Network Rail has supported the Design Museum in opening a display to celebrate Margaret Calvert, the graphic design pioneer, and to display the new Rail Alphabet 2 typeface.
Designed in collaboration with Henrik Kubel, the new typeface will be used in design publications and will eventually be used at all Network Rail managed stations.
The exhibition features the story behind the railways up to the launch of Rail Alphabet 2 as well as learning more about design and the new systems used to create a safer travel environment.
It also looks at rail signage and printed matter and how these have changed over the years.
Visitors will learn about Margaret Calvert through 3 of her typefaces, Calvert which is used on the Tyne & Wear Metro, Transport, which is used on UK road signs and Rail Alphabet, used on stations and rail-related material.
The exhibition runs at the Design Museum in London, until the 10th of January, you can find out more information and book a ticket by visiting Margaret Calvert: Woman at Work on the Design Museum website.
London Paddington has been earmarked as the first station to implement Rail Alphabet 2.
Sir Peter Hendy CBE, chair of Network Rail, said: “The original rail alphabet designed by Margaret was an enduring design icon of the 1960’s, and heralded the rebirth of the modern British railway system. She is a true pioneer of design, and I’m delighted we’ve been able to work with her and Henrik Kubel on Rail Alphabet 2.
There’s a muddle of different fonts used on railway signage which are hard to read and confusing for passengers, so we were keen to work on a clean and consistent design to make journeys and stations better.
This is just one of the ways in which we are taking a fresh, collaborative approach to design and putting passengers first.”
Margaret Calvert said: “It’s been wonderful for me to have been given a chance to re-visit the original Rail Alphabet, designed by me in the Sixties, as a starting point for the design of Rail Alphabet 2, for Network Rail, which will be used for both wayfinding, and as a text face for specific publications.”
Deyan Sudjic, Director Emeritus of the Design Museum said: “Margaret Calvert showed Britain the way into the modern world. Her brilliant signage system made sense of the new motorways in the 1960s, welcomed us into a generation of new NHS Hospitals, and guided us through brand new airports and railway stations.”
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