We wanted to somehow bring articulation to the looseness and ambiguity of the marks. Through playing around with the shapes, refining and attempting to standardise them while retaining their hand-painted fluidity, the work eventually came together as a display typeface – Public Slab Sans.
The font is a sometimes discordant combination of round curves, square edges and sharp corners. Some characters, like the M, W and 0, are derived directly from found marks. Others draw reference from multiple different marks, and some double up as two or more characters. The typeface features 21 different arrows, as these are common symbols in roadwork communications, and some characters – such as the C – take their form directly from the arrows themselves.
Reflecting the hand-drawn nature of the original marks, some of the characters – like the C and D – interlock; others form joined ligatures when combined, such as TT, UN, TY and NN.