Backseat A-B-See

by Maria van Lieshout

What you can’t see from this picture is the texture of the spine. It feels like canvas, maybe? And the front and back cover are offset from it a bit? So many question marks. So not familiar with the intricacies of bookmaking!

Point is…it’s a nice touch. (BAD PUN ALERT!)

But really, it is! This book is so striking before you even open the cover, and that danger zone spine is just one of the reasons.

This is the inside cover, and Maria van Lieshout’s homage to the designers of street signs. LOVE IT. And she’s right, saying, “We don’t usually give thought to the story behind the signs.”

Did you know these symbol signs received the Presidential Award for Design Excellence in 1984?


So, like she says: Please DO ENTER!

We look at these signs every single day, and rely on them to communicate the rules of the road. Wouldn’t it be harder to read and harder to keep safety first if they were fancy and less bold?

Bet you didn’t count on a trip to the DMV when you stumbled across this blog today, but the shapes matter! Pay attention.

Did you know?

Octagons = Stop

Upside Down Triangle = Yield

Circle = Almost always a railway crossing. Choo chop!

The Long Rectangle Created By Opening This Book = The shape of a road, directing your reading road trip

Oh, the 101. I drive this road every. Single. Day. As tedious as that sounds, (and IS in rush hour!) this page gave me a little extra grin.


  • Posted November 5, 2012 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    So cool! And now I really want to know what road signs represent Q and X :)

  • Posted November 5, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    And there’s a REALLY fun last page which you HAVE to A-B-see!

  • Posted November 5, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    I love that you took all your pictures on the road. In my former life, I was a civil engineer and transportation consultant. I used to own the MUTCD (Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.) This looks much more interesting!

  • Posted November 5, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Oh, Hannah…that book sounds DREADFUL!

  • Posted November 5, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    cool! I gotta read this book!

  • tinamcho
    Posted November 5, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    What a neat, original ABC book! Teens should use this for drivers’ ed, too! I agree with Susanna. I wonder what q and x are! Thanks for sharing!

  • Posted November 8, 2012 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on Blog.

  • Posted November 30, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the post, Carter! I’m such a road sign geek, I don’t own a copy of the MUTCD but would love to!

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