Designer's Guide for COVID-19: Overstocked Toilet Paper

Designer's Guide for COVID-19: Overstocked Toilet Paper

April 14, 2020

I wanted to use my creativity and skillset to make something useful to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and to lighten the mood in these uncertain times. Using the latest information published about the virus, I’ve translated these into dimensioned drawings and diagrams hoping this would give some perspective (and some humour) into things like what does a 2-meter gap look like between two people or in some of the unusual and selfish behaviour generated by this pandemic e.g. panic buying toilet paper.

The graphic style of this blog series is inspired by Ernst Neufert's book, Architects' Data first published in 1936, a classic in the architecture and design world. The entire book is filled with dimensioned illustrations: dimensions of different body positions and dimension guidelines in practically all areas of the built environment from residential, supermarkets to sports fields. These have acted as guidelines for design. This blog series has re-adapted this concept for a COVID-19 pandemic scenario hence the title: ‘Designer’s Guide for COVID-19’.  

Note: ‘Architects' Data’ original book was first published in 1936 so an unbalance of genders in roles and ratio was evident in the human figures drawn. I've amended a lot of these from the original to balance things out.

All dimensions are in millimetres. Sources are mainly around NZ regulations and guidelines, some are from other sources from other parts of the world. 

Please refer to for official information on how to beat the spread of COVID-19.


Overstocked Toilet Paper


Probably one of the weirdest and funniest phenomenon as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. I never thought the toilet paper would become a priority when it comes to stocking up for a global pandemic. I couldn't resist doing a series on this. Enjoy.  

Sources: an online toilet paper calculator created by artist Hayden Kay. Thanks Hayden.

NZ Herald article 

Panic bought some toilet paper and want to declutter your bathroom? Here is a dimension guide for shelving units specifically designed around a 24 toilet paper roll pack.

Below are infographics that help give some perspective on how much toilet paper an average adult consumes in different time periods. 

Note: one dot represents one month.

Bunnings Wharehouse in Australia ran out of normal toilet paper rolls. They are now selling the jumbo size rolls as a solution. 


9 packs of 24 toilet paper rolls, so a total of 216 is the maximum amount I could fit (virtually) in a supermarket trolley. That was just for fun, to speculate an extreme panic buyer scenario. 


Other articles around this series:

Click here to read about 'Physical Distancing'

Click here to read about 'Hand Sanitising'