The humble road sign turns 50 this year and to celebrate Made North has gathered leading artists and designers to transform the triangle, circle and square signs so many of us encounter on a daily basis.
The British road sign was initially conceived by designers Jock Kinnier and Margaret Calvert. The pair created many of the signs we still see today and also devised two new typefaces: Transport and Motorway. Curated by Made North director Patrick Murphy, new signs have been conceived by big names including – Sir Peter Blake, Graphic Thought Facility, Quentin Newark, Jeremy Leslie, Mark Bonner at GBH and many more.
The anniversary signs are more disruptive than their instructive counterparts. The familiar colours and type are there but their messages force us to stop and think about design and the environment they exist in. The most successful signs are those that are a bit more tongue-in-cheek and cleverly play on familiar sayings and roadside complaints. Signs tell us to “read it later”, that it’s “my way or the highway” and to “smile” at the camera and it’s this renewed sass that makes these signs and the project as a whole so interesting.
The show has already appeared at Sheffield Design Week, and as a way to join the north with the south, the exhibition will also be showing at the Design Museum as part of London Design Festival from Saturday 19 September.
- Christopher Golden creates colourful digital environments that utilise visual abnormalities
- Erin Aniker's quietly radical, feminist illustrations remind us that activism doesn't have to be loud
- Marion Jdanoff explores the historical context of the world's big cats in Léopard = Nuit
- Photographer Catherine Losing uses objects to tell stories referencing culture and history
- Friday Mixtape: A world cup special from the It’s Nice That team
- Peter Franklyn Banks’ series Cromer Pier is a melodic call to the sea
- “Create a flag which represents your own Island”: explore culture through design in our latest Insta brief
- Guang Yu on how everyday observations informs his design practice
- Sadiq Khan approves flight of Trump Baby blimp
- Plexopolis: a series of games to educate and inform students on accomplished design
- Chris Dorley-Brown’s sharp images of East London are actually made up of many multiple shots
- Suzanne Saroff's meticulously arranged photographs alter perceptions