The Persona Art Project is looking to turn one of the world’s most ubiquitous and generic symbols into fun, highly personalised characters.
The simple outline of the toilet figurine has been around since the 1960s. It came into being when the DRU Design Studio was commissioned to redesign the corporate identity for British Rail. They came up with a compliment of bold signage that included the bathroom figure. This simple humanoid has distilled hundreds of translations into one widely understood visual symbol.
The Persona Art Project takes the bathroom figure, which symbolises every man, and uses it as the base shape of the individual man or woman: abstracting characters from fiction, pop culture and sport down to their essentials. Take Ron Burgundy’s suit for example, or Nelson Mandela’s salt and pepper hair and colourful shirts, or Usain Bolt's victory dance.
Two South African brothers, Shayne and Ant Vervoort, conceived the Persona Art Project. Ant is the artist behind the projects characters, while Shayne calls himself “the voice of reason”. The two want to build a community around an art brand that is fun, accessible and globally relevant.
The idea began as a challenge: was it possible to create a drawing that had the same impact when it was the size of an emoticon as it did at the size of a building? The challenge has grown into an experiment into taking the peculiarities that make people individual and transferring those onto the persona art characters to make them each distinctly different.
The brothers have just launched a Kickstarter campaign to fun their first art exhibition. Supporters will be treated to Persona paraphernalia that ranges from stickers and postcards to personalised Persona illustrations.