Collaborate to innovate

DSC 9626Innovation is driving the heart of our future economies. As we push for greater innovation the need to collaborate across widely different specialisms has become a requirement to gain more and more innovative solutions. The question is HOW? How do we enable professionals who have long been separate, or even incompatible, and ask them to produce something new and innovate?

In this talk Wesley Meyer, designer at the inter-disciplinary firm Gensler, will share trends, personal insights and practical advice on HOW to enable collaboration for innovation. The talk will cover better understanding other designers (and stakeholders), unlocking the hidden value in your design process, dispelling some misconceptions about innovation and how to have more effective and collaborative meetings. There will be jokes too. We look forward to a lively Q&A.

The Adventures of a Type Tourist

BathCity01Type designer David Quay is fascinated by urban typography and how cities use typefaces to express their individual identities. Describing himself as a ‘Type Tourist’, David has visited and extensively photographed the type styles that characterise many cities across the world. He has recently started to share his knowledge and experience by offering type tours of cities.

Each city is unique typographically. The Johnston typeface, originally designed for the London Underground, is now used on street signage – effectively becoming the typeface DNA of London. Amsterdam has two DNA typefaces: the café lettering painted by signwriter Leo Beukeboom, and the cast metal letters (in the Amsterdam School type style designed by Anton Kurvers) used to label over a thousand bridges. Barcelona, Berlin, Paris and Valencia (with its ceramic tiles) all have their particular characteristic letterforms.

British Rail Corporate Identity Manual

British Rail Corporate Identity Manual

Feb17 Henning Hand medThe reproduction of the British Rail Manual has received considerable coverage over recent months. So the Sign Design Society is very pleased to welcome the man behind the project – Wallace Henning – to talk about this labour of love.

Leaves on the lines, the wrong kind of snow and stale sandwiches never really helped British Rail become a brand that was truly loved by the nation. Yet, in 2011 the readers of Creative Review voted British Rail’s ‘double arrow’ as their sixth favourite logo. In 2015, graphic designer Wallace Henning launched a Kickstarter project to fund a high spec reproduction of the original British Rail Manual. The Manual showcases and celebrates the British Rail corporate identity – not just its distinctive symbol but the full graphic design programme: from detailed specimens of the famous Rail Alphabet typeface, to the livery of the Inter-City 125.

Wayfinding for industrial estates and business parks

JDocksey2Spaces where vehicles and pedestrians interact and interchange is no more felt than at a busy and bustling industrial estate or business park.

In this talk, Jonathan Docksey from wayfinding agency Design JD will explore the different needs of pedestrians and vehicles on industrial estates. He will also explain how the agency engages with users to ensure success.

Over the last five years, Design JD have been working on industrial estate wayfinding solutions that ensure a smooth and safe experience for all concerned. Tackling these projects involves taking into account all aspects of the wayfinding journey: from pre-visit information, road signage, and pedestrian signage through to the interaction between people and road traffic.

Transit Map Extravaganza and SDS Summer Party

SDS would like to invite you to our special summer party featuring two illustrious speakers.

Purely Decorative: The Journey Map is the Reward

An exhibition by Maxwell J Roberts


The purpose of a map is to show the topography of the landscape so that it can be navigated effectively, but the skills of the cartographer can have a considerable aesthetic effect on the viewer too. How many maps, proudly displayed on the walls of houses worldwide, have ever been used as originally intended? Maps are not only beautiful, they can evoke strong memories, such of youthful exploration, or holidays to exotic destinations. The humble transit map fulfils these roles well, and creative designers often embellish their work with artistic flourishes, alternatively the stark simplicity of stripped down unornamented designs, with their nod to Bauhaus philosophy, have their own powerful aesthetic, as achieved by Beck and Vignelli.

Smart City Wayfinding in India

A Wayfinder’s Weekend in New Delhi and Wayfinding PhD research update

A two-part talk by Colette Jeffrey Birmingham University

"Cities have the capacity to provide for everyone only when they are created by everyone.”

What’s happening in India? How do people find their way, and what will the 100 Smart Cities do to help people find their way around? Colette Jeffrey was recently invited to speak about ‘smart city wayfinding’ at the international Smart Society: India Under Construction conference in New Delhi, India. She used her professional experience of city wayfinding gained from working at Applied Wayfinding, and also her research of human wayfinding behavior to explore what cities in India need to think about and she will share this thinking with the SDS.

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