In 1964, the Design Research Unit — Britain’s first multi-disciplinary design agency founded in 1943 by Misha Black, Milner Gray, and Herbert Read — was commissioned to breathe new life into the nation’s neglected railway industry. The corporate image of the railway had remained largely unchanged after its nationalisation in 1948, a reflection of a largely disjointed and out-of-date transport system.
“The company name was shortened to British Rail and Gerry Barney of the Design Research Unit conceived the famous ‘double-arrow,’ a remarkably robust and memorable icon that has far outlasted British Rail itself and continues to be used on traffic signs throughout the United Kingdom as the symbol for the national rail network and more specifically railway stations on that network.”
Quoted from Nick Job’s fascinating website devoted to the double-arrow. Just look at the amount of detail in the manual section. Brilliant. Right down to the uniforms to be worn by the British Rail Catering Refreshment Room Staff.
Via Iancu Barbărasă.