Celebrating the British Road Sign

Until the 25th October, London’s Design Museum is celebrating the 50th 
anniversary of the British Road Sign. 1965 saw the launch of the
most ambitious and effective information design projects Britain has
ever seen. For the exhibition, some leading artists and designers have
transformed the familiar circle, triangle and square signs, to make
people stop, look and think about design and our environment in a
different way.

Design Museum Exhibit

For motorists, signs have played an important role in helping people get
from A to B via C, D or E. Of course, road maps were important in
helping people find their way, but the signs do so much more – not only
giving directions, but also controlling speed and direction, providing
warnings and also saying when you can and can’t stop. Having a
standardised system, created by Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert, made
travelling around the UK much easier than before, and it is a testiment
to the strength of the design that it is still in existence today.

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Road signs remain important to motorists, but with the advent of satnavs and
digital route planning, wayfinding is much more sophisticated, and
generally more reliable and accurate than it used to be. Although,
whereas once upon a time our only worry was when our destination would
disappear at a critical decision point, now we just have to worry that
the satnav will take us down a dead-end farm track rather than the motorway
we need.

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Blogger
Lili is a Senior Wayfinding Designer at CCD.

Lili has 13 years experience delivering creative projects in wayfinding and sign design, brand implementation, graphic design, creative facilitation and team building. She holds an MA in Information Design. Previous work includes wayfinding strategies and concept design for Wembley Park, Stansted Airport, NHS and the University of York.

 

 

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