11 November

Road signs in India: "Drive your vehicle like playing a harp"

Drive like a harp road sign

Traffic signs in the UK that warn drivers of the importance of concentration are sombre and serious. However, the writers of these road signs peppered across the Indian mountains have chosen to take a more creative, sometimes humurous and even philosophical approach:

  • Curves are blind and sharp, drive your vehicle like a harp
  • You may not be superstitious but believe in traffic signs
  • Divided attention equals multiplied troubles
  • After drinking whiskey, driving is risky

With their rhymes - and at times, confusing messages, these signs are guaranteed to make the driver pay attention to the road.

For more hilarious Indian road signs visit Peep Peep Don't Sleep.

1 October

Do not follow sat nav road signs

No sat navs road signs

The ubiquitous use of satellite navigation in the past few years has sparked problems all over the country as wide loads use unsuitable narrow roads or country lanes.

In one corner of the country sat navs have caused so many problems that road signs have been installed to let drivers know they are heading for trouble.

Residents in the village of Exton, near Winchester in Hampshire, have reported huge improvements since the reflective yellow road signs went up, which have prevented drivers from blindly following their sat nav systems.

The signs state clearly: NO WIDE VEHICLES - Do Not Follow SAT NAV - Very narrow road

The do not follow sat nav signs are available to buy from Road Signs Direct in our custom road signs section.

Road Signs Direct sell custom road signs in a selection of colours for use around car parks, site road networks and on the public highway. Our signs use only top quality reflective films and aluminium substrates to ensure enhanced lifespans of more than 12 years.

Take a look at our No Sat Navs and custom road signs here:

7 June

Here 24,859 miles sign, for London artists Thomson & Craighead.

Here 24,859 Road Sign

One of our more unusual jobs recently was to produce a road sign for London artists Thomson & Craighead, for part of an exhibition at the Carroll/Fletcher Gallery.

NEVER ODD OR EVEN is the first survey of Jon Thomson and Alison Craighead’s work in the UK. The artists appropriate and manipulate video footage, You Tube clips, computer games, and Twitter and other real time web data into installations, video works and projections, often with sound and text. Political and social themes are explored through technology to reformulate human questions for contemporary times.

The sign shows the distance back to Here, the very same spot, when pointed on a North/South axis. 24,859 miles of course being the longitudinal diameter of Earth.

Image provided courtesy of the artists and Carroll/Fletcher Gallery.

Arrow signs like this can be customised and purchased online with Road Signs Direct.

20 March

Road Signs Direct National TV advertising

Go compare advert

Okay, okay... So the advert was actually for Compare the Market. The one featuring Stephen Hawking daydreaming about creating a black hole to remove the the annoying opera singer from the universe.

But, if you take a look at the bottom right corner of the back of the road sign, which is mounted on the post the singer clings to, you will spot a small sticker placed there by the Road Signs Direct factory.

In my book, that counts as our first national TV advert.

Our signs really do get everywhere.

26 February

The road sign as a design classic

Motorway Signs

The Design Museum has added a motorway sign to its collection. So is British road signage a design classic?

There is very little to like about motorway journeys. Endless black tarmac, blurry white lines and fuzzy green trees.

Motorways are about getting from A to B in the quickest - legal - possible time. But have you ever spared a thought for the signs dotted along Britain's roads?

White lettering on blue signifies a motorway and white on green signals a primary route. Everyone knows that. And they'd recognise the lettering, regardless of where it was.

Then there are those familiar and friendly images for school children crossing the road and men at work.

Britain's roads look as they do because of Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert. The graphic designers standardised the road network, created many of its signs and produced two new typefaces, Transport and Motorway.

In the 1950s, road signs were a mess - a confusing and dangerous hotch potch of different symbols, colours and lettering. But more and more people were acquiring cars.

As the government set about creating a brave new world of motorways, Kinneir and Calvert were given the job of making signs that could be clearly read in a split second.

Calvert, now 75, says they had to start from scratch.

"It required completely radical thinking. The information wasn't there in terms of reading distance, clarity and letter spaces. We had to make up the signs and then test them. It was instinctive."

