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Exit ArchiveArchive for March 8th, 2005
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I see baiting no longer works…

Only a type geek like me would appreciate the following: The government has approved a new typeface to be used on road signs. Read a story about it here. [Actually, that link no longer works. What kind of website deletes old content? Sheesh! —Ed.]

I find this very sad. I love the font used on highway signs. The fact that it has started being overused in ads and elsewhere is upsetting, but road signs are forever, while the whims of advertisers are flighty. The highway sign font would endure.

Well, that is now no longer the case. Looking over the PDF proposing using the Clearview font vs. the FHWA Series E font (what a sexy name!), I agree that the new font is more legible. But it has no style. It is characterless and dull. While FHWA Series E is pretty uninteresting at first glance, once you really look at it, it’s got some class. Those angled ascenders and descenders are neat. The font weight is meaty and nice to look at. It’s lovable.

Funny that I always thought it was wonderfully legible and brilliantly designed. Guess I was wrong!

What also gets me is that untold scads of moolah were probably spent researching and designing this font. And what does it look like? The English road sign font. That curve in the lower-case L, the curved lower-case G and Y… very British!

I agree that safety comes before design, but it’s too bad in this case they can’t co-exist together. At least they didn’t go with Verdana! (If you get that in-joke, you deserve a smiley: :)) [NOTE: The Wren Forum is no longer designed using Verdana, which was the in-joke. Though if your computer does not have Myriad or Trebuchet, Verdana will resurface. Thought you’d want to know. —Ed.]