If you’ve ever used a public toilet, you’re familiar with pictograms (and if you haven’t, I envy your bladder). Essentially, a pictogram is a graphical representation of an object or idea that represents a meaning.

Pictogram Book Cover

In one of my past designing roles, I came into possession of a copy of The International Pictogram Standard. The cover of this guide begs the question “?” (…or, “what is The International Pictogram Standard?”). The standard is a continuation of a long process to create an international, universal and consistent system of pictoral communication. The guide is the result of a months-long study in the late 20th century to review, score and select hundreds of pictograms for public use.

However, the editors at alastic.ca see several problems with this final result, and would like to propose some amendments to the following selected set of pictograms to better represent their meaning.


No Weapons

International Pictogram Standard (IPS): No Weapons
Alastic: Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight



IPS: Housekeeping
Alastic: Hermione Granger



IPS: Light Switch
Alastic: Eureka!



IPS: Immigration
Alastic: Customs officials will read your diary


Ticket Purchase

IPS: Ticket Purchase
Alastic: Happy hour! (Obviously.)



IPS: Shower
Alastic: Shower – exuberant singing permitted



IPS: Exercising
Alastic: Danger – traditional Russian dancers present



IPS: Snakes
Alastic: Holy crap! There are rattlesnakes here, RUN!