Nine words, nine images

This post is 8 years old. It may contain facts or opinions that are no longer correct. If you spot something you think should be updated, contact me by email or Twitter.

Here are some images I created for a college assignment based on nine words: ambiguity, diaphanous, condition, crash, ephemeral, loop, sequential, serendipity and utopia. All were inspired by examples from an archived Department of Transport book called "Know Your Traffic Signs", and use a version of the Transport font from CBRD.co.uk. No, I didn't know there was a website dedicated to cataloguing roads either.

I hit upon the idea of road signs while I was looking for a consistent thread to tie these ideas together; the meanings of all nine words can have so many interpretations I had to find some way to link each one without being completely literal about it. The brief suggested that the words were related to the artistic process; I guess you could see that as a journey of sorts, and these are markers to guide your path. Maybe it just appealed to my sense of humour. In any case, it is a strong and recognisable visual identity; it's ubiquity (to people in the UK at least) makes it ideal for a spot of pastiche.

From a technical standpoint, all the signs were copied from the book into Photoshop where they were "adapted", then saved as GIFs: since there are only a couple of colours in each it reduced the size of file and visual artefacts compared with using JPEGs. I considered vectorising them using Illustrator, but there didn't seem much point unless I need them printed at a large scale.

ambigous1

Ambiguity: Instructions which make no sense. Is one correct? Are neither? Are both?

diaphanous1

Diaphanous: You can see through it, can't you?

condition1

Condition: We are conditioned to a lot of strange things in this day and age. Motorways are just one of those things.

crash1

Crash: Could be handy to have a separate lane for accidents?

ephemeral1

Ephemeral: Here today, gone tomorrow...

loop1

Loop: I'm not going to insult your intelligence by explaining this one.

sequential1

Sequential: A series of actions- no options here.

serendipity1

Serendipity: A long and confusing route to an unlooked for happy ending.

utopia1

Utopia: Because obviously, any utopia will have boats. And trains.

Hopefully those will guide you on the roads. Safe journey!