World Sign
Vol. 87: Effective Usage of an Illustration
Effective Usage of an Illustration

This was what I found when I was visiting the Mouritz Hais Museum in Den Haag. I was about to use a urinal at the museum restroom when I found a little spot like a stain. I looked at it closely and saw an illustration of a fly printed on the urinal. It was a little bigger than a real fly and was drawn in yellow with a black outline. It seemed very real.

I thought it was art for the museum but I was wrong.

A man often looks in the wrong direction and is lost in meditation when he uses a urinal. At such a time, he aims at a wrong direction and dirties the floor. The illustration of a fly was to prevent this. If he finds something on a urinal, a man has a tendency to aim at that object. In order to capitalize on this, an illustration was printed on the urinal. At first, the museum tried a cartoon character illustration but it was not effective. It was interesting to learn that the illustration became very effective as soon as it was changed to something that looked real. I thought this was one manufacturer’s idea but I found that the same idea was used by some other manufacturers. I also found a mat using the same idea placed under a urinal. I guessed this could be a government measure in accordance with the general will since the Dutch people like cleanliness.

(translated by Satoko Matsuoka)

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