Hourglass Traffic Light: A New Design for an Old Classic

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December 17, 2010
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Hourglass Traffic Light: A New Design for an Old Classic

The first three-colored traffic light was installed in 1920. And since then, it hasn't changed very much. When something works, it's hard to imagine a better option, which is where creative designers sneak in and work their magic to create new technology.

Design, traffic light, technology, hourglass

Thanva Tivawong designed a new LED version of the traffic light. The light displays the appropriate colored hourglass, and the "sand" drains as time passes to show when the light will change. The yellow light also counts down between green and red, which I would find very helpful on a daily basis.

Design, traffic light, technology, hourglass
Design, traffic light, technology, hourglass
Design, traffic light, technology, hourglass

What do you think? Is this a good alternative to the traditional design, or do you think it will cause premature starts? I find I often watch the crosswalk countdown to see when a light will change, and I'm sure others do, so maybe this is the way to synthesize that countdown and the light.

If you liked this post, you might enjoy these other industrial and graphic design articles.

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Via and Joshua Strebel and GOOD.
Historical images via Made How , Mark Traffic, and Wired, respectively.

Jessica Patterson

Jessica Patterson

Hi, I'm Jessica. I'm a Designer and Writer at Drawbackwards and write for the Design Blog at Design.org. I enjoy vintage things, letterpress, publication design, and long walks around the Cesar Chavez Park pond. You can follow me on twitter at @jessdoodled for lots of fun randomness.

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Lead Product Designer / New York, NY

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