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National Boards => General Highway Talk => Traffic Control => Topic started by: BigMattFromTexas on August 03, 2009, 05:35:25 PM

Title: The Clearview thread
Post by: BigMattFromTexas on August 03, 2009, 05:35:25 PM
Almost all of San Angelo's BGS's are in Clearview font and i think it looks cooler than Highway Gothic fonts are kinda "not so cool". Houston Harte Expressway is Clearview, and Loop 306 is some Highway Gothic font and i don't really like it, but the funny thing is it's all the same highway.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: getemngo on August 03, 2009, 05:59:49 PM
That's a good question.  My best guess: people don't like change.

Clearview is becoming quite extensive in Michigan, although it varies from freeway to freeway.  The only thing that I don't like about Clearview is that numbers look really ugly.  Look:

(http://michiganhighways.org/clearview/Interstate_2di_clearview.gif)
(Chris Bessert, michiganhighways.org)

I've seen a few of these shields in Detroit and I think I-69 has some as well.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Alex on August 03, 2009, 06:01:41 PM
(http://www.aaroads.com/shields/img/MI/MI19880962i1.jpg)

So unappealing...
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: BigMattFromTexas on August 03, 2009, 06:05:29 PM
ok so the numbers are REALLY ugly but i like the letters
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: cu2010 on August 03, 2009, 06:15:15 PM
To me, it really depends on how its used. When I first saw it in PA, I thought it was really bad. The spacing of the letters was off and the whole thing just looked sloppy.

However, I've seen pictures of newer installations in Texas, Virginia, and Michigan, and I must say that it's grown on me.  The new Clearview signs in those states look really sharp. I still prefer the FHWA fonts, of course...but Clearview is fine if used well.  I definitely prefer highway shields to be done in the FHWA fonts, though.

Granted, NYSDOT hasn't jumped on the whole Clearview bandwagon yet (of course, NY as a whole is behind the times :D ), but NYSTA has...and they don't do that great of a job with it.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: florida on August 03, 2009, 06:29:22 PM
Clearview annoys the hell out of me like Comic Sans MS does.  :angry:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on August 03, 2009, 07:17:49 PM
I think it wouldn't irritate me so badly if it weren't for the lowercase L's. I'd rather have the slanted top the FHWA fonts' lowercase Ls have than the stupid little feet the Clearview ones have.

The problem I have with Clearview other than that is it just seems way too friendly of a font. That's probably because the counter spaces are larger (a design decision made for legibility). But it sometimes seems kinda inappropriate in a road context, especially if you follow the designers' recommendation to not set it in all uppercase:

(http://www.denexa.com/forum_img/cvparking.png)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on August 03, 2009, 07:49:46 PM
what is "counter space"?

Clearview in general is just not a particularly attractive font.  I've seen plenty of custom state fonts ... some ridiculous (Maryland), others quite nice (New York) - why couldn't they have adopted the New York numbers??
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Duke87 on August 03, 2009, 08:03:49 PM
A lot of it probably just is that everyone's used to the old FHWA Gothic and anything else, no matter what it is, is going to look "off" because it's not what we expect it to look like.

That said, I second the complaint about the lowercase Ls. Curly bottoms look bad.

And yeah, setting in all caps serves a purpose: to distinguish between parts of the message. In the example above, the street name gets more lost in the text in the "correct" version while it stands out more in selectively capslocked version.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on August 03, 2009, 08:54:25 PM
IIRC, Clearview was not meant to be used in route shields. More often than not, it isn't.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on August 04, 2009, 02:13:31 AM
what is "counter space"?

Counter spaces are the white spaces formed by the black space of a letter. So the loop of the "a" as well as the gap between its stories, the inside of the "o", the hole in the "e" and the space between its tail and the loop, etc. If you compare FHWA fonts to Clearview, you'll notice the holes are quite a lot bigger in Clearview. (Compare the lowercase "e"s in "Street" on my example for instance.) That's because the small counter spaces in FHWA fonts were perceived to be washed out by halation on retroreflective signs.

The larger counter spaces make the font seem more open, which in turn makes me perceive it as a more friendly font than the more down-to-business FHWA Series fonts. AT&T's use of it in their corporate branding certainly doesn't help—while FHWA fonts make me think "Trust me, doing what this sign says is best for your continued well-being", the Clearview fonts make me think "Hey! You know what would be synergistic?! Keeping right except to pass! Oh, and cell phones!"

Of course, the old block lettering makes me think "Keep it under 45 or I will hit you with this stick."

Clearview in general is just not a particularly attractive font.  I've seen plenty of custom state fonts ... some ridiculous (Maryland), others quite nice (New York) - why couldn't they have adopted the New York numbers??

You really need to put an index of these together someday.

IIRC, Clearview was not meant to be used in route shields. More often than not, it isn't.

It's more complex than that. The FHWA notice of provisional approval for Clearview only approved it for use as white text on a darker background. Studies had not effectively shown that there was a benefit for dark text on light background at the time (and in fact some studies conducted since then have shown that FHWA Series fonts might actually be more effective than Clearview at these types of applications). Dark-on-light has still not been approved, so really the only states that can properly use Clearview in state route shields are CA and MN, and neither of them seem too terribly interested in doing so. (Interstate shields are fair game.)

Of course Oklahoma in its infinite wisdom totally disregards FHWA best practices and sticks Clearview on whatever it wants.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: myosh_tino on August 04, 2009, 02:29:17 AM
(http://www.aaroads.com/shields/img/MI/MI19880962i1.jpg)

So unappealing...
...I'm surprised that "INTERSTATE" wasn't converted to Clearview to make it a 100% Clearview shield.  :rolleyes:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: rawmustard on August 04, 2009, 03:00:33 AM
That's a good question.  My best guess: people don't like change.

Clearview is becoming quite extensive in Michigan, although it varies from freeway to freeway.  The only thing that I don't like about Clearview is that numbers look really ugly.  Look:
(snipped image)
I've seen a few of these shields in Detroit and I think I-69 has some as well.
IIRC, Clearview was not meant to be used in route shields. More often than not, it isn't.

Yes, the route shields that have been done in Clearview are goofs. Of course, I don't expect MDOT is in a hurry to correct all of them, although a few have been.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Tarkus on August 04, 2009, 03:55:11 AM
The main reason I dislike Clearview is that it's just too thin.  I also fully concur on the lowercase Ls . . . the serifs ruin it.

-Alex (Tarkus)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on August 04, 2009, 04:16:10 AM
gotcha re: "counter space" 

another problem with Clearview seems to be the wide kerning of the letters ... namely, blank space between letters is too large!  Look at your FHWA guide sign vs. the Clearview one, and see how much more space there is between the letters.  That is quite unattractive!

as for the custom state fonts... I am working on it!  See the shield gallery for lots of examples; and I can pull together what is needed if anyone requests a replica sign.

Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Hellfighter on August 04, 2009, 10:38:36 AM
For me, I like clearview more at night. I've noticed that I'm able to see all the signs rather than those with light near them.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: SSOWorld on August 04, 2009, 11:14:53 AM
For me, I like clearview more at night. I've noticed that I'm able to see all the signs rather than those with light near them.
I don't think the font contributes to this as much as the reflectivity on the signs - wait until they age with time, then check again :P
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Hellfighter on August 04, 2009, 11:27:27 AM
For me, I like clearview more at night. I've noticed that I'm able to see all the signs rather than those with light near them.
I don't think the font contributes to this as much as the reflectivity on the signs - wait until they age with time, then check again :P

True
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Stephane Dumas on August 04, 2009, 11:34:41 AM
I wonder if there was some road signs tested with Comic Sans MS?  :poke:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: exit322 on August 04, 2009, 08:30:47 PM
If you're going to use goofy fonts, go all out and put all signs in wingdings!
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Duke87 on August 04, 2009, 08:49:58 PM
I wonder if there was some road signs tested with Comic Sans MS?  :poke:

(http://img34.imageshack.us/img34/4003/482comicsans.png)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: City on August 04, 2009, 09:42:38 PM
I wonder if there was some road signs tested with Comic Sans MS?  :poke:

(http://img34.imageshack.us/img34/4003/482comicsans.png)

 :ded:

Some fonts are too cute for highways.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: getemngo on August 04, 2009, 10:36:32 PM
I wonder if there was some road signs tested with Comic Sans MS?  :poke:
Good Lord I hope not, but there sure are a lot of speed limit signs in Helvetica in my area.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: florida on August 05, 2009, 01:22:14 AM
I wonder if there was some road signs tested with Comic Sans MS?  :poke:

There are construction signs stating, "Slow down my daddy works here" in that horrible font. It's messy, little-kid scrawl, and reminds me of high school.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on August 05, 2009, 01:30:31 AM
Virginia Beach uses some strange font on most of its speed limit signs (most notably on Shore Drive for the quick drop from 45 MPH to 25 MPH).

Hopewell...um, don't get me started with them.

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3006/2969966023_10079e3796.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/coredesatchikai/2969966023/)

Proof that this monstrosity really exists (http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=37.296622,-77.278776&spn=0,359.98071&z=16&layer=c&cbll=37.296453,-77.278872&panoid=50wxRJOis6r0efxSE06fTw&cbp=12,48.07,,1,-1.65)

It was still there when I was in Hopewell last weekend.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: 74/171FAN on August 05, 2009, 10:58:24 AM
Quote
It was still there when I was in Hopewell last weekend.
  I live 5-10 minutes from that craziness but haven't gotten my own photo of that yet  :no:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: City on August 05, 2009, 07:05:35 PM
Virginia Beach uses some strange font on most of its speed limit signs (most notably on Shore Drive for the quick drop from 45 MPH to 25 MPH).

Hopewell...um, don't get me started with them.

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3006/2969966023_10079e3796.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/coredesatchikai/2969966023/)

Proof that this monstrosity really exists (http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=37.296622,-77.278776&spn=0,359.98071&z=16&layer=c&cbll=37.296453,-77.278872&panoid=50wxRJOis6r0efxSE06fTw&cbp=12,48.07,,1,-1.65)

It was still there when I was in Hopewell last weekend.

 :ded:

Goth shield. Never knew that VDOT loved mutant goth state route shields.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on August 06, 2009, 11:38:36 AM
That's not a VDOT sign. Hopewell is an independent city, and so it maintains its own signage.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: City on August 06, 2009, 07:23:46 PM
I see.

Even though VDOT didn't put it up, it still looks like something from a trash can.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: BigMattFromTexas on August 06, 2009, 08:17:08 PM
I think the lower case "L's" are cool, the gothic "L's" are fine too, but i like Clearview's the best
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: mightyace on August 06, 2009, 09:01:57 PM
I think the lower case "L's" are cool, the gothic "L's" are fine too, but i like Clearview's the best

I guess, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  :sombrero:

Personally, I think Clearview simply looks too thin and sparse.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: florida on August 06, 2009, 10:57:43 PM
I think the lower case "L's" are cool, the gothic "L's" are fine too, but i like Clearview's the best

You're such a sheep  ;-)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on August 06, 2009, 11:21:45 PM
I see.

Even though VDOT didn't put it up, it still looks like something from a trash can.

Given the part of town it's in, that might not be far from the truth. :p
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Bryant5493 on August 06, 2009, 11:46:53 PM
That signage from Virginia's ugly.

Those Clearview numbers are heidious on those Interstate shields.


Be well,

Bryant
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Michael on August 07, 2009, 01:55:56 PM
I don't like Clearview, and can't really say why.  I guess the best explanations I've seen here are it: Change from the norm and it's too "friendly".
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on August 07, 2009, 06:15:47 PM
Another possible argument against Clearview: While the font might be more readable to people who've never driven in America before, Americans have seen the old fonts for so long they can recognize the familiar letterforms more quickly than the Clearview ones. In fact, I did a few informal readability tests in high school that suggested this was the case.

Not entirely sure though, cause Clearview is, for all its faults, easier to read when set properly.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: deathtopumpkins on August 08, 2009, 03:55:49 AM
It may be easier to read, but did any of the past fonts have readability issues to begin with? Not that I know of.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: roadfro on August 08, 2009, 04:20:29 AM
It may be easier to read, but did any of the past fonts have readability issues to begin with? Not that I know of.

The FHWA fonts caused readability issues for some drivers (especially older drivers) on guide signs at night.  Glowing/halation on lower case looped/rounded letters was a big problem for these drivers, making such letters appear as blobs.

This is actually one of the principle reasons for the research and development of Clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on August 08, 2009, 08:35:48 PM
Oh, you apparently didn't get the memo about Texas Transportation Institute's new Cleardeer. The greatest thing is instead of blood their veins are filled with windshield washer fluid, so you're advised to actively try to run over them for a wonderful streak-free shine.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Michael on August 09, 2009, 04:33:35 PM
^^^ I lol'd!  :-D :-D :-D
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: bugo on August 09, 2009, 04:33:44 PM
Because it's ugly.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: bugo on August 09, 2009, 04:34:46 PM
Clearview annoys the hell out of me like Comic Sans MS does.  :angry:

Touche.  I've been annoyed by Craptic Scams since I was a little kid.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: florida on August 09, 2009, 04:37:10 PM
if you can't read signs, you're not seeing various other features that are not optimized for legibility, oh like pedestrians and deer and whatnot.  Maybe you should just stop driving.

Either that, or stop buying your reading glasses from Dollar General or Wal-Mart.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on August 09, 2009, 09:52:42 PM
Oh, you apparently didn't get the memo about Texas Transportation Institute's new Cleardeer. The greatest thing is instead of blood their veins are filled with windshield washer fluid, so you're advised to actively try to run over them for a wonderful streak-free shine.

yeah but have they phased out all the old deer yet?  I know TXDOT is usually pretty quick on infrastructure projects, but I don't want to run into one thinking I'll get a car wash and then have it turn out to be the old kind with the red inside.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on August 09, 2009, 10:03:12 PM
The new deer are three times as ugly and their tails curl, aiding your identification of them.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Michael on August 10, 2009, 01:29:48 PM
HA!  :-D
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: DanTheMan414 on August 10, 2009, 02:07:49 PM
I personally prefer Clearview, in part because it is easier to see the signs in photos.  :sombrero:  In all honesty, I don't have a problem with it, as long as they don't use the font in shields.

