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1337Delta764
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Clearview font may make a return to U.S. road signs

Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:49 pm

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-con ... /text?r=24

It looks like U.S. Representative Sam Johnson has introduced a bill that will require the FHWA to approve the Clearview font for positive contrast (light on dark) road signs. The FHWA rescinded its interim approval in February 2016, causing many states to protest that decision.

The Clearview font is a font that is supposedly supposed to be more legible than the standard Highway Gothic font, however, what led the FHWA to rescind its interim approval were some tests that found it to be equal or less legible in certain applications (particularly the narrower variants of Clearview, as well as when used in negative contrast orientation aka dark on light). However, there have been some recent tests that don't agree with the FHWA's decision to rescind the interim approval.

Compared to Highway Gothic, Clearview is somewhat curvier, which IMO gives the font a more feminine appearance. The version of Highway Gothic that Clearview was initially compared to was Series E-Modified (the standard font used for mixed-case guide legend on most freeway signs), which has fat strokes to accommodate button copy, an obsolete sign manufacturing method. Clearview has thinner strokes compared to Highway Gothic Series E-Modified.

Currently ADOT is trying to achieve the same benefits as Clearview by using the non-Modified version of Highway Gothic Series E, which has thinner strokes than Series E-Modified. There have been several of these signs that have gone up recently on the Loop 101 Price Freeway. I wonder if ADOT will switch back to Clearview if approval is reinstated.
Last edited by 1337Delta764 on Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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johns624
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Re: Clearview font may make a return to U.S. road signs

Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:51 pm

Well, I'll sleep better tonight...
 
KLDC10
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Re: Clearview font may make a return to U.S. road signs

Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:55 pm

I quite prefer 'Highway Gothic'. Just my :twocents: , not that my opinion on the subject particularly matters!
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vikkyvik
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Re: Clearview font may make a return to U.S. road signs

Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:00 pm

So what you're saying is that Clearview was obsolete before it wasn't obsolete?
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1337Delta764
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Re: Clearview font may make a return to U.S. road signs

Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:07 pm

vikkyvik wrote:
So what you're saying is that Clearview was obsolete before it wasn't obsolete?


Clearview was never the official font for U.S. road signs. It was granted an interim approval in 2003 until the FHWA rescinded it last year. States or local governments had to request approval from the FHWA in order to use the font. What led to the rescinding of the interim approval was some studies that found it to be inferior, as well as many misapplications that were not in compliance with the interim approval.

Note that this bill won't make Clearview the sole font for positive contrast road signs, but will give states and local governments the option to use it.

KLDC10 wrote:
I quite prefer 'Highway Gothic'. Just my :twocents: , not that my opinion on the subject particularly matters!


I'm not sure if I really have a preference, but IMO Clearview does have a more feminine appearance.
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KLDC10
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Re: Clearview font may make a return to U.S. road signs

Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:27 pm

1337Delta764 wrote:
I'm not sure if I really have a preference, but IMO Clearview does have a more feminine appearance.


This is probably going to sound really picky, but I just think that 'Highway Gothic' is far more distinctive. 'Clearview' is more of a generic font if I'm honest.
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1337Delta764
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Re: Clearview font may make a return to U.S. road signs

Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:51 pm

KLDC10 wrote:
1337Delta764 wrote:
I'm not sure if I really have a preference, but IMO Clearview does have a more feminine appearance.


This is probably going to sound really picky, but I just think that 'Highway Gothic' is far more distinctive. 'Clearview' is more of a generic font if I'm honest.


Note that Highway Gothic (specifically Series D) is used for runway and taxiway signage at most of the world's airports.
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KLDC10
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Re: Clearview font may make a return to U.S. road signs

Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:35 pm

1337Delta764 wrote:
Note that Highway Gothic (specifically Series D) is used for runway and taxiway signage at most of the world's airports.


It is a great font - excellent for application in situations in which visibility is key. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!
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johns624
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Re: Clearview font may make a return to U.S. road signs

Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:47 pm

OMG-there's TWO of them!!!
 
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1337Delta764
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Re: Clearview font may make a return to U.S. road signs

Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:01 pm

KLDC10 wrote:
1337Delta764 wrote:
Note that Highway Gothic (specifically Series D) is used for runway and taxiway signage at most of the world's airports.


It is a great font - excellent for application in situations in which visibility is key. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!


