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28 October 2010 @ 11:57 am
transportation AND font geekery  
Here's a story for my transportation-geek friends AND my font-geek friends:

The Federal Highway Administration is requiring that new street signs comply with updated standards to use mixed case Clearview.
Mixed-font Clearview was readable from roughly 440 feet away, whereas typical all-cap lettering was readable only at a distance of 384 feet. By expanding the interior spaces of certain letters, Clearview also reduced halanation—the process by which letters blur together late at night. In darkness Clearview became readable at 387 feet, against 331 for the standard highway font style.

More about this here.
Tags: ,
I'm feeling: chipperchipper
lazyzlazyz on October 28th, 2010 04:23 pm (UTC)
גילנהgilana on October 28th, 2010 05:04 pm (UTC)
Nifty, thanks!
harimad on October 28th, 2010 05:18 pm (UTC)
I like the slam on the councilman who asserted that street signs have been working fine for the last 100 years.
1. There weren't a lot of street signs 100 years ago in the US.
2. The signs weren't working fine. They weren't created with fast vehicles in mind and there were a lot of crashes.

In related news, a small study reported on in BBC showed that people retain information better when the font is a little harder to read. (This study involved people who were stationary at the time.)
Beowabbit: Lang: Old English (Widsith)beowabbit on October 28th, 2010 05:21 pm (UTC)
Cool, thanks! I’d heard of Clearview, but hadn’t realized it was being phased in nationwide.
Doug Orleansdougo on October 28th, 2010 08:51 pm (UTC)
It's probably entirely nostalgia on my part, but I still prefer Highway Gothic.
ruthless compassion: martini handsaroraborealis on October 28th, 2010 09:03 pm (UTC)
Doug Orleansdougo on October 28th, 2010 09:17 pm (UTC)
I just like the shapes. Hard to explain; it's entirely subjective. Clearview just seems somehow lurid and caffeinated and maybe a little dumbed-down. I fully support making signs maximally readable, but I just think it could have somehow been done more tastefully.
Johnscherzoid on November 2nd, 2010 02:24 am (UTC)
Awesome! There's a lot of Clearview down here in Virginia already—one of the very few things VDOT does right.