Brand Sentinel: The Case of the Confusing Commode

By June 23, 2016Something to Say

Klocke Design returns to Vendopolis for another exciting adventure of the Brand Sentinel, in…

The Brand Sentinel - The Case of the Confusing Commode

We find our hero slumped on a stool at the end of a bar in a dark, smoky tavern, staring into the remains of a pint of cheap beer. Technically, it was the remains of quite a few pints of cheap beer…

It had been a rough day of fighting illogical logos and inconsistent content. His ribs still hurt, not to mention his eyes. Five point type? Really?

The Brand Sentinel flagged the bartender. “One more, Mickey.”

“Sure thing, B.” Mickey grabbed the glass and took it to the tap. “But you know we’ve got a special tonight on Heine—“

“No!” Our hero cut him off. “No hoity-toity, over-designed euro brew.”

“But did you see the nice posters over the—“

“Ack! I can’t look at ‘em — probably laid out by first-year interns!”

“And they gave us these nifty coasters with the logo on—“

“Enough!” Nature was calling, as nature is bound to do. Our hero slid off his stool and made his way down the hall to see a man about a horse, when he encountered a conundrum:

Emergency Exit

He blinked.

Men's Room?

“So…” he mused, “Only gents who are facing an emergency are allowed to use the john? Are we just supposed to hold it until it is an actual emergency? And if it is an real emergency, does a blaring alarm really help the situation?”

A few pints earlier, the Brand Sentinel might have seen the situation in a more coherent state. Mickey would have heard the usual grumbling: “Don’t the owners of this place know how critical it is for a guy to know which way to turn in a hurry? Signage graphics need prominent type, distinct arrows, and smart placement to make unusual twists and turns clear — especially when the right path is around a corner.”

Unfortunately the time for such clarity was about a quarter gallon ago. And if there’s one thing our hero can’t ignore, it’s deadline pressure.

As the Brand Sentinel studied this confusing wayfinding, the elapsed time escalated his personal situation to an actual emergency. “Aw, heck,” he muttered, and pushed open the door.


Brand SentinelThe Brand Sentinel needs YOUR eyes watching for logo abuse, identity compromise and other brand crimes. See something? Send me a photo. If we use it in a future Brand Sentinel episode, I’ll send you this stylish Brand Sentinel pin!

P.S. Thanks to Chuck Rekow (one of my oldest friends) for the character development and illustration of the Brand Sentinel. He’s a very talented illustrator. (And an awesome guy!) Check out his work at

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