The variant of Highway Gothic that was particularly problematic was Series E-Modified, which has fatter strokes to accommodate button copy. Button copy signs are no longer being manufactured, thus the fat strokes aren't really necessary anymore. Clearview tried to fix the halation issue (where letters appear as blobs by someone with less than 20:20 vision when shining lights onto them at night) by reducing stroke thickness, however, this can also be achieved by using a different variant of Highway Gothic such as Series D or the non-Modified version of Series E. Note that until the 2000 Edition of the MUTCD, Series E-Modified was the only variant of Highway Gothic that was available in a official mixed-case alphabet; however, the 2000 MUTCD added mixed case versions of Series B (narrowest), C, D, E, and F (widest, rarely used except for digits on some speed limit signs).
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KLDC10
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Re: Clearview font may make a return to U.S. road signs

Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:11 pm

1337Delta764 wrote:
The variant of Highway Gothic that was particularly problematic was Series E-Modified, which has fatter strokes to accommodate button copy. Button copy signs are no longer being manufactured, thus the fat strokes aren't really necessary anymore. Clearview tried to fix the halation issue (where letters appear as blobs by someone with less than 20:20 vision when shining lights onto them at night) by reducing stroke thickness, however, this can also be achieved by using a different variant of Highway Gothic such as Series D or the non-Modified version of Series E. Note that until the 2000 Edition of the MUTCD, Series E-Modified was the only variant of Highway Gothic that was available in a official mixed-case alphabet; however, the 2000 MUTCD added mixed case versions of Series B (narrowest), C, D, E, and F (widest, rarely used except for digits on some speed limit signs).


I'm afraid that I can't engage in much discussion about this, because I'm not an expert on the technicalities of different fonts, but since you have taken the time to explain, it would be rude not to reply. So all I can say is thank you for taking the time to explain all of this - much appreciated :)

I do, however, have a favorite font - Helvetica. No technical reasons, I just think it is a timeless classic, and incredibly versatile.
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BobPatterson
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Re: Clearview font may make a return to U.S. road signs

Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:59 am

Mr. Trump is right. We have too many regulations already.

You want a new font? You have to get rid of two old fonts.

That's how things are going to be.

Besides, Arial is good enough already.
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Brick
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Re: Clearview font may make a return to U.S. road signs

Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:45 pm

This all sounds like a solution looking for a problem...

"I can't read that exit sign on Interstate 70 because of the font used!" said no one ever.
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einsteinboricua
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Re: Clearview font may make a return to U.S. road signs

Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:46 pm

Brick wrote:
This all sounds like a solution looking for a problem...

"I can't read that exit sign on Interstate 70 because of the font used!" said no one ever.

Or, as the OP seems to imply, "I refuse to read the exit sign on Interstate 70 because the font appears to be feminine", said no one ever.
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1337Delta764
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Re: Clearview font may make a return to U.S. road signs

Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:13 pm

Brick wrote:
This all sounds like a solution looking for a problem...

"I can't read that exit sign on Interstate 70 because of the font used!" said no one ever.


The issue that Meeker & Associates (the creators of Clearview) were trying to solve is an effect known as halation, where letters appear as blobs by someone with less than 20:20 vision by shining headlights onto a retroreflective sign at night. They tried to improve this by reducing stroke width and increasing lowercase character height.
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UltimateDelta
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Re: Clearview font may make a return to U.S. road signs

Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:40 am

Clearly, this is the only solution to this quandary:

Image
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seb146
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Re: Clearview font may make a return to U.S. road signs

Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:41 am

So, instead of saving us taxpayers billions of dollars or getting a more useful health care system in place or fixing roads and schools, this is a priority? Really?
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BobPatterson
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Re: Clearview font may make a return to U.S. road signs

Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:26 pm

UltimateDelta wrote:
Clearly, this is the only solution to this quandary:

Image


No spell check available to sign painters? My wife's name is Bethel. She will object to this.
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northstardc4m
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Re: Clearview font may make a return to U.S. road signs

Sun Apr 23, 2017 2:51 am

BobPatterson wrote:
UltimateDelta wrote:
Clearly, this is the only solution to this quandary:

Image


No spell check available to sign painters? My wife's name is Bethel. She will object to this.


In Comic Sans everything is misspelled... :lol:
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