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Author Topic: Unique, Odd, or Interesting Signs aka The good, the bad, and the ugly  (Read 636905 times)

ErmineNotyours

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Michael

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Re: Unique, Odd, or Interesting Signs aka The good, the bad, and the ugly
« Reply #3451 on: May 26, 2018, 01:08:15 PM »

Yet another picture I saw on Reddit yesterday:
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jakeroot

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Re: Unique, Odd, or Interesting Signs aka The good, the bad, and the ugly
« Reply #3452 on: May 26, 2018, 01:10:32 PM »

Yet another picture I saw on Reddit yesterday:

https://i.redditmedia.com/V4tJjS3Hq6Ag5vwC3Vzd_K2VRP0IBF2YVec-7Flvo9o.jpg?w=576&s=0888d72e29af433457d63d7f2980a87d

America is known for its road sign gaffes, but I don't even think Oklahoma would do something this stupid.
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Re: Unique, Odd, or Interesting Signs aka The good, the bad, and the ugly
« Reply #3453 on: May 26, 2018, 01:21:01 PM »

Yet another picture I saw on Reddit yesterday:

https://i.redditmedia.com/V4tJjS3Hq6Ag5vwC3Vzd_K2VRP0IBF2YVec-7Flvo9o.jpg?w=576&s=0888d72e29af433457d63d7f2980a87d

America is known for its road sign gaffes, but I don't even think Oklahoma would do something this stupid.

It seems more innovative than stupid. If you're facing either stop sign, the part sticking out won't block your vision at all.
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jakeroot

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Re: Unique, Odd, or Interesting Signs aka The good, the bad, and the ugly
« Reply #3454 on: May 26, 2018, 02:05:01 PM »

Yet another picture I saw on Reddit yesterday:

https://i.redditmedia.com/V4tJjS3Hq6Ag5vwC3Vzd_K2VRP0IBF2YVec-7Flvo9o.jpg?w=576&s=0888d72e29af433457d63d7f2980a87d

America is known for its road sign gaffes, but I don't even think Oklahoma would do something this stupid.

It seems more innovative than stupid. If you're facing either stop sign, the part sticking out won't block your vision at all.

It's an attempt at innovation, but it doesn't look to have worked. One of the edges is bent, which ruins the illusion from both angles. Would have been better just to place the stop signs on different levels.
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Eth

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Re: Unique, Odd, or Interesting Signs aka The good, the bad, and the ugly
« Reply #3455 on: May 26, 2018, 10:06:25 PM »

This rather verbose sign in Marietta, GA fortunately has a helpful summary posted under it. (Also, I just noticed they misspelled the name of their own city.)

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Re: Unique, Odd, or Interesting Signs aka The good, the bad, and the ugly
« Reply #3456 on: May 26, 2018, 11:33:00 PM »

For some reason, all of the US 12 signs for the detour west of Coldwater, MI are wide shields.

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Re: Unique, Odd, or Interesting Signs aka The good, the bad, and the ugly
« Reply #3457 on: May 27, 2018, 09:34:35 AM »

This rather verbose sign in Marietta, GA fortunately has a helpful summary posted under it. (Also, I just noticed they misspelled the name of their own city.)



So it IS legal in Marietta to pick up prostitutes after sundown??   :wave:
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ErmineNotyours

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Re: Unique, Odd, or Interesting Signs aka The good, the bad, and the ugly
« Reply #3458 on: May 27, 2018, 10:33:07 PM »

Someone mentioned this sign in another thread, but I can't find that mention.  When I try to search "Renton" here I get all the mentions of "Trenton" too.  This sign has since been removed, leaving just the overhead support.  This is at the east end of SR 900 in Renton, Washington, right before it turns in to a one-way couplet of congested downtown.

SR 900 Jct. with SR 167, Renton, Washington by Arthur Allen, on Flickr

This picture was taken on April 27, 2007.  This was the day my 1996 Ford Escort, my first car, bought in 1998, died in traffic on the way to a trip across the state.  I had it towed luckily only about eight miles back to the shop near my home.  Later in the day the mechanic would declare it totaled, and said all Ford Escorts die like this.  I kept a look out for similar model Escorts in the future, and jealously saw a few of them poking along in traffic.  Instead of saving up money for a new car, I would blow the money once a month on a rented Flexcar to drive somewhere.  By November I got beat up on a bus ride home from work late Saturday night, and begged my step-dad to cosign a car loan.  Instead he gave me his 2002 Ford Focus station wagon and bought a new car a little sooner than he would have wanted.
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ErmineNotyours

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Re: Unique, Odd, or Interesting Signs aka The good, the bad, and the ugly
« Reply #3459 on: May 27, 2018, 10:54:43 PM »

In Yakima, Washington is an irrigation canal that runs right through residential neighborhoods.  I'm sure the city uses any old piece of metal to make baffles in front of intake pipes, though this one looks like its directing traffic on the canal.