Of note, by the way: Ohio is now officially starting to sign in Clearview.  A re-signing of I-77 around the I-277/US 224 interchange in Akron has been done sometime between March & last week in Clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: 74/171FAN on August 22, 2009, 01:20:42 PM
Here's the crazy sign from Hopewell on VA 36 approaching VA 10  (http://i622.photobucket.com/albums/tt304/24DIDNOTWIN/VA36EASTNEARVA10.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Roadgeek Adam on August 22, 2009, 01:48:34 PM
Close your eyes! Its town signage! :|

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3139/3016347463_79ae15e184_b.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: deathtopumpkins on August 22, 2009, 02:17:12 PM
Here's the crazy sign from Hopewell on VA 36 approaching VA 10  http://i622.photobucket.com/albums/tt304/24DIDNOTWIN/VA36EASTNEARVA10.jpg (http://i622.photobucket.com/albums/tt304/24DIDNOTWIN/VA36EASTNEARVA10.jpg)

There are two of them?  :-o
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on August 22, 2009, 03:25:51 PM
Here's the crazy sign from Hopewell on VA 36 approaching VA 10  http://i622.photobucket.com/albums/tt304/24DIDNOTWIN/VA36EASTNEARVA10.jpg (http://i622.photobucket.com/albums/tt304/24DIDNOTWIN/VA36EASTNEARVA10.jpg)

There are two of them?  :-o

Not only that, but that one looks NEW.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: BigMattFromTexas on September 26, 2009, 06:22:37 PM
First off this is highway related cause it's a HIGHWAY font!!
Anyways, has anyone else noticed that the alltel logo looks just like the Clearview font?
Well alltel is my cell service and so on my cell phone it has a picture of the logo, and it took me a while to figure it out.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Alltel_logo.svg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Alltel_logo.svg)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Clearview_font.svg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Clearview_font.svg)
See the resemblance? I do!
 BigMatt
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Bryant5493 on September 26, 2009, 06:38:52 PM
Yeah, that's Clearview alright.


Be well,

Bryant
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: aswnl on September 26, 2009, 06:50:08 PM
Looks much more like DIN1451 to me.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on September 26, 2009, 07:17:40 PM
it is indeed DIN1451 Mittelschrift (the wider of the two series). 

the "a" is distinctly different between Clearview and the Alltel logo.

(a tangential question - is there a wider DIN1451 family member than Mittelschrift?  Seeing as "mittel" is middle, and it's about the width of American Series D, and the US fonts go up to Series G.)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: BigMattFromTexas on September 26, 2009, 09:42:25 PM
Looks much more like DIN1451 to me.
But the DIN1451 "e's" are different than the "e's" in the alltel logo.
 BigMatt
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on September 26, 2009, 09:53:12 PM
There's a Series G? I've never seen anything wider than Series F.

AT&T's logo is not in Clearview, but all of their promotional material is set in Clearview. There is a variant of Clearview called ClearviewOne which is modified for print usage (the kerning, for example, is much tighter).
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on September 26, 2009, 10:58:11 PM
there is A through G in the square fonts.  Of the round fonts, B through F match the widths of the old square fonts (and in fact, for some of the angular letters with no arcs in them, the letters remain exactly the same - H for example).  Round A is just a tad narrower than Round B, but Square A is about half the width of Square B.  You can (barely) see Square A here:

(http://www.artistjake.com/f/ca/x6194.jpg)


Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on September 26, 2009, 11:03:00 PM
But the DIN1451 "e's" are different than the "e's" in the alltel logo.
 BigMatt

if there is a difference, I do not see it.  The difference between those two and Clearview's "e" is colossal, by contrast. 
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on September 26, 2009, 11:22:33 PM
There is indeed a DIN typeface that is less condensed than Mittelschrift--I think it's called Breitschrift.  It is not used on German signing anymore but is quite popular in Hungary.  Some examples here:

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=460510&page=109 (http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=460510&page=109)

The modern DIN typefaces are not precisely the same as those used during the Nazi period, and I think the typeface designs were "forked" before reunification, with both the BRD and DDR having their own versions, but I haven't really found a coherent account of German traffic sign typography yet.

For that matter, British traffic sign typefaces are Transport Medium and Transport Heavy.  A Transport Light was developed, and was briefly considered in the early 1960's for use with internally illuminated signs, but I am not aware that the glyphs still survive.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on September 26, 2009, 11:27:02 PM
I believe I found a download for Breitschrift:

http://www.fontriver.com/font/din_1451_fette_breitschrift_1936/ (http://www.fontriver.com/font/din_1451_fette_breitschrift_1936/)

the name makes sense.  "breit" is German for "broad".
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: BigMattFromTexas on September 26, 2009, 11:58:13 PM
But the DIN1451 "e's" are different than the "e's" in the alltel logo.
 BigMatt

if there is a difference, I do not see it.  The difference between those two and Clearview's "e" is colossal, by contrast. 
I didn't see the word after the DIN1451 at first( i don't know what it is off the top of my head) so there really isn't a diffenece
 BigMatt
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on September 27, 2009, 11:46:16 AM

I didn't see the word after the DIN1451 at first( i don't know what it is off the top of my head) so there really isn't a diffenece
 BigMatt

engschrift, mittelschrift, and breitschrift are the words.  They refer to different widths.  "schrift" is German for "script", and as we all know, German combines its adjectives with its nouns to produce single, compound, words.  I do not know what "eng" means but I would assume "narrow" or "thin", to go with "mittel" (medium) and "breit" (broad).  They are, respectively, a bit narrower than FHWA Series C, a bit narrower than D, and a bit wider than E.

Differences in E: in DIN 1451 Mittelschrift, the stroke width is identical all across the letter, while in Clearview, the round parts are a heavier stroke than the crossbar.  Also, the bottom end of the letter: mittelschrift has the letter end at about a 45 degree angle, while Clearview is only about 30 degrees away from the vertical.

that is the E.  the differences in the A are far more significant. 
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on September 27, 2009, 01:22:58 PM
Historically it is fairly common to have traffic signing typefaces in multiple levels of condensation, and then to prune down the levels of condensation that are actually used on traffic signs.  Germany (dumping Breitschrift) and the US (dumping rounded Series A) are far from alone in this respect.

Switzerland used to use the VSS-Schriften, which are available in at least three levels of condensation.  The VSS-Schriften are no longer used in Switzerland--they have been replaced with ASTRA-Frutiger, at just one level of condensation--but they live on in Belgium and Bulgaria.

In France there are currently four typefaces in use, L1 through L4.  L1 and L2 are essentially the same sans-serif typeface, with different stroke widths to accommodate positive and negative contrast.  The same is true of L3 and L4, both of which are derived from an italic humanist typeface very similar (if not identical) to the one Adrian Frutiger developed for signs within Charles de Gaulle airport.  There is not much variation in condensation between L1/L2 and L3/L4, so now when the French want to de-emphasize the length contrast between a short placename (like PARIS) and a long one (like ARROMANCHES), the increase the intercharacter spacing (125% default, I've seen up to 200%) in the short placename or reduce it in the long one (I've seen down to 50%).

But these are the modern L1-L4 typefaces.  Until the early 1980's, the French used a different ensemble of three typefaces, and did not attempt to compensate for positive or negative contrast.  Old L1 had letterforms more or less identical to modern L1/L2; old L2 was a more condensed (thinner) version of old L1; and old L3 was an italic roman typeface.  You can still see examples of old L3 on flag signs in major cities and on some really old autoroute signs.  Also, Spain used the old French L1 and L2 typefaces until 1992 when, in its own traffic signing reform, it went to Autopista (essentially a modification of FHWA Series E Modified) and Carretera Convencional (similar to Transport Heavy but with an even heavier stroke and the letterforms modified to have the same 4:3 ratio between uppercase letter height and lowercase loop height, which Autopista carried over from Series E Modified).

