Welcome to the Sign Design Society

The Sign Design Society (SDS) is for anyone interested in information and graphic communication within buildings and public spaces, including:

As well as raising the profile of our disciplines, we offer members a programme of events, resources and initiatives to help them:

To join choose a membership plan that suits you and sign up!

Our events

There are no future events.

Interested in a membership?

News

Third party events

Type Paris Now 2024

Date: 1 June 2024

This conference (in English) brings together graphic design and typography enthusiasts. We seek to explain how typography has a visible impact on the world around us. Come to Paris to listen a mix of inspiring speakers evoking topics as broad as graphic design, web design, motion design, publishing, visual identity, communication and type design.

Read more

The Nature of Cities Festival

Start date: 3 June 2024
End date: 7 June 2024

TNOC-Festival-Berlin

TNOC Festival is part conference, part radical imagination, part retreat. Take part in a global community of urban thinkers and changemakers to build cities that are better for nature and all people by mixing art, science, and urban practice.

Read more

4th International Placemaking Week

Start date: 5 June 2024
End date: 8 June 2024

Project for Public Spaces’ International Placemaking Week seeks to bring together practitioners, policymakers, and public space advocates from around the world to share the projects and innovations that are making placemaking one of the most critical movements of the 21st century. We want to hear about your experience, stories, tools, and lessons to understand how placemaking can help address local and global challenges!

Read more

BuiltEnvironment

Join us for the inaugural lectures of UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering (IEDE) Professor Anna Mavrogianni and Professor Nici Zimmermann. Anna Mavrogianni is Professor of Sustainable, Healthy and Equitable Built Environment at UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering. There she leads the Research Theme on Temperature, Moisture and Air Quality. With a background […]

Read more

ReadingUni_Emergence_2024-1

‘Emergence’ describes our transition from the explorations of study to the opportunities of professional life. It also invokes AI technologies driving change in graphic communication. What will emerge isn’t yet clear, but we’re ready to help shape the future of our field.

Read more

Minimal cognition: brained or brainless biological intelligence

Start date: 9 June 2024
End date: 13 June 2024

The purpose of the Workshop is to look at model organisms as diverse as possible with the aim of unveiling a more comprehensive meaning of the concept of «cognition». Our motivation for this workshop stems from the need to examine cognitive evidence devoid of anthropocentric biases. We aim to focus on compelling evidence of intelligent behaviour in various organisms, ranging from insects to single-cell organisms, and extending to the potential for plant intelligence and cognition. Convincing evidence of intelligent behaviour is attested in a variety of organisms, from the pin-brained organisms provided by invertebrates such as insects to single celled organisms such as ciliate or protists up to the possibility of plant intelligence and cognition. Another focal point of the workshop is the role of synaptic plasticity in learning and memory, which is currently a prominent topic in neuroscience. We will revisit past studies on Pavlovian conditioning in organisms like Paramecium aurelia and planarians, reevaluating the association between nuclear mechanisms and long-term memory storage, which has implications for cognition in single-cell organisms. Studies of minimal cognition in brain and brainless organisms should be complemented by the study of the plasticity of dynamic morphogenesis of biological forms as revealed by regenerative biology and controlled chimerism. The development of synthetic living machines with behavioural capacity, offers new avenues for understanding the origins of cognition in all of possible forms of material implementations.

Read more

ReadingUni_Emergence_2024-1

‘Emergence’ describes our transition from the explorations of study to the opportunities of professional life. It also invokes AI technologies driving change in graphic communication. What will emerge isn’t yet clear, but we’re ready to help shape the future of our field.

Read more

Can a single typeface express diverse viewpoints through its own functionality? Partners from two design studios, Polymode and XYZ Type, discuss their collaboration to bring notions of expansive personal identity into typographic form. The unexpected road to their typeface Polymode Sans began by viewing a historical type revival through a queer lens, and led them to harness variable font technology as a form of cultural code-switching. Working on an abstract theoretical foundation, they created an entirely pragmatic tool: a typeface with both the versatile utility of a sans serif and the vigor of a decorative display face. This talk will follow their process through from initial idea to chameleonic applications, posing questions about collaboration, dialogue with history, and how designers express personal identity.

Read more

This event will explore how we can create a built environment where everyone, regardless of their economic circumstances, gender, ethnicity, age, sexual identity, physical ability, nationality or religion, can participate fully in all available social, economic, cultural , political opportunities. Engage with experts in the field and gain valuable insights with like-minded individuals and be part of a conversation that is shaping the future design.

Read more

This talk by Paul Shaw will closely examine the texts that typefounders used to display and promote their typefaces. Those texts have varied greatly, both over time and from typefounder to typefounder. Eighteenth-century typefounders, following the examples of William Caslon, relied on Cicero’s First Speech against Catiline to show off their text types. Even when Fat Faces, Egyptians, and Grotesques emerged as display types in the early 1800s, they continued to use “Quousque tandem abutere”. But as the nineteenth century wore on, typefounders began to include quotations from literary and historical works, proverbs and maxims, patriotic references, verbal hijinks and humorous wordplay, and just plain random combinations of words. Investigating these texts can help to accurately date specimens and typefaces, identify connections among foundries, reveal the political sympathies of typefounders, and shed light on the social and economic circumstances of the times. There are other texts in type specimens beyond the texts that showcase the typefaces: introductions, price lists, advertisements for ink makers and others, and the typographic apparatus of headers, titles, captions, and credits.

Read more