I took a trip to the Design Museum today to the exhibition ‘This Is Design’ (http://designmuseum.org/exhibitions/2011/this-is-design). The exhibition ‘celebrates and features highlights from the museum’s Collection including the Anglepoise lamp, UK road signs, UK traffic lights, the candlestick telephone and the Moulton bicycle’ as well as many other iconic pieces of design used today.
Many of the objects where profiled throughout their history. These varied greatly, as the video shows, however the one exhibit I was particularly interested in was the redesigning of the British highway typeface in 1969 by Kinneir Calvert. It illustrated how much of a change had taken place from the original mish-mash of fonts which had been used across UK highways (cross-section of image in my blogs title bar). The creation of the universal ‘Transport’ typeface was so good, it lives on today and is still used across all British transport signage.
Photos by AH
With the ticket I was also able to have a look around the Terence Conran Exhibit. Effectively a showcase of his life, touching on his many influences on 20th Century design. In an interview filmed in the late 70’s Conran discusses his ability to be ‘both creative and business minded at the same time’ but later comments, ‘one day more designer another entrepreneur’. I felt this was a really pertinent point to make, no more so than in today’s economic climate.
It made me reminisce of the lecture by Brooklyn Brothers last term and how they were able to turn around Iceland’s downturn in tourism. Employing an ad campaign which came in at under 10% of the projected cost yet reached over 600 million people world wide (pretty sure it was a World Record) helped to inject around 50 million pounds back into other areas of Tourism. Amazing project. It emphasised the necessity to seriously consider budgeting when designing.