Mexico has its own alphabet series, at multiple levels of condensation, for traffic signs.  Letterform drawings are in the Manual de Dispositivos para el Control del Tránsito en Calles y Carreteras (http://dgst.sct.gob.mx/index.php?id=602), but in comparison to the FHWA series, the series designators are numbers rather than letters and count up (rather than down) with increasing levels of condensation, SCT Series 0 (somewhat similar to FHWA Series F) being the least condensed.  Many of the letterforms are very similar to, but not identical to, those of FHWA alphabet series at similar levels of condensation.  The most blatant differences are in R and P in the series (SCT Series 1-3) usually found on most Mexican direction signs, which have large droopy loops like R and P in old French L1/modern French L1 and L2.

In practice it is not nearly as routine to see signs using the correct typefaces in Mexico as it is in the US, however.  The impression I get is that there are just two or three major vendors of traffic signs in Mexico, one of which uses the actual SCT series, while another uses the FHWA alphabet series, and the third uses some kind of ugly Arial/Helvetica knockoff.  Mexican road agencies don't penalize these signing companies for using the wrong typefaces and, as a result, a wide assortment of typefaces can be found on Mexican roads.  I have even seen pictures of Mexican signs using Transport Heavy (!) in a SCT annual report.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on September 27, 2009, 01:45:06 PM
in Mexico, even within prescribed fonts, there is great variety of implementation.  These two signs are intended to be various widths of the same font:

http://shields.aaroads.com/show.php?image=MX19830031t200030.jpg (http://shields.aaroads.com/show.php?image=MX19830031t200030.jpg)

http://shields.aaroads.com/show.php?image=MX19830012t200010.jpg (http://shields.aaroads.com/show.php?image=MX19830012t200010.jpg)

but they are very different - note how "Cuota" and "Libre" look almost nothing alike.

there is this font that shows up on occasion, which seems to be an Arial Black knockoff:

http://shields.aaroads.com/show.php?image=MX20020031t200030.jpg (http://shields.aaroads.com/show.php?image=MX20020031t200030.jpg)

here is a compressed Series D (instead of using the correct Series C) on this very old guide sign:

http://shields.aaroads.com/show.php?image=MX19600011t200030.jpg (http://shields.aaroads.com/show.php?image=MX19600011t200030.jpg)

and yes, here is that Arial knockoff, with something entirely else for LIBRE.  LIBRE looks good, but Arial should never, ever be used anywhere.

http://shields.aaroads.com/show.php?image=MX20020021t200020.jpg (http://shields.aaroads.com/show.php?image=MX20020021t200020.jpg)

every so often, this font shows up on route shields.  It appears to have been cut out from vinyl by hand, and casually resembles Massachusetts's font from a distance.

http://shields.aaroads.com/show.php?image=MX19770031t200030.jpg (http://shields.aaroads.com/show.php?image=MX19770031t200030.jpg)



I definitely prefer the classic font, of which the first two were examples.  I do not know its name, but it seems to be the oldest, and has a distinct character to it.  The FHWA knockoff isn't bad.

Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on September 27, 2009, 03:41:43 PM
There is definitely huge variation in how Mexican signs look--I think--to the extensive use of stencils to cut the letters out of retroreflective sheeting.  Many letters are also "wonky" (at a slight angle to vertical), and the stroke width of small letters in shields (e.g. "MEXICO" in the federal route marker) is often uncertain.

In the case of the first two examples you posted URLs for, I think it is more a question of the correct lowercase typeface not being used on either sign.  One sign has "Cuota" with print a and is clearly incorrect for that reason alone.  The other is more nearly correct but still looks more like fixed-pitch Letter Gothic than the real thing.  (In Mexico the lowercase alphabet is a separate entity, like the FHWA lowercase alphabet used to be before all of the all-uppercase FHWA alphabet series got officially approved lowercase letters in 2004.  It is quite common for the lowercase alphabet, whose letters are rather fat, to be used with very thin uppercase letters.)

On Mex. 16, at a railroad crossing near Coyame in the middle of the desert, I ran across a "DISMINUYA SU VELOCIDAD" sign which had been done with the correct lettering, but was clearly hand-painted.  The retroreflectorization had been done by pouring white paint over the sign blank and then tossing glass beads on top.  The lettering was done, I think, by stencils after the white paint had dried with the glass beads fixed in place.  Also on Mex. 16 in Yécora, many hundreds of km west and just over the Sonora border, I found a number of km-posts (including shields) which were clearly hand-painted in black on white enclosed-lens retroreflective sheeting--done with considerable attention to detail, but with just enough waviness in the curved elements and enough thickness variation in the lettering to give it away as a hand job.

(BTW, one thing I found very hard to get used to in Mexico was having to stop at every railroad crossing.  In the US automatic gate control is so common we just don't think as we cross railroad tracks, but in Mexico it is all but unknown even on heavily used four-lane urban arterials.)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on September 27, 2009, 04:42:50 PM
the glass-bead technique is tried and true and goes back many years.  The US was playing around with it in the late 1920s, and Scotchlite is nothing more than glass beads, of a very small size, enclosed between two adhesive substrates. 
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: US71 on September 27, 2009, 05:36:22 PM
It's sort of a moot point with Alltel since they are being absorbed by Verizon.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: BigMattFromTexas on September 28, 2009, 07:32:50 PM
It's still strange how a phone company uses a highway font. But i guess those font weren't made just for BGS's and other highway signs.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on September 28, 2009, 07:46:17 PM
It's still strange how a phone company uses a highway font. But i guess those font weren't made just for BGS's and other highway signs.

it's designed to be good and legible.  Chevron, the gas station chain, uses Series E for their prices a lot of the time.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: BigMattFromTexas on September 28, 2009, 07:55:18 PM
I found a the closest thing to a Clearview font in the default fonts, it's called Gisha. And ive been using it on all my newer BGS's.
http://picasaweb.google.com/bigmatt30000/RandomPointlessStuff?feat=directlink (http://picasaweb.google.com/bigmatt30000/RandomPointlessStuff?feat=directlink)
BigMatt
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on September 28, 2009, 08:23:36 PM
that font is way too nice to be Clearview.

the real Clear is found here:

http://www.triskele.com/roadgeek-fonts (http://www.triskele.com/roadgeek-fonts)

check Series 1B-6B and 1W-6W.  The B fonts are for dark text on a light background, and the W for the opposite.  The B fonts are a bit bolder to offset the effect of light colors being perceived to blur slightly outward.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: BigMattFromTexas on September 28, 2009, 09:13:50 PM
that font is way too nice to be Clearview.

the real Clear is found here:

http://www.triskele.com/roadgeek-fonts (http://www.triskele.com/roadgeek-fonts)

check Series 1B-6B and 1W-6W.  The B fonts are for dark text on a light background, and the W for the opposite.  The B fonts are a bit bolder to offset the effect of light colors being perceived to blur slightly outward.
Thus is why i said the closest thing to Clearview :-o
 BigMatt
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on September 28, 2009, 09:36:02 PM
Why would you want a fake Clearview when the real thing is available?  :hmmm:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Ian on September 28, 2009, 10:17:13 PM
Why would you want clearview at all...  :pan:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: yanksfan6129 on September 28, 2009, 11:02:21 PM
Suddenly, Matt, you seem obsessed with clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: flaroads on September 29, 2009, 12:20:44 AM
Quote
Why would you want clearview at all...

Indeed.

Why would anyone want Clearview when Highway Gothic is just as good...why fix a wheel that is apparently NOT broken...

