Consistency Question 2

Exit sign.

Building signs, and in this case an exit sign, are good examples of functional consistency. They portray a universally and easily understandable meaning (the direction to an exit of a building). The functionality of the design is its purpose and they are consistent throughout most of the world and require little to no thinking to decipher. Without this quick connection being made by whoever sees it, the sign would be useless; its meaning and action are obvious.

exit sign

Exit signs (Murray, 2017)


Apple Logo

The apple logo is now known the world over. It is a prime example of aesthetic consistency eliciting thoughts of sleek, fashion conscious and intuitive design. Apple also has an air of prestige about it, being one of the biggest companies in the world, and the consistency of their designs along with the all too well known logo helps to portray this. In a way, the logo is a symbol of elegance and simplicity, almost separate to the products the company produces. However, the logo could and can be linked with the multinational corporation machine and its ill treatment of workers in factories across the globe. Consistency can provide multiple connotations of meaning.

 apple logo

Apple Logo on Apple Mac (Murray, 2017) 


ECU Signs

Direction signs like the ones found at ECU can be shown as an example of not only functional consistency, but internal and external consistency too. They are functional in a sense that they are serving an obvious purpose of pointing out locations on campus but the consistencies within themselves can be analysed too. The numbering is all one font and so are the building names with a common colour theme throughout. This consistency helps us know that when we see one of these signs that it will invariably be giving locations of buildings and their descriptions in relation to the spot they are viewed from.

ecu signs

ECU Signposts (Murray, 2017)


Murray, D. (2017) CCA1108 Communications and digital technology. Perth, Australia: Edith Cowan University


Consistency Question 1

Concerning consistency in design, the article puts forward the four key facets: aesthetic, functional, internal and external. A system of consistency allows the viewer to make connections and “efficiently transfer knowledge to new contexts, learn new things quickly, and focus attention on the relevant aspects of a task” (Lidwell, Holden and Butler, 2003, pp. 46). It is through consistency, and the logic behind it, that we are able to learn things more quickly as we tend to group similar information together. The repetition is what sticks and randomness that doesn’t because it is much harder to order things with little connection. We need consistency in order to make logical connections otherwise a cognitive dissonance arises and little understanding can be found (Gawronski, 2012).

The four aspects of consistency are then discussed. Aesthetic consistency concerns appearance and style which conjures associations with a product and what it represents (Lidwell et al., 2003). Functional consistency, is, as the name suggests, functional. Consistency in a system denoting meanings and actions that are shared across a range of products allow for ease of use like the play, pause and skip buttons on media devices (Lidwell et al., 2003). Internal and external consistency are linked in a sense that elements in a system the same (internal) and the same elements can still be linked in a different environment (external) (Lidwell et al., 2003).

Our learning of something greatly improves if the principles of consistency are present and present in such a way that intuitive connections are made easily (Nikolov, 2017). Regularity increases the usability and “a system is improved when similar parts are expressed in similar ways.” (Lidwell et al., 2003, pp. 46). A good design is almost unnoticeable as everything is intuitive through consistency and familiarity (Toscano, 2016).



Gawronski, B. (2012). Cognitive consistency as a basic principle of social information      processing. In Cognitive consistency: A fundamental principle in social cognition. (pp. 1-18). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Lidwell, W., Holden, K. & Butler, J. (2003). Consistency. In Universal Principles of Design (pp. 46). Beverly, Massachusetts: Rockport

Nikolov, A. (2017, April 8). Design principle: Consistency. [Blog Post]. Retrieved from

Tocsano, J. (2016, January 25). The value of consistent design. [Blog post]. Retrieved from