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.
- For Alice Franchetti, graphic design is the sweet spot where maths and intuition meet
- This year’s Birmingham Design Festival explored truth in the design industry
- Designer John Christian Rose on how he turns mess, chaos and clutter into art
- “My creative process is hella eclectic”: illustrator Jack Fletcher
- Jee-ook Choi turns Uniqlo’s AIRism range into a series of ethereal illustrations
- “Nothing should stand still”: Elaine Song on her dynamic, abstract illustrations
- How Pelle Cass creates his jarring “still time-lapse” images
- Mozilla gives Firefox a new look that goes beyond the logo
- Spotify wants you to listen to more podcasts, so it's redesigned its app
- Say a sustainable hello to the world’s first fully compostable trainer
- Illustrator Faye Moorhouse has made a trilogy of zines about her cat
- Applications are now open for The Graduates 2019!