Clearview is too overrated in my opinon, especially after seeing tons of it in PA this weekend, and one sign along the NY Thruway...

(http://www.aaroads.com/forum_images/northeast/i-090_exit_37_01.jpg)
Approaching Electronics Parkway in the western portion of Syracuse along the NY Thruway. Photo taken 09/27/09.

Give me Highway Gothic anyday...

Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: cu2010 on September 29, 2009, 01:40:38 AM
Wow...so they replaced a perfectly good old button copy sign with...that?

I've seen some jurisdictions use Clearview fairly well. NYSTA is not one of them...
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Duke87 on September 29, 2009, 03:29:25 AM
True enough, NYSTA's clearview signs do immediately jump out at you in a rather loud fashion, with the letters (at least appearing to be) so much bigger and all. Probably wouldn't be as bad if they were all that way, but when you mix and match, even on the same gantry...
(http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/7301/dscn5577f.jpg)
(http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/199/dscn5580.jpg)
(http://img177.imageshack.us/img177/8902/dscn5581.jpg)
*shudder*

They can't position the exit tabs consistently, either. :-/
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: froggie on September 29, 2009, 06:42:14 AM
To be fair, those Clearview Thruway signs do show up a bit more legible/clearly than the related Highway Gothic signs, which was the intention of Clearview (especially with older drivers...and there are far more of them on the roads these days).  Whether that's due to the font itself or going with a larger font size remains to be seen...
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Alex on September 29, 2009, 10:52:23 AM

They can't position the exit tabs consistently, either. :-/

That's the beauty of sign contractors simply "carbon copying" the old sign. Way to do a little bit of updating on the signs!
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: hbelkins on September 29, 2009, 12:49:40 PM
If you think Pennsylvania is bad for Clearview, go to Michigan. They are actively replacing perfectly good signs in the FHWA font with Clearview. There's a soon-to-begin project to replace signage on I-196 south of Grand Rapids, and a lot of signs in perfect condition have been tagged for replacement. Michigan apparently took the approval of Clearview as a mandate to change all signs to Clearview ASAP.

I'm getting used to seeing Clearview now, and it's not a great shock to see it in Kentucky anymore. Only place I've been surprised to see it recently was in West Virginia, where they are just now implementing it and some signage on I-64 has been replaced with new Clearview panels.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: myosh_tino on September 29, 2009, 01:33:54 PM
that font is way too nice to be Clearview.

the real Clear is found here:

http://www.triskele.com/roadgeek-fonts (http://www.triskele.com/roadgeek-fonts)

check Series 1B-6B and 1W-6W.  The B fonts are for dark text on a light background, and the W for the opposite.  The B fonts are a bit bolder to offset the effect of light colors being perceived to blur slightly outward.
The current version of the 1W-6W font has some serious spacing issues.  I would recommend downloading the True Type version of the font which is available through a link in the far-left column under "Other Fonts".  To see what I'm talking about, here are some examples of the Series 6WR font...

Open Type - Current Version
(http://www.markyville.com/aaroads/Clearview.png)

True Type - Older Version
(http://www.markyville.com/aaroads/Clearview-TTF.png)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Michael on September 29, 2009, 01:42:59 PM
Matt, are you using Vista?  I don't have Gisha.

There's another Clearview sign for Electronics Parkway going eastbound:
(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_6zDqXUkKvc0/ScguvvI_8_I/AAAAAAAAAl8/8YcaJlDvIUA/100_2143.JPG)
Credit: deanej's Picasa albums (http://picasaweb.google.com/deane.jon/RoadSignsNewYorkSyracuse#5316550757753811954)

This was the first Clearview sign I saw in New York.  I really miss the old Series E Modified signs!
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: nerdly_dood on September 29, 2009, 03:13:37 PM
That's kinda similar to the Leelawadee font that comes with Vista...
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: SSOWorld on September 29, 2009, 08:02:10 PM
Merged the three Clearview topics - in the future please search for existing threads before making new ones on the subject.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Marc on September 29, 2009, 11:14:52 PM
Well, I have mixed emotions on Clearview.

While I do prefer the old Highway Gothic font, I will say that Clearview is quite a bit easier to read at greater distances, which is what they're trying to accomplish by switching. Having said that, I can live with Clearview just as long as it's done tastefully, and from the states I've seen, Texas is really the only state that has done so.

I really like the way Texas proportions the street name letter size to the milage letter size.
(http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c61/HoustonNews/Katy.jpg)

Although, like I said, I still prefer Highway Gothic.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: BigMattFromTexas on September 30, 2009, 08:29:56 PM
I like both fonts but i like Clearview better. And one thing ive found out is Clearview looks HORRIBLE in an area with Highway Gothic signs and vice versa! thats what TxDOT did with signs all over Tom Green County :ded:
 BigMatt
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: burgess87 on October 01, 2009, 09:05:57 AM
I don't mind the Clearview letters so much - it's the numbers that bug me.

IF states are going to switch to Clearview, they need to keep the FHWA Series numbers (at least on the route markers).
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: US71 on October 01, 2009, 11:55:31 AM
Quote
IF states are going to switch to Clearview, they need to keep the FHWA Series numbers (at least on the route markers).

Arkansas does, for the most part.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on October 11, 2009, 08:59:18 PM
I don't mind the Clearview letters so much - it's the numbers that bug me.

IF states are going to switch to Clearview, they need to keep the FHWA Series numbers (at least on the route markers).

Most states do, though a few didn't for a while (see Michigan, for instance).
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jdb1234 on October 12, 2009, 10:48:42 PM
Alabama has a bad habit of putting clearview signs in ALL CAPS.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Rover_0 on October 13, 2009, 11:44:01 AM
Matt, are you using Vista?  I don't have Gisha.

There's another Clearview sign for Electronics Parkway going eastbound:
(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_6zDqXUkKvc0/ScguvvI_8_I/AAAAAAAAAl8/8YcaJlDvIUA/100_2143.JPG)
Credit: deanej's Picasa albums (http://picasaweb.google.com/deane.jon/RoadSignsNewYorkSyracuse#5316550757753811954)

This was the first Clearview sign I saw in New York.  I really miss the old Series E Modified signs!

No sir, I don't like it.    :thumbdown:  :angry:

That's all I have to say about Clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: UptownRoadGeek on October 13, 2009, 12:55:32 PM
I like it in Texas, nowhere but Texas.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Duke87 on October 13, 2009, 07:37:45 PM
I wonder if there was some road signs tested with Comic Sans MS?

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have an answer to this question, and the answer is yes:
(http://img246.imageshack.us/img246/2803/dscn5956.jpg)


The new questions is... who's responsible? CONNDOT, or the town of Greenwich? (this is on Route 1)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: deathtopumpkins on October 13, 2009, 11:46:58 PM
And there are even still people blocking the intersection!  :-D
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Marc on October 14, 2009, 12:02:53 AM
And there are even still people blocking the intersection!  :-D
They're blocking it because they are smart enough to not take a sign printed in Comic Sans seriously.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: mightyace on October 14, 2009, 05:39:57 PM
And there are even still people blocking the intersection!  :-D
They're blocking it because they are smart enough to not take a sign printed in Comic Sans seriously.

Yes, it looks like a sign that a child created.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on October 14, 2009, 07:38:18 PM
what does the hourglass mean?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Duke87 on October 14, 2009, 08:53:20 PM
what does the hourglass mean?