Sign directing canal traffic? by Arthur Allen, on Flickr
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MNHighwayMan

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Re: Unique, Odd, or Interesting Signs aka The good, the bad, and the ugly
« Reply #3460 on: May 28, 2018, 03:03:24 PM »

I'm sure this thread already has examples of incorrectly-used (read: negative contrast) Clearview, but this is a sign I've passed many times only to finally bother getting a picture of it on Friday. This is on I-35 NB in Iowa, a bit north of Ankeny. It's the only one I've seen (or remember seeing) like it. Maybe this is too mundane for this thread, but I find it interesting anyway (maybe also because it's an odd use of mixed case!)

« Last Edit: May 28, 2018, 03:19:47 PM by MNHighwayMan »
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roadfro

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Re: Unique, Odd, or Interesting Signs aka The good, the bad, and the ugly
« Reply #3461 on: May 28, 2018, 04:00:04 PM »

^ Also appropriate for the sign design errors thread, given the negative contrast Clearview and improper use of lower case on a regulatory sign.
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jakeroot

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Re: Unique, Odd, or Interesting Signs aka The good, the bad, and the ugly
« Reply #3462 on: May 29, 2018, 04:03:46 AM »

^ Also appropriate for the sign design errors thread, given the negative contrast Clearview and improper use of lower case on a regulatory sign.

Which reminds me. Why is this the case? Humans tend to take in words quicker when we can make out the shape of a word before the letters are clear (we recognise a few key letter shapes and the brain fills in the middle bits). It would make sense, then, for all signs to be mixed case, not just guide signs.

The sign reminds me of this warning sign that was briefly installed along IA-27/58 at Greenhill Road in Cedar Falls (from at least 2006). I don't know why I like it so much, but I do...

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Scott5114

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Re: Unique, Odd, or Interesting Signs aka The good, the bad, and the ugly
« Reply #3463 on: May 29, 2018, 05:00:43 AM »

I like the look of mixed-case signs better as well, but I think there may be some "common wisdom" that says people perceive all-caps to be stronger and more authoritative or something. I don't know if there's data for that assumption, though.
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US 89

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Re: Unique, Odd, or Interesting Signs aka The good, the bad, and the ugly
« Reply #3464 on: May 29, 2018, 02:50:46 PM »

The “State Law Move Over” sign is actually pretty hard to read, mostly because the text is quite narrow. I don’t know if there are different widths of Clearview like the different series of FHWA, but if there are, they certainly used a too-narrow version on that sign. The “Be Prepared to Stop” sign is a little crowded but is more readable than the “move over for emergency vehicles” sign because the text looks wider. Of course, in both cases I’d rather have all-caps FHWA used. I think it’s much easier to read.

Also, why is Clearview only approved for positive contrast? Is it just a technicality that happened because Clearview advocates never explicitly applied for negative contrast approval, or is there a real reason?

I think there may be some "common wisdom" that says people perceive all-caps to be stronger and more authoritative or something. I don't know if there's data for that assumption, though.

That might be part of it. My guess is that mixed-case takes up more space, since you have to leave extra space for the bottom half of some lowercase letters like g and y, so to avoid this problem they just use all caps.
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jakeroot

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Re: Unique, Odd, or Interesting Signs aka The good, the bad, and the ugly
« Reply #3465 on: May 29, 2018, 03:20:29 PM »

Also, why is Clearview only approved for positive contrast? Is it just a technicality that happened because Clearview advocates never explicitly applied for negative contrast approval, or is there a real reason?

Negative contrast Highway Gothic was found to be more readable than its Clearview counterpart.

I think there may be some "common wisdom" that says people perceive all-caps to be stronger and more authoritative or something. I don't know if there's data for that assumption, though.

That might be part of it. My guess is that mixed-case takes up more space, since you have to leave extra space for the bottom half of some lowercase letters like g and y, so to avoid this problem they just use all caps.

Vertically, yes there can be issues with letter tails (though line spacing requirements generally make this a non-issue). But horizontally, mixed case is usually better because it's not block width, as is the case with capital letters. Which means that some letters like i, l, and j take up less space (assuming the typeface is programmed correctly).
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Eth

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Re: Unique, Odd, or Interesting Signs aka The good, the bad, and the ugly
« Reply #3466 on: May 29, 2018, 03:44:01 PM »

The sign reminds me of this warning sign that was briefly installed along IA-27/58 at Greenhill Road in Cedar Falls (from at least 2006). I don't know why I like it so much, but I do...



At a minimum, the text needs to be slightly smaller. The word "Flashing" in particular is really crammed in there.

