“It must be great just walking into the toilet and being faced with Mick Jagger’s mouth!” That’s the opinion of graphic designer John Pasche, speaking to Hive from his home in England. His lipstick-red lips-and-tongue logo for the Rolling Stones – one of the most iconic rock images out there — has made news this week in the form of a set of urinals at a Stones tribute museum in Luechow, Germany. However, with the toilet’s design removing Jagger’s tongue — presumably to ease the relieving process — the fixtures have attracted a swarm of criticism from feminist groups who claim the image is now sexist, not just salacious.
Speaking on the logo’s original intent, Pasche says that after meeting with Jagger he was inspired by the lead singer’s lips and mouth. This was back in the early ’70s; the logo was meant to be “a protest symbol and have an anti-authority feel to it really, so that it would work well with them being the bad boys of rock and roll,” Pasche explains. The large, lascivious tongue is key to the design’s intent — without it the symbolism changes “absolutely” as the tongue adds the “attitude to the logo and makes it a lot more in your face and not just about this pair of lips.”
While images of Stones urinals aren’t necessarily a new thing – Flickr has photos that date back several years to various urinals unassociated with this German museum – these toilets have sparked outrage, and in the process granted the museum a heap of publicity. The design is called “Kisses,” and comes from Meike van Schijndel, a Dutch designer, who sparked a similar controversy in 2004, when the urinals were to be installed at a terminal in New York City’s JFK airport.
Pache says that they could have went a step further in updating the functionality of the design. “It’s quite outrageous,” he says. “They could have also hinged the mouth of the toilet so it could also close in on you.” Even without that mechanical update though, patrons in Luechow are about to experience a whole new way of getting some sanitary satisfaction.
Should you want a urinal for yourself, Bathroom Mania is featuring the item for sale.