Are there implications of road sign design for national identity?
Intentionally designing style attributes into road sign types is contrary to best practise, the focus must remain on clarity. But it is notable that motorway signs become a visible expression of national identity. I would argue that this even more the case in countries with dual-language signs. Margaret Calvert, co-designer of Transport mentions this unintentional by-product in relation to the design of the UK’s signs…
We never thought of it as a corporate identity, because a corporate identity is not just signs, but if you see it everywhere, it is part of the look of Britain. For me, and this is speaking of London, it goes with red buses and black cabs. (Poynor et al. 2004)
Irish road sign design in legal context
Alongside the design context of Ireland’s road signs, the sign system lives in the context of national legislation. But as the design context has changed – not least with our first national high speed roads nearing completion – the legislative context has also changed.
The issue of prominence
The Government’s Statement on Language promises equal status for Irish but the reality of our road signs effectively renders it a secondary language.
The first shall be last?
In the Official Languages Act 2003, (Section 9) Regulations 2008, special care is taken to ensure Irish is principally prominent in signs…Read More...