They were tested in an underground car park and in London's Hyde Park, where they were propped up against trees to determine the most effective background colours and reading distances.

One of their biggest decisions, which caused upset among conservative commentators at the time, was to opt for a combination of upper and lower case letters.

"The actual word shape was the most distinctive thing because if you had Birmingham in capitals, from a distance, it's difficult to read but in caps and lower case you have word shape," says Calvert. "That was fundamental."

After the success of their big and bold motorway signs, the pair were commissioned in 1963 to overhaul the rest of Britain's roads. They created new signs and remodelled existing ones, based on the European protocol of triangular signs to warn, circles for commands and rectangles for information.

They favoured pictograms rather than words on the signs, and Calvert drew most of them in the curvaceous style of the Transport typeface. Many of her illustrations were drawn from her own life.

Very few people have heard of Calvert but her portrait is probably one of the most recognisable in the UK, after the Queen's on stamps.

The girl in the school children crossing sign is based on a picture of herself. She didn't like the grammar school overtones of...

Continue reading on the BBC News website.

Image by the Highways Agency, shared under a Creative Commons Licence.

15 January

Partnership with Sheriff Technologies Ltd

Variable Message Sign

Sheriff Technologies Ltd is a leading manufacturer of road safety and parking sign solutions. Their product range focuses on electronics for variable message signs and road safety applications like vehicle activated signs and school patrol signals.

Road Signs Direct will shortly be listing a number of their products for sale online. This is to include a selection of their Vehicle Activated Signs, a Stop-Go traffic light for industrial & commercial sites, and a their nearly developed Sign Light and Solar Powered Sign Light products.

17 December

Road sign review moves announced

20mph school sign

Plans to improve the signs on Britain's roads following the biggest review in 40 years have been announced by the government.

It hopes to reduce the number of signs councils need to use by removing the requirement for some signs.

New signs include one warning lorry drivers of unsuitable roads to help prevent them being misled by sat-navs.

It aims to cut red tape by allowing councils to place some signs without needing government permission.

Councils will be able to use innovative measures such as 20 mph when lights flash signs without needing central government approval.

20 October

Do you know the highway code

Highway code signs

We all had to learn the meaning of road signs to pass our driving tests; we see them every time we drive and they are vital to road safety, but how many of us actually remember what all the different road signs mean?

A poor understanding of The Highway Code is compromising road safety, a new survey has revealed. Results from the poll of 5,000 motorists showed a large percentage failed to correctly answer a number of general knowledge and picture questions covering road signs and The Highway Code.

One in six drivers have ignored road signs when they do not know what they mean, Goodyear's Test the Nation survey found.

The study tested 2,000 drivers on road rules and signs and found that while almost half rated their knowledge of the Highway Code as good or very good, that was not the case.

More than four in 10 (44%) drivers could not correctly identify that a red and amber traffic light shown together meant stop, Goodyear's Test the Nation survey found. Instead they thought it meant to proceed with caution.

Almost three out of 10 did not think it was necessary to stop if a pedestrian was at a zebra crossing waiting to cross, while more than a quarter did not know the speed limit in a built up area is 30mph.

More than a quarter failed to correctly identify the no right turn sign. One in seven thought the sign meant the road up ahead on the right was closed.

Watch the video and take the test on the BBC website.

5 June

Olympic Park Signs for Coca-Cola

Custom Road Signs

Road Signs Direct supplies signs to Coca-Cola for the London 2012 Olympic games.

The signs, which surround the new Olympic Stadium, are to encourage visitors to recycle plastic and aluminium drinks containers.

Coca-Cola has pledged to recycle all clear plastic bottles disposed of at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility policy.

Coke is also pledging to recycle bottles that have not been made by the soft drinks company, which have been bought to the venue by visitors. The recycled materials will be used to make 80 million new Coke bottles. The soft-drinks giant aims to have the new bottles made within six weeks of the closing ceremony.

Locog, the Olympic games organisers, have a sustainability target of sending zero waste to landfill with at least 70% of all waste at the Olympic Park being reused, recycled or composted.

You're in good company:

Smith Sport Civils
National Trust
Sheriff Technologies

Daniel, it's brilliant. Thanks

James Hunt - - 4 Jan 12