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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Keep it Simple Stupid

Okay so I am going to share an embarrassing moment with you that relates to signage...

Last weekend I took my mother out to a local casino for something to do during the dreary winter...Anyways, after all the free beverages they provided, I had to use the ladies room, and so...I walked into what I thought was the LADIES room and guess what? That's right- it was the MEN's room. I backed out of there all red faced and embarrassed. I looked for the signage that should have warned me I was walking into enemy territory, and finally spotted the little man standing on the wall. So what was the problem with me not seeing that little guy (on the sign) in the first place? Well , it came down to me looking above to spot the usual overhanging sign that would indicate just where the bathrooms were located in this warehouse like space. I saw the sign from a distance and followed the beckoning symbols. Here's where the confusion came in. Instead of realizing that there were two separate bathroom hallway entrances, I thought the weird hallway was the way to find the entrances to both bathroom doors- you know what I mean, when you are in a restaurant for example, and you walk down the bathroom hallway and look for your symbol on a door and walk through. In this case, the hallway I was walking down, was the way to some surprised men standing around.

I am not a peeping tom-tress... I promise!

Then I was indignant.

For goodness sakes. How many full bladdered, intelligent, yet somewhat distracted people have made this same mistake?

Was it just me, or are there a whole slew of other SLOW signage detectors out there? I should have stuck around just to see how many others would make the same mistake, but, I was too afraid the men inside would then think I did it on purpose or something. Instead I grabbed my mother and evacuated the premises pronto.

So here's my point...Finally. Keep It Simple Stupid- or K.I.S.S. As we try to get more Creative we tend to go a little overboard and defeat our purpose. As sign designers, whether you are pro or amateur- it's okay to think outside the box and be creative, but remember to reign it in where you need to. If you are not sure- ask a few unbiased people to weigh in and give their thoughts.

As for bathroom doors...Hey I'm all for the funny things you put on the doors to distinguish the two, like a cowboy boot and a stiletto- but make sure it also says LADIES and MEN because I may not be able to figure your joke out fast enough.

Here's a prime example of a sign that would confound me. Which symbol means what again? I don't have time to figure this out.

So just remember, Keep it Simple, so that the mildly unaware, like myself, will know what you mean. 

Posted by at 12:48 PM
Edited on: Wednesday, October 21, 2015 1:05 PM