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.
- “Fear and desire for connection and the blocks to it”: artist Martine Syms on her exhibition Grand Calme
- Iggy Ldn captures beauty, power and pain in his short film, Velvet
- Art Bank Taiwan joins London Design Biennale this week, exploring cultural identity through political and social commentary
- Tiziana Jill Beck explores the identity of anonymous travellers through masks
- The new issue of Indoek brings America's oldest city to life
- Master of plasticine Kate Isobel Scott is back with a new animation
- Uber gets another new logo, gives you something to make small talk about this weekend
- “Go, go, go”: how DIA messed with design theory, only to improve it
- Type designer Kia Tasbihgou on how “knowing cool designers and nice fonts isn’t enough”
- Watch the trailer for the Don't Hug Me I'm Scared, the television show
- V&A curator Marie Foulston wants us to look at video games through the lens of design
- You know that great feeling of popping a spot? You'll get that from Sophie Koko Gate's new animation