Apart from that...I can't really articulate why I don't like it (other than for aesthetic reasons). I guess I'd need to see it in context to figure out whether or not it actually is more readable (in this case, it's possible that the downgrade by using negative-contrast Clearview is cancelled out by the use of mixed-case).
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MNHighwayMan

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Re: Unique, Odd, or Interesting Signs aka The good, the bad, and the ugly
« Reply #3467 on: May 29, 2018, 05:32:17 PM »

Apart from that...I can't really articulate why I don't like it (other than for aesthetic reasons). I guess I'd need to see it in context to figure out whether or not it actually is more readable (in this case, it's possible that the downgrade by using negative-contrast Clearview is cancelled out by the use of mixed-case).

Me either. I think it looks unprofessional and amateurish to use mixed case negative contrast Clearview, but I think that's probably a very roadgeek-esque opinion. I highly doubt the average Joe Schmoe gives two shits either way about the typeface and the mixed/upper case issue.

Now, compare that to the way Minnesota installs and signs similar warning signs and beacons. Again, my opinion might be a bit tainted, but I think it looks way better and conveys the message more appropriately.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2018, 05:37:28 PM by MNHighwayMan »
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Scott5114

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Re: Unique, Odd, or Interesting Signs aka The good, the bad, and the ugly
« Reply #3468 on: May 29, 2018, 06:25:01 PM »

Having seen OTA use mixed-case FHWA Series on occasion, it looks fine enough. These examples have other technical mishaps that cause them to look ugly (the all-too-common lack of margins, wrong series used, etc.)
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jakeroot

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Re: Unique, Odd, or Interesting Signs aka The good, the bad, and the ugly
« Reply #3469 on: May 29, 2018, 06:35:03 PM »

Having seen OTA use mixed-case FHWA Series on occasion, it looks fine enough. These examples have other technical mishaps that cause them to look ugly (the all-too-common lack of margins, wrong series used, etc.)

I think this hits the nail on the head. Clearview often looks bad because, invariably, the installer will use the wrong width, or make the typeface too large, and it looks stupid. Like if FHWA Series A were used on a warning sign. To us, it might be cool because "Series A", but, subjectively, it looks rather odd. The sign I posted above probably looks bad because the text is too large for the sign, and the bottom plaque isn't wide enough. Nothing to do with Clearview.

Personally, I'd rather the W3-3 sign, with a supplemental "When Flashing" plaque, were used instead of all text. But I by no means am opposed to anything else. Aesthetically, I do like mixed-case Clearview.
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ErmineNotyours

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Re: Unique, Odd, or Interesting Signs aka The good, the bad, and the ugly
« Reply #3470 on: May 30, 2018, 12:21:42 AM »

In 2006, I stayed in a hotel across the street from the Education Department building in Washington, DC.  Outside the guard shack was this faux-retro crosswalk signs.  It seems retro because it uses figures that are less modern than Dot Man, but it is printed on a neon-green backing.  At least I think I remember them that way.  It's hard to tell under sodium vapor light.  I could only take this at night because I was afraid of being accosted by the guard.  If they wanted to be more authentic, they should have printed it on yellow.

Retro crosswalk sign outside US Department of Education, Washington, DC by Arthur Allen, on Flickr

Edit: Never mind, they are yellow, unless they switched them since then.  Google Street View
« Last Edit: May 30, 2018, 12:25:05 AM by ErmineNotyours »
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TBKS1

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Re: Unique, Odd, or Interesting Signs aka The good, the bad, and the ugly
« Reply #3472 on: May 30, 2018, 04:13:57 PM »

In 2006, I stayed in a hotel across the street from the Education Department building in Washington, DC.  Outside the guard shack was this faux-retro crosswalk signs.  It seems retro because it uses figures that are less modern than Dot Man, but it is printed on a neon-green backing.  At least I think I remember them that way.  It's hard to tell under sodium vapor light.  I could only take this at night because I was afraid of being accosted by the guard.  If they wanted to be more authentic, they should have printed it on yellow.

Retro crosswalk sign outside US Department of Education, Washington, DC by Arthur Allen, on Flickr

Edit: Never mind, they are yellow, unless they switched them since then.  Google Street View

Never seen one like this before, the closest I've seen are the ones with adult and child on it near schools. Nice find!!
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Re: Unique, Odd, or Interesting Signs aka The good, the bad, and the ugly
« Reply #3473 on: May 31, 2018, 03:12:14 PM »

Has anyone put this here yet?

https://www.google.com/maps/@34.9566552,-92.22897,3a,20.7y,95.93h,81.12t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1siDamhu31XGDajdiedsMFUw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

This sign has since been removed.
Looks kind of like a speed limit sign. Is that what it was modeled after?
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thenetwork

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Re: Unique, Odd, or Interesting Signs aka The good, the bad, and the ugly
« Reply #3474 on: May 31, 2018, 03:42:03 PM »

Kinda-sorta seen in another thread re: traffic signals, I found this interesting sign in the Philly area:

https://www.google.com/maps/@40.0417339,-75.0883064,3a,75y,325.15h,82.72t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1swZ3ra3lLTnxFX_iWV_x8Bw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
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