Office ‘privacy please’ sign

The Doc sign closeupOur office recently converted a small room for making phone calls (given our relatively open floor plan) into a space called “The Doc”. Here you could video-chat with a doctor or RN in lieu of going to your general practitioner for basic diagnoses.

We added frosted window film to the door for privacy, but the sliding barn-doors didn’t have a lock. A double-sided sign with some velcro tabs was created to indicate if the room was occupied or not, but it wasn’t terribly attractive.

The Doc original 'privacy' sign
The original sign created to indicate if the room was occupied or not.

I was inspired by the way a porta john or airplane lav has a visible ‘occupied’ indicator. Mine would be circular to match the look of the logo for the company’s wellness program, with a cutout for some fun text to say ‘come on in’ and ‘unless you want to see my rash, stay out’ (ok, not exactly those words).

As you can see from the file below, I tried to make a complicated detent to lock the indicator at each end of its travel. In practice, there was plenty of friction between the layers of material to not require this. Also, after about 2 months of being in use, part of it broke allowing the dial to rotate past ‘Privacy please’ a little bit. I eliminated this detail on the extra four I made for our other offices.

The crescent shape was glued between the solid back circle and engraved/cut top circle.

The center axle was a push pin stuck through the back and word/dial layer, which then had the plastic part cut off with a Dremel. I had laser cut tiny circles on each of those two layers so I knew everything would line up.

The Doc artwork and pieces.
Art files used for The Doc privacy sign, and the 4 cut components. Zoom to see the over-engineered detent for locking the dial.
The Doc sign installed
The Doc privacy sign installed.
Signs for other office locations
Four signs for other offices made a few months after the prototype. The detent system was eliminated as there was enough friction to hold the sign steady.

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