That shape is painted on the pavement on the spot you're not supposed to block in each of the northbound lanes. You can see them the lower left of my photo. They're also visible on Google's satellite view (http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=41.033779,-73.623827&spn=0.000967,0.002411&t=h&z=19) and Bing's "birds eye" view (http://www.bing.com/maps/default.aspx?v=2&FORM=LMLTCP&cp=qv52838vy67g&style=o&lvl=1&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&phx=0&phy=0&phscl=1&scene=15478613&encType=1) (the sign is visible but not legible in street view (http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=41.033694,-73.624084&spn=0,359.995177&t=h&z=18&layer=c&cbll=41.033593,-73.624183&panoid=bp7JFaJfQdIHGZjlK8NLVg&cbp=12,63.67,,1,1.25)).
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: City on October 14, 2009, 09:59:15 PM
I wonder if there was some road signs tested with Comic Sans MS?

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have an answer to this question, and the answer is yes:
(http://img246.imageshack.us/img246/2803/dscn5956.jpg)


The new questions is... who's responsible? CONNDOT, or the town of Greenwich? (this is on Route 1)

100% town of Greenwich.

If ConnDOT posted that, then surely they have gone crazy.  :crazy:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: hbelkins on October 15, 2009, 10:32:25 AM
what does the hourglass mean?

That shape is painted on the pavement on the spot you're not supposed to block in each of the northbound lanes. You can see them the lower left of my photo. They're also visible on Google's satellite view (http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=41.033779,-73.623827&spn=0.000967,0.002411&t=h&z=19) and Bing's "birds eye" view (http://www.bing.com/maps/default.aspx?v=2&FORM=LMLTCP&cp=qv52838vy67g&style=o&lvl=1&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&phx=0&phy=0&phscl=1&scene=15478613&encType=1) (the sign is visible but not legible in street view (http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=41.033694,-73.624084&spn=0,359.995177&t=h&z=18&layer=c&cbll=41.033593,-73.624183&panoid=bp7JFaJfQdIHGZjlK8NLVg&cbp=12,63.67,,1,1.25)).

There's something similar in Virginia Beach.

(http://www.millenniumhwy.net/2008_Richmond_trip_Day_3/Images/96.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on October 15, 2009, 11:42:49 AM
don't forget the Idiot Sans font used on the "My ancestor blob works here, slow the fudge down" signs in construction zones.  Some new ones just cropped up on I-25 southbound just north of Raton Pass.  Blech. 

(Of course, there is no actual evidence of construction going on, but I see Colorado Highway Patrol vehicles in that stretch all the time ...)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: yakra on October 29, 2009, 12:40:17 AM
It's still strange how a phone company uses a highway font. But i guess those font weren't made just for BGS's and other highway signs.
A story I remember vaguely from a newsmagazine/newspaper type story I read on the net a long time ago, probably linked from MTR. One of the designers of Clearview (IIRC the article had an interview with him) left the word processor on his computer set to use Clearview as he was designing it. His son then used it to write a paper for school. It came back from the teacher with a remark to the effect of "Something about it just made it easy to read."
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Brandon on November 02, 2009, 10:49:37 AM
Found a bizarre sign last night on the westbound Reagan Tollway (I-88).  Wish I had had a camera.  :-(
It was an odd mutant with both Highway Gothic and Clearview.  The sign was just west of the ramp merging from the southbound Tri-State Tollway (I-294), and it read:

22nd Street
TO [83]
2 MILES

Now, the "22nd Street" was in highway gothic, as was the "TO" and the route shield.  However, the "2 MILES" was in clearly in Clearview!  I could tell by comparing the shapes of the 2s in "22nd" and "2 MILES".
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: florida on November 02, 2009, 01:22:53 PM
I wonder if there was some road signs tested with Comic Sans MS?

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have an answer to this question, and the answer is yes:
(http://img246.imageshack.us/img246/2803/dscn5956.jpg)


The new questions is... who's responsible? CONNDOT, or the town of Greenwich? (this is on Route 1)

100% town of Greenwich.

If ConnDOT posted that, then surely they have gone crazy.  :crazy:

Where does one find an hourglass huge enough to block?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: juscuz410 on November 02, 2009, 05:06:47 PM
Ohio Clearview updates:
We've already covered I-77 from New Phila. on north. I-71, I-490 in Cleveland are now sporting CV in addition to the updated Gothic. In Newark, the rebuilt ramp of SR-13 are now sporting CV. I-270/SR-161 interchange in C-bus the "Exit 30" sign is in CV. I-70 East in Belmont County new CV signage went up all over the place. That's all I've got today.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jdb1234 on November 12, 2009, 10:07:40 PM
Alabama Update:

Earlier Today, I found two overhead signs now sporting Clearview in Birmingham.  These signs were put up earlier this week.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Alex on November 12, 2009, 10:17:58 PM
I spotted the first freeway-grade Clearview sign on Interstate 10 west after Exit 10 on October 1:

(http://www.aaroads.com/forum_images/southeast/i-010_wb_exit_004.jpg)

Just two weekends ago, I found a second new assembly posted on Alabama 181 north at Interstate 10's Exit 38.



Also spotted a handful of Clearview signs along Interstate 75 in Ohio. Most of these were brown attractions signs, but there were a few brand new exit signs with the font as well...
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jdb1234 on November 12, 2009, 10:34:42 PM
Ladies and Gentlemen:

Here is one of the first overhead BGS in Birmingham to sport Clearview:

(http://s761.photobucket.com/albums/xx260/jdbarnes1234/100_0419.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Alex on November 12, 2009, 10:38:50 PM
Ladies and Gentlemen:

Here is one of the first overhead BGS in Birmingham to sport Clearview:


Ugh! Carbon copy (minus the arrow), replaced button copy, and removed overhead lighting fixtures. Triple whammy!

(http://www.southeastroads.com/alabama200/us-280_wb_at_us-031.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jdb1234 on November 12, 2009, 10:45:15 PM

Ugh! Carbon copy (minus the arrow), replaced button copy, and removed overhead lighting fixtures. Triple whammy!


Don't worry, it gets even better Eastbound:

(http://s761.photobucket.com/albums/xx260/jdbarnes1234/100_0420.jpg)

Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Riverside Frwy on November 13, 2009, 07:02:18 PM
Ok, the Interstate 96 shields using the Clearview font on first page made my eyes bleed. X-( :-D
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Alex on November 13, 2009, 07:07:01 PM
There are also a few I-75 shields done in Clearview in the UP. Interstate 96 has several on the drive leading west from its beginning. Interstate 696 eastbound has at least two as well. All look bad...

(http://www.aaroads.com/blog_images/midwest/bl-075_sb_end.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Riverside Frwy on November 13, 2009, 07:11:05 PM
My eyes!!!!!

It should be illegal to have such ugly font. :ded:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 13, 2009, 08:45:49 PM
My eyes!!!!!

It should be illegal to have such ugly font. :ded:

and that is why we must preserve old signs ;)  rate of Clearview on old California porcelains: 0.00% and holding steady.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Mergingtraffic on November 13, 2009, 08:54:46 PM
There are also a few I-75 shields done in Clearview in the UP. Interstate 96 has several on the drive leading west from its beginning. Interstate 696 eastbound has at least two as well. All look bad...

