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May 29, 2018


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1st one is the best. 3rd would be great too without this awful gothic font

Jennifer Ann Elizabeth Leclercq

Definitely number 1. I couldn't even finish reading #3 with the font, the rhymes, the archaic words...

Dinah Ramirez

I'm choosing sign #2. It is clear, straight to the point, and easy to read. Also, the message is in both English and Spanish (Spanish speakers need to be reminded of this message too). Lastly, the icons and graphics offer visual communication that catches the readers eye and complements the text. The visual also assists those tourists that cannot read either language.

Jeff W

From the options, #1 is the best, even if it isn't perfect. #2 uses the term paper towels where they probably mean any paper, so I picture Bounty or Viva. The graphic is a good attempt, but it still doesn't work quite right. To me it says the toilet doesn't go in the trash but the others do. #3 is an attempt to be cute and attract attention, but it misfires by being too hard to read and understand!


I find #2 the most effective. The text is short, with text in bold to draw the attention to the main message. The use of graphics is smart since our mind works better with images than with words.

Tommaso Caldarola

#1. The soberness is always a good thing.

John Held

#1 because it tells me what I should do and why. The missing "why" makes #2 less effective. #3 is cute and was a fun read (more like a puzzle--trying to figure it all out), and that is the very reason it is poor--the message should be clear and easily understandable.

In the end, the BEST would be #1 in both English and Spanish with the cool visuals from #2.

Eliza Corri

Agree with Mr. Held...verbiage from #1 with graphics from #2 (no pun intended!). En ingles y espanol por favor.

Business Writing Blog

Thanks for your votes, Alex, Jennifer Ann Elizabeth, Dinah, Jeff, Camilla, Tommaso, John, and Eliza.

I agree that the wording in Number 1 is excellent. It's clear, direct (with soberness, as Tommaso said), and complete. As John said, it gives the why--simply, unlike Number 3.

But Number 1 needs to be in Spanish too, like Dinah's preference, Number 2. After all, this IS Costa Rica. As Dinah noted, Spanish and visuals meet the needs of everyone.

Like Camilla, I do like the short text and graphics in Number 2--except for the arrow pointing from the toilet to the toilet paper, which Jeff pointed out. He also mentioned the problem with Number 2, which is the phrase "paper towels." "Paper products" or simply "paper" would be preferable.

Like Eliza, I agree with John. His comments express my views clearly and concisely.

Thanks for participating, everybody!



Dear Lynn,

Welcome back!

I've read all this with great interest but one question keeps popping up in my head: where are you supposed to throw your used toilet paper?

Business Writing Blog

Hi Deborah! Good point. Number 2 is the only one that offers guidance, with its graphic.

I'm guessing that the creators of the signs wanted to answer the question "Should I flush this item or put it in the trash?" For that reason, they focused on telling readers to put it in the trash.

Nice to hear from you!



2nd one is pretty straightforward, legible and attracts attention.

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