I've been chosen for an honor of sorts;
I've been asked to make the unisex restroom sign for Portland Pottery's new store and cafe.
Though it does amuse me, it's also an intriguing graphic design challenge: must be similar enough to the familiar symbol to be easily recognizable by patrons who might not share my sense of humor. So any inclination I might have to utilize other sorts of male/female icons has to be curbed to the audience. (Oh, I don't know...Marilyn Monroe and Jimmy Dean?...An iris and a jack-in-the-pulpit? A veiled pillbox and a fedora?) If the user has to think about what the sign means, the functio n is compromised. But on the other hand, why order handmade at all if I just cough up a dry stoneware rendering of the same restroom sign you can find at the turnpike stop?
Of my alternative designs, I liked this one best, but it shares the same difficulties that many others do: if it's simple enough for a single-glance recognition, it's almost by definition sort of sexist. (Including, I guess, the universal symbol.) Also, maybe the association of lips and toilets (in a cafe, no less) is not the best.
So I'm leaning towards a minor, possibly humorous variation on the sign we all recognize, but I don't want to be dull or disappointing. Note to self: ARRGH, fear of failure!! It's a restroom sign, just make something and be done with it!!!
I did say this was fun, didn't I?
Anyway, Karen, Cooper, Lisa, et al: that is what is taking me so long. I have the slab rolled, I have the border carved....and now I'm stumped. Never fear, however: I've decided to decide by the end of today, and have the image carved by the end of tomorrow.