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25 January 2021
We help Design Museum celebrate the work of Margaret Calvert
Royal British Legion Industries and Buchanan Computing have again given their services for the Design Museum’s celebration of the work of leading graphic designer, Margaret Calvert OBE, renowned for the UK’s road signage system, signing for the rail network and airports, and for the typeface used on the government website, gov.uk
Graphic designer Margaret Calvert was a leading member of the team commissioned to redesign the road sign system in 1960s, creating many of the iconic symbols still used to this day including ‘Roadworks’, and ‘Children’ the two signs which have been recreated for this exhibition by veterans working in RBLI’s social enterprise, Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company (BBMC)
The artwork for these two warning signs was created accurately to Margaret Calvert’s latest reworking of her pictograms by Buchanan Computing using their SignPlot software – the UK’s leading traffic sign design system. SignPlot was also used to create signs guiding visitors to follow the one-way system and to depict the Transport Alphabet character set for the Museum’s displays.
Simon Morgan, Chairman at Buchanan Computing said: “We were pleased to be working with the Design Museum again and to help celebrate Margaret’s career spanning over six decades. In the past, we updated the miniature ‘children’ traffic sign on their crowd-sourced wall and, in conjunction with BBMC, produced the colourful 30 sign to mark the Museum’s 30th anniversary last year. The massive motorway sign above visitors’ heads, and another of Margaret’s ‘play pieces’ were also made from our electronic designs.
Margaret Calvert was delighted with the exhibition and said “The signs and displays looked great, so a huge thank you from me to you, Simon, and to RBLI. Everybody seemed very pleased at the opening. It did look impressive.” Rachel Hajek, Assistant Curator at the Design Museum added: “We are very grateful for the help that RBLI and Buchanan Computing were able to provide with the traffic signs and other graphics for our Margaret Calvert: Woman at work display.”
Kate Bull, Director of Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company, said: “It has been a real pleasure to join forces once again with both Buchanan Computing and Margaret on a project celebrating the iconic signs of our road system.”
“The veterans working in our signs department have been working hard throughout the pandemic to help keep Britain running, producing signs for essential infrastructure projects, so to take time away to support a project such as this has been a real treat.
“We are all incredibly proud to have turned our hands to support this exhibition which recognises the mastermind behind the signs we all see on a daily basis.”
The exhibition Woman at Work celebrating Margaret Calvert’s incredible 60 year career in graphic design will resume at the Design Museum, London once government guidance permits, but in the meantime may be viewed virtually here: Margaret Calvert: Woman at Work
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