M1 motorway sign to star in art exhibit

motorway 2nd December 2011

Driving enthusiasts with a passion for UK roads may be interested in a visit to the Design Museum London – with one exhibit set to feature an 'iconic' sign from the M1 motorway.

The M1 sign, which directs traffic to Pickering on the A169 along with Scarborough and York on the A64, will feature as one of 13 new items acquired by the museum's curators.

Unchanged since its original design back in 1960, the sign will now stand alongside a diverse range of pieces including a Sony Walkman and Kalashnikov AK-47 rifle.

The sign was designed by Margaret Calvert and Jock Kinneir back in 1958 after the pair were commissioned by the government to create signs for Britain's then new motorway network.

Speaking at the launch of the exhibit, Ms Calvert admitted that when it came to the design "style never came into it".

Instead, the look of the signs was created following careful testing in and around Hyde Park, with colours and reading distances tested against trees and underground car parks.

With modern art now including motorway signage, the days of tyres rolling into a similar exhibit may not be far away.

Posted by Danielle Barge