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.
- Minet Kim’s illustrations explore the unconscious through symbols and colour
- Kay Kwon’s graphic design practice arose from his love of rock and hip-hop music
- Sam Gregg's latest work uses photography to rediscover his hometown of London
- Joel Evey tests the visual boundaries of Gap through his “under-the-radar” work
- Madelynn Mae Green’s paintings explore themes of memory, family and domesticity
- Department of New Realities on using VR and AR to give pixels personality
- Get ready for 230 new emojis to confuse your mum with
- Netflix rolls out brand new ident for all its original material
- David Rothenberg discusses his unique portraits of the passengers of planes
- Photographer Nick Turpin captures cars bathed in the lights of Piccadilly Circus
- Byun Young Geun likens illustration to “looking into a mirror”
- Naranjo-Etxeberria designs an identity aiming to cause impact at first glance