Using "Push" and "Pull" should be quite straightforward, you read the word and follow the instructions. But day after day I see people in my office coming to the door and pushing when they should pull or viceversa.
What would be a good alternative way of representing Push/Pull, using visuals instead? This probably won't mean people will suddenly have an epiphany and instantly understand the instruction. I imagine there has to be a graphic that the brain understands faster than the sign with the words...
I think this is a physical design / interaction design problem, not a graphic design problem.
If a door has a handle on it, I think a lot of people are naturally going to try and pull on the handle.
Therefore, push side should not have a handle, and the pull side should have one.
Push side could have a palm print graphic if necessary to show where to push.
Purely off the top of my head.......
Simple door icons?
Or perhaps doors with arrows?