Highway Font

October 2, 2012

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On my ride back to Oneonta from home, I couldn’t help but wonder about the font seen all over the country on big green signs.  The road signs on the highway all have the same font that is a sans-serif informally known as “Highway Gothic.”  It is otherwise known as “FHWA series fonts.”  It was a typeface designed to be legible while driving at high speeds.  The typefaces originated from FHWA’s Standard Alphabets for Traffic-Control Devices, originally published in 1945 (reprinted 1952).  The designer is Ted Forbes.  Different variations of this font series are used in the U.S. and in other countries such as Canada, Brazil and many more.  This font can also be affiliated with “The Weather Channel”, The New York Mets, and The TV Guide Channel.  I find it interesting that something such as a font has become so worldwide and has remained its consistency for the most part.  

-Michelle Furman

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