Custom Bathroom Signs

You might be wondering why, if custom bathroom signs are “customizable”, most of the time, the symbols or pictograms being used on them are the same ones that are being used on other bathroom signs that you see around you. Well, the reason behind this actually very simple. Since bathroom signs need to be easily recognized by anyone, whether they are from another country or have trouble reading, the customizable area is usually the text part of these signs.

Signs are supposed to be understood by anyone, and that includes people who do not understand English and those who cannot read. Symbols are used for that main purpose. Whether it be custom bathroom signs, custom wayfinding signs or other directional and room marking signs, symbols are often used to show people where to find certain facilities, accessibility options and many more.

Aside from the symbols that you can see being used on bathroom signs, you may find yourself recognizing a number of other symbols that are also used everywhere. These pictograms are not only used in the US, but worldwide, and are utilized to help people who cannot read or those who can only understand their own language easily find their way around. These symbols, before they are used worldwide however, need to be approved by the ISO (International Organization of Standardization).

Some of the ISO approved symbols that are being used everywhere include the symbols for parking or car parking, currency exchange, accessible elevators, restaurants and emergency exit. No smoking signs, Information booth signs and yes, even your bathroom sign symbols are part of ISO 7001:1990 graphic symbols used for public information signage. While the ISO does play a huge part in approving symbols for international use, they are not the only ones who create pictograms for signage needs.

AIGA Symbols

AIGA also has a hand in creating the symbols that are used by signs seen everywhere. Some of the pictograms that have been designed by the American Institute of Graphic Arts include images that symbolize the telephone, escalators, stairs, elevators, taxi and no entry, to name a few. A huge number of these images can be seen on ADA compliant signs and are actually copyright free, which means that you can use these symbols any which way you want without having to worry about royalty fees for their use.

Now, going back to custom bathroom signs and the use of standard pictograms on them, even when these are supposed to be “custom”, we can see that one legit reason why this is so is because these signs are supposed to be easy to recognize and the use of these images makes them just that – easy to recognize. Another reason is for ADA compliance. If you really want to create unique bathroom signs, you might still need to create the regular signs and post these alongside your unique signs in order for you to still be in compliance.