Margaret Vivienne Calvert
|Born||1936 (age 82–83)|
|Education||St Paul's Girls' School, London|
|Alma mater||Chelsea College of Arts, London|
|Occupation||Typographer and graphic designer|
|Known for||Design of road signs in the United Kingdom|
|Awards||Officer of the Order of the British Empire|
Margaret Vivienne Calvert OBE (born 1936) is a British typographer and graphic designer who, with colleague Jock Kinneir, designed many of the road signs used throughout the United Kingdom, as well as the Transport font used on road signs, the Rail Alphabet font used on the British railway system, and an early version of the signs used in airports. The typeface developed by Calvert and Kinneir was further developed into New Transport and used for the single domain GOV.UK website in the United Kingdom.
Born in South Africa, Calvert moved to England in 1950, where she studied at St Paul's Girls' School and at the Chelsea College of Art. Kinneir, her tutor there, asked her to help him design the signs for Gatwick Airport, where they chose the black on yellow scheme for the signs after researching the most effective combination.
In 1957, Kinneir was appointed head of signs for Britain's roads. He then hired Calvert to redesign the road sign system and she came up with simple, easy-to-understand pictograms, including the signs for 'men at work' (a man digging), 'farm animals' (based on a cow named Patience that lived on a farm near to where she grew up), and 'schoolchildren nearby' (a girl leading a boy by the hand), using the European protocol of triangular signs for warnings, and circles for mandatory restrictions. The Worboys Committee was formed by the British government in July 1963 to review signage on all British roads.
In addition to her road signs, she has designed commercial fonts for Monotype, including the eponymous Calvert font, a slab serif design which she created in 1980 for use on the Tyne and Wear Metro system. She was awarded an honorary degree by the University of the Arts London in 2004.
In June 2018 Calvert was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by Arts University Bournemouth alongside dancer Darcey Bussell, costume designer Jenny Beavan OBE and director and screenwriter Edgar Wright.
Gallery of work
Transport typeface, used on road signs in the UK and several other countries
Motorway typeface, used for road numbering on UK motorways
Calvert typeface on the Tyne and Wear Metro
Roadworks sign used in the UK, one of the pictographic signs designed by Calvert ahead of the 1963 Worboys Review
UK road sign warning of schoolchildren, one of the pictographic signs designed by Calvert ahead of the 1963 Worboys Review
- "Birthday Honours 2016: the Prime Minister's list" (PDF). UK Government. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
- "A few words on Typography". GDS Blog. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
- Baines, Phil (10 September 2003). "The Time of the Signs". Frieze. Retrieved 22 June 2009.
- McClatchey, Caroline (9 December 2011). "The road sign as design classic". BBC News. Retrieved 9 December 2011.
- "Calvert". Identifont. Retrieved 9 December 2011.
- "First graduating year of University of the Arts London". University of the Arts London. 7 June 2004. Retrieved 9 December 2011.[permanent dead link]
- "Top Gear S14E07 programme notes". BBC iPlayer. Retrieved 9 December 2011.
- "D&AD President's Award Winner 2015: Margaret Calvert". D&AD. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
- "No. 61608". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 June 2016. p. B11.
- "Queen's Birthday Honours: Rod Stewart and Tim Peake head list". BBC News Online. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
- Reader, Jane (8 July 2018). "Strictly judge Dame Darcey honoured by Arts University Bournemouth". Bournemouth Echo. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
- Presenter: Joe Carr, Interviewee: Margaret Calvert (2004). "Routemasters". 1. Episode 1. BBC. BBC Radio 4.
- Sears, Neil (29 May 2004). "After 40 Years, The Girl On The School Sign Steps Out @ Nostalgia Central". Daily Mail. Archived from the original on 30 October 2005. Retrieved 17 November 2005.
- Hilliard Selka, Elizabeth (19 April 2012). "Margaret Calvert interview: Caution: woman at work". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
- "Design Museum – Jock Kinneir + Margaret Calvert". Design Museum. Retrieved 9 December 2011.
- Keep it Simple: interview by Francesco Padovani
- The Brits Who Designed the Modern World Artsnight - Series 4: 7, BBC Two