• The history of the iconic road sign designs
  • Test your knowledge in our sign-filled quiz
  • What's next in the world of road sign design?

When Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert designed the UK's road signs more than 50 years ago, they wanted their creations to be as clear as possible. For example, if they hadn't had their final say, place names on road signs would be written in all capital letters.

'The actual word shape was the most distinctive thing because if you had Birmingham in capitals, from a distance, it's difficult to read, but in caps and lower case you have word shape,' said Calvert in a BBC interview in 2011. 'That was fundamental.'

The resilience of their designs is testament to their effectiveness and, although constant small alterations and amendments are made, it is little surprise that road signs are almost identical to the ones that flanked the UK's roads in the 1960s.

However, despite their iconic appearance, our road signs continue to flummox drivers – and that's not just the uncommon ones: almost a third of motorists don't recognise the national speed limit sign. 

So, how well do you know your highway code? 

Test your road sign knowledge with the quiz below.


So, what does the future hold for Britain's road signs?

If Hailo's cabbies have their way, we'll be seeing road signs in London warning drivers of tourists, texters and potholes. The app recently ran a survey with their drivers, 58 per cent of whom said that a sign with 'craters ahead' should be placed on heavily potholed roads. 

In March 2015, it was reported that 70% of UK drivers had hit a pothole in the previous two years, a third (32%) of whom sustained damage to their vehicle. Even though only 64% of those whose vehicles sustained damage made a car insurance claim, it seems as though pothole-warning signs would be a pretty good idea. 

Whether road signs get removed, replaced or created from scratch, you can be sure that they'll be designed with the road user in mind, utilising Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert's famed iconography to maximum effect.