P&O-Orient Lines Luggage Labels


A suite of labels coded by shape, pattern and colour to be read by people of different languages and levels of literacy around the world.

P&O Luggage label, an early project Margaret Calvert was involved with, 1957

As reads in the 1971 Kinneir Calvert Tuhill brochure: ‘Baggage destination labelling system. Intended for use by sometimes illiterate labour, the labels are coded visually: shape of label indicates place of storage on board, colour indicates the area of the world to which the baggage is destined, pattern shows the port of off-loading in that area.’ Colin Anderson was chairman of P&O and having seen the Gatwick Airport signage of 1957 commissioned Jock for this labelling system. Margaret discusses the adhesive labels she worked on here at Design Indaba 2016. “That’s my first attempt at drawing lettering because that kind of typeface just didn’t exist’.

Anderson then became chair of the Transport’s Advisory Committee on Traffic Signs for Motor Roads, so this collaboration would have led to working on to the motorway signage which started in 1958.

P&O Luggage Label, 1957