Roadscapes Stuff

Roadscapes Wednesday: Why The US Has Two Different Highway Fonts

Welcome to Roadscapes Wednesday, each week this post will talk about roads and infrastructure related topics.  I am called the “road geek” for a good reason, I love roads and love talking about roads!

There are two mainstream highway fonts on American road signs, Highway Gothic and Clearview.  Each state has different standards when it comes to highway fonts.  Some use the classic Highway Gothic while other states use Clearview.

When you head out on the highway in the United States, you’re probably paying attention to the signs above your car and on the side of the road — the ones that direct you to your destination. If you’re looking for an exit or a rest stop, chances are you’ll see the typeface Highway Gothic. It became the highway standard in the 1950s, born out of an initiative from the California Department of Transportation to develop a clearer and more flexible standard for highway signs.

But for the past decade, a new typeface has been trying to take its place: Clearview. This new typeface boasts wider spaces inside of letters and less chunky letterforms, and tries to solve some of Highway Gothic’s readability issues. Learn more in the video below from Vox.

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