Monday, June 20, 2011

Restroom Signage

I came across an interesting design when I was in a restaurant and went to use the restroom. As opposed to the regular signs, lighthearted images with text were placed above the doors to the restrooms. The image of Bettie Page along with the quote “I was never the girl next door” was hanging over the ladies room. I laughed really hard at first, then thought about how this was an effective use of differentiation among what the norms and standards are. 
It’s a bit of a risk, but it exemplifies the power of the photograph. The picture itself could have been placed above or on the door and people would have understood it was the ladies room. However, I might not have realized that the image was in fact Bettie Page on its own.
The idea was taken a step further by adding “other imagery that support the narrative and illuminate the story on a visceral level, thereby making the experience richer and more memorable” (Reynolds, 2010, p. 98). That little bit of text really enhanced the image and made for a good laugh. Maybe others may find it pointless or childish, but when I came out of the men’s room I noticed other people taking pictures and enjoying it as well.


  1. Another point to this design is that the text is well proportioned with the image thus making it easier to visually transfer the message of the text to the image on the left.

    Lastly, I do agree in the message is kind of risky but like they always say "where there is risk, there's reward"


  2. I think without the text I would have known it was the woman’s room, but definitely wouldn’t have known who it was.

  3. Very true Ali!

    Thanks for the comments guys

  4. What a great way to spruce up what would otherwise be a boring old "ladies" sign. I like it when people find clever and creative ways to change "the usual" way of doing things. The text really makes it stick with you. Who ever thought that restrooms signs even needed redesign? Great post, Chris!

    -Kate Higgins