KeySIGN Celebrates it's 30th Birthday
In May of 1986 the development of a software program started in the traffic section of Humberside County Council and AutoSIGN, or KeySIGN as it is now known, was released later that year. It was the start of a 30-year journey which would see the program continue to develop and enhance the working lives of those who used it to design the nations road signs.
Let’s take a look back over the key milestones and see what else was going on in the UK at the time.
In 1986 as the first version of KeySIGN was released, the political landscape of the UK mirrored events of recent times. We had a conservative Government in power with Margaret Thatcher at the helm at number 10. The UK had just signed the Single European Act, to establish a single market, and the London Stock Exchange was computerized.
By 1991 Multiple Stack Borders had been introduced to KeySIGN, and John Major had succeeded the Iron Lady in the role of Prime Minister. The final phase of the M40 was opened giving the West Midlands its first direct motorway link with London and Tim Berners Lee introduced the World Wide Web.
In 1994, as prescribed in the 1994 Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions, L shaped panels were introduced to KeySIGN. Meanwhile, in the rest of the UK, the Channel Tunnel opened, the film Four Weddings and a Funeral was released, and the first National Lottery Draw took place.
By 1998 crossroad symbols could be automatically drawn, which provided considerable timesaving’s. There was a new political party in charge of the UK headed by Tony Blair, the Good Friday agreement was signed and DVD’s were first released in the UK.
By 2004 a command for creating a destination block in one go had been added. Jose Mourinho joined Chelsea FC for the first time, the millennium stadium in Cardiff was opened and fox hunting was banned in England in Wales.
In 2013 Automatic borders were introduced to KeySIGN, David Cameron was prime minister as the head of the coalition Government formed by the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. Andy Murray won the men’s singles at Wimbledon for the first time, and later that year he won sports personality of the year.
In a year that has seen the UK population vote for Brexit, KeySIGN celebrates its 30th birthday, through the changes to the UK political scene, the relationship with Europe and changes in the industry, the sign design software has remained dependable, adaptable, flexible and a firm favourite of the UK user base. Here’s to another successful 30 years of sign design.