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These elderly crossing signs will make your day ( / 28.05.2015)

Postato il 02.06.2015 da Commenti Commenti disabilitati su These elderly crossing signs will make your day ( / 28.05.2015)

Designers offer dozens of witty alternatives to the ‘patronising’ road sign that suggests older people are all infirm and hazards to drivers

Road sign for elderly crossing

The elderly crossing sign should be changed, argue campaigners Photo: Reuters

The sign, depicting two people hunched over as they attempt to cross the road, was the winning entry in a children’s contest almost 35 years ago and has been criticised for implying all elderly people need mobility aids or are disabled.

Critics have argued that the signs are unnecessary, and that those who listen to music or text as they walk are greater hazards than elderly people.

Patronising or necessary? (Alamy)

In 2014, Dr Ros Altmann, the pensions expert and campaigner, called the signs redundant and called for them to be banned. “I think we do not need a sign to warn people of older people,” she said. “It is redundant. I don’t think they are serving any useful purpose and they are damaging.

“The signs give the message that old people are frail and disabled – it contributes to the some of the age discrimination that we know exists in society.”

Anna James, founder of Spring Chicken, which specialises in selling gadgets designed to make life easier for older people, is hoping to change that.

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James has teamed up with brand and communications company NB Studio Sign to launch the ‘Sign of the Times’ campaign to change the image of ageing.

Some suggestions for the ‘Sign of the Times’ campaign (Alan Dye, George Hardy, Andrew Altman)

The campaign asked designers to reinvent the current “elderly crossing” sign to “do justice to the fantastic creativity, energy, curiousity and sheer vim of the older people that we meet”.

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“Today’s older adults don’t think of themselves as old and infirm,” James said. “I think there is a way to represent the need for drivers to slow down without suggesting that life is over for older people.

“We want to change the image of ageing and bring some wit and humour, and a more accurate reflection of older people, to these signs.”

Margaret Calvert’s original ‘children crossing’ road sign, and her new ‘elderly crossing’ road sign

More than 70 designers submitted new signs, including Margaret Calvert, the typographer and graphic designer, who created many of the road signs used throughout the UK.

Calvert designed the “children crossing” road sign using herself and her younger brother as the inspiration. Her new design is thought to draw from the same inspiration and reads “After Margaret Calvert – 50 years on”.

Some suggestions for the ‘Sign of the Times’ campaign (John Bateson, Oliviero Toscani, Purpose)

The man behind some of the most controversial Benneton ad campaigns, Oliviero Toscani, also contributed a design to the campaign. Toscani’s sign depicts the famous image of The Beatles crossing Abbey Road, which James thinks is very fitting.

“The iconic figures of back then are now in their 70s, and that’s the point of this campaign,” she said. “People have to change their perception of what growing older is. We have a young at heart ageing population.”

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Some suggestions for the ‘Sign of the Times’ campaign (Vince Frost, Tom Lynham, Mark Lester)

Many of the designs “poke fun at the image of ageing”, though James hopes that there are one or two that could potentially replace the current sign.

To vote for your favourite design, visit the Spring Chicken website.

By Saffron Alexander

Date: 28.05.2015


Categorie: articles in English