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Icon Magazine - Rethink

Icon magazine invited us to contribute to their monthly “Rethink” feature, where design studios are invited to redesign objects or systems in everyday life. We took on the task of redesigning the US road signage system. For a country so heavily reliant on cars, we feel the current signage system is confusing, inconsistent and messy. Our plan is to modernize and add clarity to a signage system that millions of road users rely upon every day.

Information is placed consistently on all road signs to enable drivers to read multiple instructions quickly. Color is introduced into the upper strip of the overhead signs. Currently, interstate highways are depicted by a blue shield, US highways by white, and state highways by (mostly) black. For the sake of consistency and ease of recognition, we have retained these color associations.

Exit signs emit a wireless signal that speaks to a smartphone app, provided for free by the Department of Transportation. As a driver passes upcoming exit markers, the app displays fuel stations, attractions, accommodation and places of interest that can be reached from the turn-off. The app provides publicity for local, smaller independent businesses that aren’t directly visible from the highway. The app is designed to encourage discovery, spontaneity and scenic routes - perfect for the all-American family road trip.