When Icon magazine invited Manual to take part in its excellent Rethink feature to redesign an everyday object or system, the San-Francsico studio went pleasingly big. Even non-Americans will be familiar with the country’s iconic road signs, but Manual’s team put emotional attachments to one side and went back to basics in order to improve a system they felt was “confusing, inconsistent and messy.”
Consistency and clarity key in their new designs with the colours being moved to the top of the signs as a coding system, helping drivers read, process and decide on the relevant information as quickly as possible. Shields have largely been jettisoned (for feeling “too police state”) except on certain very famous routes.
An accompanying app helps road users with directions, fuel availability and local attractions in a bold step towards proper state-funded 21st Century modernity.
As hypothetical projects go this is well-thought out, well executed and well worth reading-up on – a great starting point for a discussion we may not have realised we needed.
- Steph Wilson, DR. ME, Women Who and Benedict Redgrove at Nicer Tuesdays August
- Artist Emily Mae Smith’s pop motifs and witty compositions
- Meet the prop-maker building imaginary boyfriends
- Graphic designer Biba Košmerl takes on organised disorder and what it means to be a true modernist
- Bjenny Montero, an underground hero of melancholic comics
- Animator Hoji Tsuchiya's patchwork video for Japanese singer Uri Nakayama
- Sagmeister & Walsh rebrands fashion label Milly to reflect its "edgy" new personality
- Dominic Wilcox designs art exhibition for dogs (plus exclusive artist sketches)
- Jaemin Lee’s gloriously retro exhibition identities and poster designs
- James Jean’s phantasmagorical world of technicolour fever dreams
- The Refugee Nation Olympic flag was inspired by a lifejacket
- Things: the inspiring post that got us through the long hot summer nights of August