(http://www.aaroads.com/blog_images/midwest/bl-075_sb_end.jpg)

I'm not a big fan of the new interstate shields with the oversized number ie: I-75 on the left.  It looks too big...almost border to border.  The Loop I-75 looks more proportionate but the clearview ruins it!
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 13, 2009, 09:12:57 PM
I'm not a big fan of the new interstate shields with the oversized number ie: I-75 on the left.  It looks too big...almost border to border.  The Loop I-75 looks more proportionate but the clearview ruins it!

indeed, the large numbers look very silly, but they've been around for a while.  There's a porcelain green sign in Reno that has an I-80 shield like it, and that sign dates back to 1978.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Riverside Frwy on November 13, 2009, 09:31:10 PM
Who ever came up with this font should be hanged. X-(

I really don't see the point of it, it's not better than the standard font, it's actually worse.Obviously the transportation agencies must have all gone blind by the font's ugliness and have no idea what they are doing.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: mightyace on November 13, 2009, 09:37:56 PM
Who ever came up with this font should be hanged. X-(

IIRC The person that developed Clearview is a professor at Penn State University in State College, PA.

Maybe the proximity to I-99 clouded his judgment!  :pan:  :rofl:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: wytout on November 14, 2009, 04:55:33 AM
There are also a few I-75 shields done in Clearview in the UP. Interstate 96 has several on the drive leading west from its beginning. Interstate 696 eastbound has at least two as well. All look bad...

(http://www.aaroads.com/blog_images/midwest/bl-075_sb_end.jpg)

Clearview is bad enough on BGS's.  But at least most of those BGS's still use the graceful FHWA Standard fonts for numbers on Route shields. This is horrible.  Those shields are FUgly.  I still say there is nothing more pleasing to the eyes than than the Type C and Type D number set in standard FHWA fonts.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Alex on November 14, 2009, 10:13:04 AM
(http://www.aaroads.com/forum_images/midwest/i-096_wb_exit_185_01.jpg) (http://www.aaroads.com/forum_images/midwest/i-096_wb_exit_185_01.jpg)

Clearview adorning this westbound main line reassurance shield in Detroit.

(http://www.aaroads.com/forum_images/midwest/i-696_eb_exit_005_01.jpg) (http://www.aaroads.com/forum_images/midwest/i-696_eb_exit_005_01.jpg)

2di-width Clearview fonted eastbound main line shield for Interstate 696.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: simguy228 on November 14, 2009, 12:45:54 PM
... Clearview is kinda creepy to me. Would'nt think they would use it on many highways :-P :)
There are also a few I-75 shields done in Clearview in the UP. Interstate 96 has several on the drive leading west from its beginning. Interstate 696 eastbound has at least two as well. All look bad...

(http://www.aaroads.com/blog_images/midwest/bl-075_sb_end.jpg)
Is that in FL? If so what part of FL
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 14, 2009, 01:04:36 PM
no, it's in Michigan.  Sault Ste Marie
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: simguy228 on November 14, 2009, 02:33:43 PM
Oh... :-P
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on November 17, 2009, 07:31:22 AM
seriously, if Clearview is oh-so-legible, why don't they use it on stop signs?  (Don't get any ideas, anyone.)

Simple answer:  the MUTCD requires that signs be designed in accordance with Standard Highway Signs and there is already a SHS design for the STOP sign which does not use Clearview.  FHWA's interim approval to use Clearview in positive-contrast situations does not override the requirement to conform to SHS, which is the main reason Clearview is used only on so-called "designable" signs where the legend has to vary to suit sign location and purpose.  Most of these are guide signs and route marker signs (excluding tabs).

More complex answer:  for its effect the STOP sign depends primarily on shape and only secondarily on text legend.  The text legend is also overdesigned (only one word, and very tall relative to sign height) compared to guide signs in general.  Thus, even the most rabid Clearview advocates can't claim a practical benefit from scrapping existing STOP sign silkscreens.

The designers of Clearview have however tried to promote the use of Clearview Bold typefaces in positive-contrast situations, including conversion from all-uppercase to mixed-case legends on light-background warning and regulatory signs.  I am not aware that they have found any state DOTs or transportation research institutes willing to fund testing, however.  The impression I receive is that there is a growing backlash to Clearview as the high cost of switching over to it bites into shrinking state DOT construction budgets.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: hbelkins on November 17, 2009, 10:38:19 AM
The designers of Clearview have however tried to promote the use of Clearview Bold typefaces in positive-contrast situations, including conversion from all-uppercase to mixed-case legends on light-background warning and regulatory signs.  I am not aware that they have found any state DOTs or transportation research institutes willing to fund testing, however.  The impression I receive is that there is a growing backlash to Clearview as the high cost of switching over to it bites into shrinking state DOT construction budgets.

If the states, or the contractors they employ to make signs, already have a font license for Clearview, why would it be more expensive than the standard "highway gothic" font?

Kentucky is using some black-on-white Clearview for some regulatory signs, specifically the "move over for stopped emergency vehicles" and "move damaged vehicles from the roadway" signs. Pennsylvania also uses black-on-yellow Clearview extensively for safe driving reminders. ("Buckle Up Next Million Miles")
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 17, 2009, 01:46:06 PM
Pennsylvania also uses black-on-yellow Clearview extensively for safe driving reminders. ("Buckle Up Next Million Miles")

that plus the Comic Sans (or worse!) "My Reproducing Module Works Here" signs ... I want my taxpayer dollars back!
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 17, 2009, 01:47:36 PM
The designers of Clearview have however tried to promote...

for every atrocity, a lobbyist.

welcome to America, 2009.  :ded:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: City on November 17, 2009, 08:41:00 PM

Clearview adorning this westbound main line reassurance shield in Detroit.

(http://www.aaroads.com/forum_images/midwest/i-696_eb_exit_005_01.jpg) (http://www.aaroads.com/forum_images/midwest/i-696_eb_exit_005_01.jpg)

2di-width Clearview fonted eastbound main line shield for Interstate 696.

That I-96 shield was ugly, but this thing... A 3di interstate number inside a 2di width shield, and in Clearview!? I'm going to have to invent a new word, or I can just say this:

 :banghead:
 :pan:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 17, 2009, 09:07:40 PM
I actually really like the 24x24, 36x36, etc shields ... so if it did not have Clearview it would suit me fine.

(http://shields.aaroads.com/img/MN/MN19886941i1.jpg)

now if only it had the state name...

(http://shields.aaroads.com/img/NE/NE19614801i1.jpg)

ahh, there we go!  Classic specifications, as laid out in the 1957 signing manual.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: TheStranger on November 17, 2009, 10:41:18 PM
agentsteel53: What's the exact font for the numbering for the 1957 state-name 3di shield?  I assume it got phased out due to being less readable than the "wide" shield but I really like the consistency of look that that offered alongside the 2di shields...
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 17, 2009, 11:07:12 PM
agentsteel53: What's the exact font for the numbering for the 1957 state-name 3di shield?  I assume it got phased out due to being less readable than the "wide" shield but I really like the consistency of look that that offered alongside the 2di shields...

that font is standard Highway Gothic Series C. 

the wide shield was invented in 1962 by California because, indeed, for three-digit numbers, it was a bit less legible.  The feds put it into their 1972 specification, but before then, a lot of states were fairly slow to adopt it.  The Nebraska shield dates to about 1965.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: hbelkins on November 18, 2009, 01:27:04 PM
Allow me to say that I hate the wide shields (24 x 30 and similar) for ALL applications -- state, US and interstate.

I much prefer this...

(http://www.millenniumhwy.net/2009_Northeast_Day_3/Images/451.jpg)

to this...

