Putting A Different Spin on Bland Choking Posters

by . August 9th, 2014

After being required by law back in 1978, Choking signs and posters has become ubiquitous around New York City. Unfortunately for restaurateurs, the government sanctioned posters tend to be too formal or institutional or to simply put it, just too bland. This is why some restaurateurs in New York have decided to take the matters on their hands to find a solution that would  but enable them to still follow the law without ruining the whole restaurant ambiance and not to mention make these government sanctioned posters interesting that people would actually look at it.

The NYC Government Sanction Poster

Aesthetics aside, the poster is large and legible enough in conveying information and it’s main function is to teach people on how to do the Heimlich maneuver. The characters colored in gray easily demonstrates how to do the Heimlich maneuver regardless if the person is conscious or not. Problem is that these sanctioned posters not only pose as a problem for carefully crafted restaurants since it disrupts the restaurant’s branding but the poster ultimately defeats itself simply because no one really bothers to look at it.

Choking Victim by Benjamin Wright Coleman

To solve the problem, some restaurateurs in New York such as the Sunshine Co., in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn have asked for a customized design of the choking poster. They hired illustrator Lara Antal to create a fitting design of the choking poster for the restaurant. Antal’s choking poster design looks like an over sized page taken straight out of a comicbook. The poster features a woman choking on a martini olive, who was then saved by a guy and after being rescued both are seen having a drink.

Choking by Lara Antal

In an interview, Sabrina Godfrey the owner of Sunshine Co, tells the Wall Street Journal, “There was no way we were going to let it be the choking poster from the Department of Health.” which to hire Antal to create a choking poster that would complement Sunshine Co.’s branding.

First Aid for Choking by Equal Opposite

It has been reported that many restaurants are turning to custom designed posters to replace the government sanction one. It seems that this shift  to custom designed choking posters hasn’t draw any ire from health inspectors which not only makes restaurateurs like Godfrey happy but creatives as well.

Escape From Choking in New York by Phil Ashworth

Ever since restaurants started asking for customized designs some designers such as Damon Anderson started selling themed versions of the choking poster through his company. His themed poster sells for $50 and they are currently working on a new one to add variety. In an article at PSFK, Damon said that he sees this as an opportunity that designers like him could capitalize, he said in the article, “We just basically saw a gap in the market,”  and “It was an opportunity for us to make something new.”

Choking Victim Poster by Secret Handshake

For restaurateurs, these custom made posters are a heaven sent since they do not have to bother with a poster that will not complement the look of their restaurant. The same goes for designers since this presents an opportunity not only to earn but also the create something new and different.

What do you guys think? Does the custom made posters work for you or not? We love hearing it from you so don’t forget to share your thoughts at the comments below! Lastly, do follow us in Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.