There’s a fascinating exhibition at the Design Museum in London on how two graphic designers overhauled the antiquated and random highway signage from the 1960s.

The government of the day took the unusual step of entrusting the development of the new system to the graphic designer Jock Kinneir (1917-1974) and his assistant Margaret Calvert (1936-). They devised a rigorous signage system of carefully coordinated lettering, colours, shapes and symbols for Britain’s new motorways in the late 1950s and for all other roads in the mid 1960s. Efficient and elegant, their system was one of the most ambitious information design projects ever undertaken in Britain. It is a role model for modern road signage in other countries and is still in use today.

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