People can't decide what this UK road sign design is meant to be

Speed camera sign
(Image credit: RAC/Future)

Road signs are among some of the clearest and instantly recognisable designs around – and necessarily so. But it turns out one of the most ubiquitous signs on British roads has drivers a little confused.

The speed camera design, designed to alert drivers that, yes, they're about to pass a speed camera, is believed by many to depict a old fashioned Victorian bellows camera from the side. But one Twitter user believes the reality is a lot less charming. (Looking for design inspiration? Check out the best print ads of all time.) 

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One driver has shares their disappointment at the realisation that the sign actually depicts a plain old CCTV camera, jutting out from the right and pointing directly at the viewer. And with that, we've gone straight from Oscar Wilde to George Orwell. 

It isn't clear what basis the Twitter user has for declaring it a CCTV camera, and the Highway Code isn't much help either, simply calling it "a black camera symbol on a white background". And plenty of people are refusing to believe that it's anything other than an old fashioned camera. "What are you saying? It's definitely a bellows camera. Always has been," one user comments, while another adds, "This is wrong; the speed camera symbol is explicitly supposed to evoke a Hasselblad-style camera with bellows, immediately recognisable at the time as a camera."

We've seen some pretty interesting road-related designs recently, from this brilliant road safety poster to this other brilliant road safety poster (we've seen a lot of brilliant road safety posters). Not so brilliant is the new Kia logo.

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Daniel John
Senior News Editor

Daniel John is Senior News Editor at Creative Bloq. He reports on the worlds of art, design, branding and lifestyle tech (which often translates to tech made by Apple). He joined in 2020 after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more.