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Call to road test dual language signage

Call to road test dual language signage

The Department of Transport has asked the NRA to trial run newly designed road signs that would give the Irish language parity with English on the country’s roads for the first time in the history of the State.

The new design, which uses the test Turas typeface and colour differentiation to highlight both languages, is based on recommendations outlined in a study commissioned by Irish language organisation Conradh na Gaeilge.

Conducted by Royal Society of Arts fellow Garrett Reil, the study was aimed at discovering more efficient and safer means of imparting information to drivers as well as recognising the equal status of Irish.

The existing system employs the British Transport typeface designed by graphic designers Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert to standardise the UK road network in the 1960s. Considered a design classic, the typeface was later adopted in Irel and. However, the adopted Irish version saw the introduction of i t al i cs f or Irish place names, “directly” thwarting the design intent of the original transport typeface, according to the report.

It found that Irish typographic characters are poorly drawn – rendering placenames in Irish less visible than in English.

“I like the new design and I do think there should be parity betwe e n Irish and English wher e it matters, like road signs t ha t people see every day,” Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar said. “But it’s a bit like an election poster: it’s only when you put it on a road and drive past that you really know whether it works.”

Foilsithe ar The Irish Times 08 Samhain 2013 | Foilsithe ar 08 Samhain 2013

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