I love it when a client says, “do something really different…something that will stop people in their tracks.”
A few months ago, my clients at Idaho Power Company came to me with such a request. They wanted to replace their old “Please Use Proper Trash and Recycle Receptacles” sign with something new. Their park visitors were throwing trash in the wrong bins and spoiling the recycling.
These days, we are so overwhelmed with signs and messages, it’s hard to get people to stop, read, and pay attention to anything—especially a Rules Sign. Plus, many Americans seem to feel the Land of the Free means “Free to Do Anything I Want.”
So, my client and I decided to try a different tack—something that would appeal to peoples’ better natures. Animals.
After all, we all love animals, right? How could you ignore this?
I painted watercolors of wildlife and scanned and placed them (in Photoshop) roaming all over the classic recycle symbol.
The Message: These are the animals that really need you to recycle. They depend on a clean, healthy environment. They need you to follow the rules.
Here’s the finished sign:
So, how successful is the sign at changing behavior? Have people stopped throwing trash in the wrong bins?
The result is still less than 100% compliance. And, unfortunately, since it only takes a few bad apples to ruin the recycling, well… there you go.
It’s so frustratingly true:
People. Don’t. Like. Rules.
I wonder though….do they like puppies and kittens?
I may have an idea.