Street Signs as More Than Just Words

Spacing Toronto author Matthew Blackett has written an insightful

article envisioning potential future street signs in Toronto. The old signs (pictured below) were unique, they developed a sense of place by evoking a sense of nostalgia.

In contrast the new signs are somewhat generic. Nothing about these signs scream Toronto, nor reflect the cultural qualities of the communities they are adorned in. The white text on blue background with white borders does not pop like the old high contrast black and white signs of yesteryear. While they are quite functional, there is a blandness to them.

Street signs can be used to do more than simply identify the street name. Blackett drew up a few examples of using street signs to evoke a sense of place by showing historical images:



Futhermore Blackett demonstrates that the street signs could convey use data of the road. For example:

Bike Lanes:

Or A playground zone:

These are some pretty interesting ideas. No doubt Calgary’s bland signs could use a serious overhaul. Incoropating both historical and culutral images alongside other information like bike lanes could be a subtle but effective way of enhancing our city streets.

Check out the post at Spacing Toronto HERE

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