7,821 Kilometers of Fun

Driving through Canada already presents plenty of graphic roadside delights, such as the one on the right, but designer Nigel Smith wants to add another system of signage that will not only make you laugh, but make you stop the car and break into a rendition of “O Canada.”

While touring through Montreal, Smith noticed signs for Toronto (512 km away) and came up with an idea. Why not add signs with the distance to cities that are thousands of kilometers away, too? It would promote Canadian pride, teach geography, provide photo opps for tourists, and give drivers a little pick-me-up, especially a second themed signage system that Smith proposes:

For example, if one was heading out of Meat Cove, N.S., they might be keen to know how far it is to Pickle Lake, Ont., or Carrot River, Sask., and then, having worked up a thirst, Soda Creek, B.C. Smith and his wife, industrial designer Helen Kerr, also came up with themes such as body parts (Digby Neck, N.S., Eyebrow, Sask., and Salmon Arm, B.C.), clothing (Lake Trouser, Que., La Tuque, Que., Cardigan, P.E.I.,), optimism (Port Hope, Ont., Peace River, Alta., Happy Valley, Nfld.) and so on.

Smith works at Hahn Smith Design. Thanks to Andrew Blum–who by the way, has an incredibly prolific gallery of his writing here.