75 Cowcross Street
London, England EC1M 6EJ

"From the Motor Car Act to motorways: the design of British road signs 1903–1957

From the Motor Car Act of 1903 onwards there were a succession of measures to make signing on the roads clear and consistent – most significantly in 1921, 1933 and 1944 – and these took the form of ‘enabling legislation’ rather than full Acts of Parliament.

The appearance of these signs was the work not of people we would now term ‘designers’ but the result of collaboration between local and national authorities; motoring (and cycling) organisations and sign manufacturers. The presentation will explain the policy behind these successive developments, their relationship to continental practice, and show examples which still survive, both on the road and in private collections."

Phil Baines is a freelance design and writer. He is also Professor of Typography at Central Saint Martins where he curates the Central Lettering Record with Catherine Dixon.

Price for members : Free
Price for students : £7.50
Price for non members : £15.00

Official Website: http://www.signdesignsociety.co.uk/content.php?folder_id=21

Added by nico_macdonald on June 17, 2007



Entry price for non-members of the Sign Design Society is a hefty fifteen pounds, to save anyone else the effort of almost buying a ticket.


I have added the ticket prices above. £15.00 seems reasonable for an evening talk.


Sorry, grumpy comment at the end of a long day. It seems a bit steep to me, as a gamble that it'll be a good speaker and it won't just cover what you already know about the subject, but maybe I've just been spoiled by too many cheap or free lectures.


Although I have no connection with this event, I can say that Phil Baines is one of the best researched and most serious design academics (and practitioners).

Actual News Guy

From my perch in Vancouver, Canada, I wish I could be in London tonight to take in this event. The public lettering website is brilliant.