April 21, 2009 7:16 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for a backlit "running man" exit sign. Help!

I am really only finding these out of the country, primarily in Australia. I am in Central Florida. Does anyone know of where I can get an exit sign with the "running man" without the "exit" text, preferably lit? I saw these in Europe, they have no text, just the man running for the door. I am at a loss over here. TIA for any help.
posted by ForeverDcember to Grab Bag (11 answers total)
It looks like you can get one here.

If you google "exit signs" it comes up with several online retailers, and it looks like most of them sell the "running man" sign at various price points (the one I linked to appears to be a self-lighting tritium one that's quite expensive.
posted by The World Famous at 7:27 PM on April 21, 2009

There's a reason you find these in Europe and not in the US: Europe has to deal with the fact that a person who views a particular sign may well speak one of a dozen or so languages. So when regulators promulgate building codes, including exit signage requirements, they tend to avoid text where possible.

With the US, the assumption--rightly or wrongly--is that you speak English. Exit signs look the way they do in the US because those signs comply with building codes. The green sign you linked to complies with European code and would probably constitute a violation if used in the US.

It isn't that selling European signs in the states is illegal, it's that there really isn't more than a novelty market for such signs in the states. You'll have to special order one, assuming they'll even ship overseas.
posted by valkyryn at 7:28 PM on April 21, 2009

The Building Codes in the United States are very specific about text height and lumination requirements on egress signage. You're probably going to have a hard time finding what you're looking for only because it would be a non-compliant install in most code jurisdictions.

I think you might be able to buy a standard exit sign and modify the enclosure with a custom template for the light to shine through. They sell egress signs at Home Depot where I live.
posted by tfmm at 7:39 PM on April 21, 2009

Oh man, I know exactly what you are talking about: an ex of mine stole a brand new cast aluminum LED light with a running man picto (about the size of a big textbook, white with green backlight, this style) from a construction site in Galveston, TX. He then converted it from lighting fixture wiring to a lamp I could just plug into an outlet and gave it to me as a gift. It was pretty great, but I left it with my college roommates about a year ago because, well, it didn't quite fit my decor.

I'm sorry that I can't be of much help, but I just commented to say that they do exist in the US. And if you're ever in Galveston, I can tell you exactly which building has them.
posted by halogen at 8:04 PM on April 21, 2009

Here's one that is photoluminescent - maybe contact them to see if they have a lighted one?
posted by barnone at 8:04 PM on April 21, 2009

Oh yeah it also had flames on it.
posted by halogen at 8:09 PM on April 21, 2009

Lots more here, but they glow - not lit.
posted by barnone at 8:17 PM on April 21, 2009

The basic front mask would be very easy to make on a laser cutter. If you know anyone who has access or are willing to learn this is an easier option than you might think. You'd just need to put a light behind the mask and probably add a diffuser. If you wanted to get fancy, you could cut frosted acrylic to act as the diffuser and put it in the holes themselves giving you a nice, flat mask.
posted by chairface at 9:26 PM on April 21, 2009

I've seen pretty good marquee lights done for repaired or redesigned arcade games where they made a color printout of their image and sandwiched it between two pieces of 1/16" plexiglass.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 2:43 AM on April 22, 2009

Thank you for the input so far. I should probably say that this is not for commercial use, it is for personal use, so no worries about code violations or anything.
posted by ForeverDcember at 6:18 AM on April 22, 2009

Oh, I assumed that. But the differences in building code go a long way towards explaining why cool signs are so hard to get.
posted by valkyryn at 1:01 PM on April 23, 2009

« Older Dying relative - what to say?   |   Good water or bad water? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.