See our video montage http://www.throwersigns.co.uk/movie.html
Our Crowthorne telephone number still includes 4 of the original digits which date back to the 1960’s. In those days all you needed to put was Crowthorne 2164 on your business card and unless they called in at the workshop, that was how people got hold of you.
At the point when operators no longer connected you by the exchange name and STD codes came in you would probably only be called by someone living within the same area who did not need to enter a code or they would look up the code number in the phone book. Some of the big trucks with overseas connections might also in those days have a Telex number painted on. Then came Facsimile, which we all called Fax. With the greater use of mobile technology and the fact that these were not routed through the area exchange from which you were calling, full Area Codes and 9 and then later 10 digits for each mobile also needed to be applied to vehicles. Greater use of the internet required web sites and e-mail addresses to become requisites. No wonder there seemed greater simplicity of layout and cleaner lines to those early vehicles.
Could this all change again towards simplicity? Quite possibly, because now along comes QR. (Quick Response code)
Apparently created originally by Toyota to aid logistics, these bar codes are now used in all kinds of advertising as a short cut to web pages when scanned by iPhone or similar technology with suitable apps. Interestingly the other graphics on the vehicle follow good basic rules. They say that “A picture tells a thousand words” and this is very often true, the earliest signs, from the days when much of the population were illiterate, were symbols which everyone could recognise- An anvil for the blacksmith, the pub might be Four Horseshoes, the pawnbroker- three balls.
The logo design on the van with the QR code incorporates a tap which immediately links to plumbing and the use of blue associates with water.
Some of the simplest designs are the easiest to understand. The design of this hanging bracket sign for an Optician hardly requires the text to identify the business.
Perhaps the introduction of shortcuts like these may enable a reduction of text on future vehicles, as Telex and increasingly Fax is eliminated, perhaps in the future we may not need e-mail, web address or long telephone numbers. Visibility is the the key, very often less is more.