Contributions wanted for online archive of signage designed by Jock Kinneir
Wherever you are in the United Kingdom, you may have come across the works of Jock Kinneir. Or more precisely, the work of Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert. They form part of every street: they are the road signs we see day in day out. When Kinneir’s and Calvert’s signage first appeared, they offered a real change from the hotchpotch of road signs. Firstly, the amount of pictorial information. Secondly, the use of upper and lower case sans-serif typography, which could be seen at great distance.
Now, Simon Kinneir, who survives his grandfather Jock, have set up an online library dedicated to his craft. It was launched on the 11 February this year, one hundred years since his birthday. It is a repository of correspondence, sketches, draft signage, and typography.
In 1959, Jock Kinneir began his professional partnership with Margaret Calvert. The rest was signage history. Not only on the A666 to Bolton from the M61, but also at hospitals and railway stations across the UK. Other works included the Transport typeface which came with the new signs, alongside the Motorway typeface (for identifying motorways).
Margaret Calvert also designed the Rail Alphabet for the British Railways Board in 1965. Similar versions were used by the National Health Service. Its precursor was a typeface that was first used at Gatwick Airport and the British Airports Authority.
The Jock Kinneir Library is available via http://jockkinneirlibrary.org. If you’re interested in your typography as well as road signs, it is well worth wasting a few minutes on, and submissions to the library are welcome.