Summer 2001

From A to B

Sign Design Guide: A Guide to Inclusive Signage

Joint Mobility Unit Access Partnership and the Sign Design Society, Peter Barker and June Fraser

Peter Barker and June Fraser’s Sign Design Guide is essentially about legibility, an area often overlooked in design discussions. It makes a nice change to be told that upper and lower case is more legible than all caps, and that research shows sans serifs read better for signage than a serif font. Design here is not about taste or style: it’s about making sure that someone can get from A to B effectively. This is a ‘how to’ book covering fonts, spacing, colour, materials and production methods, and even includes a height-versus-distance chart calibrated for degrees of visual acuity. Designers may see this approach as patronising, or welcome it as based on an assumption that they are motivated by an interest in making the world a better place.

First published in Eye no. 40 vol. 10, 2001