Designing road safety signage with Marion Deuchars RDI

What a brilliant day we had in late June at Abbeywood First School. Year 4 pupils were engaged in a special workshop to design new road safety signs with illustrator/author Marion Deuchars RDI.

Marion is a Scottish born, internationally acclaimed, award-winning illustrator. Marion works with major design and advertising agencies, publishes illustrated children’s books and has created a much-loved style of hand-lettering.

A group of pupils representing their classmates had brought their road safety project idea to Takeover Day 2018 at the RSA and now we were finally following up with help take the project forward. For Takeover Day pupils has been challenged to devise their own social action project and bring their project idea to present to other pupils and a group of friendly ‘dragons’.

Marion had lots of wise words for the pupils:

  • There is no right or wrong way to draw
  • Handwriting shows personality
  • Human brain sees colours before it sees pictures or words
  • Make your artwork personal – make it true to you
  • Use artistic licence – it doesn’t have to look like reality
  • Follow your passion – you can make a career out of art

Marion’s own learning journey was inspired by her belief that ‘if you can draw a bird doing yoga then you can make them do anything’. She introduced us to her endearing character Bob the Artist. One pupil offered up a design of a brother for Bob. We’ll have to see if he makes an appearence in future story books!

We explored the impact of effective design and how simple slogans, bold colour and personality were good ways to have impact with their signs and make people notice.

The pupils will be putting up their road signs outside the local shopping centre to encourage safer driving.

I had a wonderful day working with the children at Abbeywood First School. I was very impressed by their level of concentration, enthusiasm for the subject and the ability to develop their ideas throughout the workshop. It was a challenging subject but they were so enthusiastic and optimistic!. It was a joy to work with them.
Marion Deuchars RDI


With huge thanks to Marion Deuchars, RDI for your sharing your time and passion and to Abbeywood First School Year 4 pupils for your hard work and tenacity on this project. 

Photo credit: Marion Deuchars

Related project: RSA Academies and the Royal Designers for Industry