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August 13, 2007

Making better highway signs

photo from the New York Times showing variations on highway signs

2007 is going down as the year that the importance of type design hit the mainstream. First there was Gary Hustwit's great documentary Helvetica, showing how one typeface shaped the second half of the 20th Century. Now the New York Times has run a great article talking about the redesign of the font used on highway signs.

The article, The Road to Clarity, recounts the design and evolution of Clearview, a new typeface that makes highway signage clearer and legible from a greater distance. It does a great job explaining how little things like increasing the size of the center hole in a lowercase "a" can make a font easier to read. It also examines the way that the choice of typeface convey import, meaning an emotion.

Posted by Chris Spurgeon at August 13, 2007 06:52 AM