Outward journeys must not be in the past was a project which consisted of a series of site-specific signs and posters made for Preston‘s transport hubs in April 2015. The project was commissioned by In Certain Places.
The signs and posters referenced the significant amount of British modernist transport signage in Preston and sought to explore how the intended clarity and purity of these modernist designs, originally from the late 1950s to late 1960s, now exist in the present day, if at all.
Named after a National Rail error message, the project emphasises the conflicting styles and messages which have developed in the city over time.
References include a proposed national motorway symbol which was tested on the Preston by-pass but rejected for national use; the original, Swiss style, clear and precise designs of Preston Bus Station signage, intended to evoke the ‘luxury of air travel’, which have since been assaulted by additional, confusing, jarring signage; and the current day deviations from the meticulous British Rail signage at Preston Railway Station in favour of vague signage from privatised companies and flawed internet-based information.
A publication of the same name has since been made as a supplement to the project and includes an original text, Unconscious Clarity, by Eddy Rhead, founding trustee of the Manchester Modernist society.