plural form, for example "brake" instead of "brakes" (even if a car normally has four brakes).

B.2 Guidance by elaborated examples

  1. If the graphical symbol only identifies equipment or a part of the equipment:
    To identify the brake.

  2. If the graphical symbol is used on a control, as an indicator, or both, and the meaning of the graphical symbol is the same for both, it will be described as follows:
    To identify the control for the brake.
    or
    To identify the control or the indicator for the brake.
    or
    To identify the control or the indicator for braking a movement.
    or
    To identify the control to activate the brake or to indicate that the brake is active.
    or
    To identify the control to brake a movement or to indicate that the movement is braked.

  3. If the graphical symbol only identifies an indicator:
    To indicate that the brake can be used.
    or
    To indicate that the brake is active.

  4. If there are two different meanings of identification and indication:
    To identify the brake or to indicate a brake malfunction.

  5. If there are two different meanings of control and indication:
    To identify the control for the emergency brake or to indicate that the emergency brake can now be operated (is ready for use).

  6. If there are three different meanings:
    To identify the main brake cylinder, to identify the control for activating the brake, or to indicate a brake malfunction.

  7. If a special meaning is indicated by a coloured or flashing symbol (not so much to be associated with the symbol itself but with the aspect of how it is used):
    To identify the main brake cylinder, or to identify the control or the indicator for the brake. If used flashing and/or in combination with red colour or on a red background, the symbol indicates a brake system malfunction.

  8. If the graphical symbol is used for an operating mode:
    To identify the control or the indicator for the operating mode in which the brakes are continuously activated and adjusted for a constant effect.

  9. If the graphical symbol can be used in many different ways and aspects:
    To indicate a reference to a brake.
    or
    To indicate a reference to a brake, for example identification, operation, connection.
    or
    To indicate a reference to a brake, for example identification of the emergency brake handle.

  10. If the graphical symbol is primarily intended for use in a particular product area and use in other areas may be inappropriate, to be added before the main phrase of the description:
    On road vehicles.
    or
    On fire fighting and rescue service equipment.

  11. If the graphical symbol is for general use but also has a particular meaning in one or more application areas:
    To identify the control or the indicator for the brake.
    On trains, to identify the emergency brake handle or to indicate that it has been used.
    or
    To identify the control or the indicator for the brake.
    On trains, to identify the emergency brake handle or to indicate that it has been used. On aircraft, to identify the park brake lever or to indicate that the park brake may now be used.

  12. If the graphical symbol is for general use but comes from a specific application area, additional information may be added to explain the origin:
    To identify the control or the indicator for the brake, for example on a road vehicle.

  13. If the graphical symbol description needs supplementary information of normative nature, to be added after the main phrases of the description:
    To represent a movement in one direction only, omit the other arrow.
    To represent a rotation in one direction only, omit the other arrow.
    In case of application in a warning sign, the rules according to ISO 3864-1 shall be adhered to.
    Symbol shall be used in the orientation shown.
    The symbol may be mirrored to represent "left-side brake".