(http://www.millenniumhwy.net/2009_Northeast_Day_3/Images/312.jpg)


Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 18, 2009, 01:34:01 PM
yes, wide shields tend to suck quite hardcore, especially when the state gets a new outline (Arkansas for example).
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: mightyace on November 18, 2009, 09:41:55 PM
IMHO I don't like either I-495 sign, though the second one looks "less wrong" to me.  Now, if they'd only shrink it back to a normal size, it would be just perfect.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 18, 2009, 11:00:47 PM
here is a classic I-495 shield.  Can't beat this design.  (Durability leaves something to be desired... but the sign is from 1958!)

(http://shields.aaroads.com/img/MA/MA19614951i1.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jdb1234 on November 24, 2009, 07:00:04 PM
Alabama Updates:

I found another Clearview overhead BGS:

(http://s761.photobucket.com/albums/xx260/jdbarnes1234/100_0548.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on November 25, 2009, 06:46:48 AM
If the states, or the contractors they employ to make signs, already have a font license for Clearview, why would it be more expensive than the standard "highway gothic" font?

The cost of licensing Clearview is something like $800 per workstation, so the licenses are not much more than a few bucketfuls in the oceans of consultant and contractor overhead.  The added cost of Clearview has more to do with how sign replacement is programmed.  Conversion to Clearview tends to be correlated with an approach of replacing all signs along a given length of road regardless of condition.  In Arizona, Michigan, and Texas, all of which are large-scale Clearview adopters, there have been examples of sign replacements being programmed on suspiciously short intervals soon after Clearview was adopted.

For instance, Arizona DOT wants to replace all the signs on I-19 using ARRA stimulus funds.  One motivation for this contract, other than Clearview conversion, is to replace metric units with English units, but this is something Tucson District announced it wanted to do back in 2004, and at that time it was said that the conversion back to English units would wait until the next routinely scheduled sign replacement.  It is now 2009 and the signs Arizona DOT wants to replace were all installed in 1999, so they are only 10 years old.  The signs that were installed in 1999 themselves replaced signs which were installed in 1981, and so were 18 years old.  The typical replacement interval for freeway guide signs in Arizona is between 15 and 25 years.

Ground zero for Clearview on ADOT infrastructure (Phoenix had already been using Clearview for street name signs for years) is the I-10 Poston-Hovatter signs job.  I haven't checked yet, but I think those signs were suspiciously young too (as in, installed in the mid-1990's; Poston-Hovatter was done in 2005).

Clearview is a completely new type system and its legibility advantages over the FHWA alphabet series are at a maximum when it is used in combination with advanced (and expensive) sheeting types like microprismatic sheeting.  In theory it is possible to replace signs on a piecemeal basis, through a program of auditing each individual sign for retroreflective performance, but it has proven to be very unattractive for Clearview adopters to do this--the "all or nothing" approach (which often entails premature replacement of perfectly good signs) is much more common.

My thinking is that the engineers responsible for programming sign replacements want consistency of provision at the corridor level, e.g. older signs with Series E Modified on super engineer grade or high-intensity sheeting, or brand-new signs with Clearview and microprismatic sheeting, rather than a wild melange of dark Series E Modified signs and bright Clearview signs.  The problem is that it costs money to maintain consistency when upgrading to Clearview (since you are in effect paying for the excess durability of the older Series E Modified signs) and so, from a budgetary point of view, it becomes attractive to leave the older signs out for a few more years until there is enough money to replace them all in one go.

From a risk management perspective, Clearview is not a slam dunk.  Any state DOT knows that if it continues to use Series E Modified, it is safe.  Clearview is covered by an interim approval, but that can be withdrawn if FHWA concludes that its advantages over Series E Modified are not worth continued regulatory endorsement.  If that happens, Clearview will have to be phased out on existing signing and the phasing-out costs will mirror those of phasing out Series E Modified in favor of Clearview.  Hence, you get lots of states like Kansas and California which have Clearview approvals on the books but are continuing to use Series E Modified for new signs.

Quote
Kentucky is using some black-on-white Clearview for some regulatory signs, specifically the "move over for stopped emergency vehicles" and "move damaged vehicles from the roadway" signs.

Some observations:

*  This practice is not covered by the current interim approval (which is for positive-contrast signing only).

*  If Kentucky is using all-uppercase on these signs, it is forfeiting the legibility advantage of Clearview, which is based on legend being rendered in mixed-case (Clearview has a higher loop height for the same height of uppercase legend compared to Series E Modified).

*  If Kentucky is using the Clearview W series rather than B series for these signs, that is another no-no from the standpoint both of legibility and aesthetics.

My heart sinks every time I see construction plans which call for W-series Clearview against light backgrounds.  I can only hope these designs are corrected before the signs are fabricated.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 25, 2009, 01:46:07 PM
I personally have not found a legibility advantage in Clearview - even correctly designed W-series on green backgrounds.

This comes from mainly Texas experience in various conditions (sunrise, sunset, fog, night, clear, etc). 

it is offset for me by the fact that the font is ugly as sin, and that perfectly good signs are being replaced, which is a colossal waste of money.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on November 25, 2009, 02:52:18 PM
I personally have not found a legibility advantage in Clearview - even correctly designed W-series on green backgrounds.

This comes from mainly Texas experience in various conditions (sunrise, sunset, fog, night, clear, etc).

I wouldn't expect you personally to observe a huge advantage in Clearview.

First, you are young, and Clearview has its highest legibility values relative to Series E Modified for older drivers.

Second, the advent of Clearview in Texas coincided with a move to using microprismatic rather than high-intensity sheeting on guide signs.  TxDOT started its massive changeover to retroreflective sheeting on guide signs in the late 1990's, and several huge Interstate sign replacements went forward with Series E Modified on high-intensity sheeting.  Clearview and microprismatic sheeting were then introduced more or less simultaneously in mid-2003.  There was a period of time when TxDOT was mixing the two type systems in its contract lettings, but it did not last long--it took just six months to go from nearly all Series E Modified to nearly all Clearview.  Therefore, there are very few Clearview signs in Texas with high-intensity sheeting, and very few Series E Modified signs with microprismatic sheeting.  This would have limited the ability to compare on an equal basis.  Again, the relative advantage of Clearview is more pronounced for more advanced sheeting types.  If you had seen Series E Modified and Clearview on the same sign with microprismatic sheeting, the Clearview might very well have stood out (even to young eyes) as less "blobby" from halation.

Quote
it is offset for me by the fact that the font is ugly as sin, and that perfectly good signs are being replaced, which is a colossal waste of money.

Any sign replacement program has to confront problems of excess durability, but overall I would not say the scale of waste is that great.  A major sign refurbishment contract (taking down and replacing every sign along, say, a 50-mile length of freeway) typically costs around $2 million.  These days, in a large state like Texas or Michigan, you might be lucky to see six of those in a year--in Arizona now it is more like two or three.  There are plenty of resurfacing and bridge replacement contracts which cost as much, or more.  A simple rural interchange contract would cost around $10-$20 million.  Urban service interchanges typically cost more, and it is rare to get a major rebuild of a system interchange for under $200 million.

There has been more apparent waste in Michigan than in Texas, because Clearview sign replacements in Texas have been more likely to affect old, dilapidated button copy signs.  But even so Clearview signing hasn't really held up substantial construction in Michigan.  That is more to do with MDOT's funding shortfalls ($350 million is the number I remember from the last time MDOT tried to scare the Michigan legislature into raising the gas tax, or otherwise tackling the funding situation).

About Clearview and its aesthetics, I am more or less neutral except where the numbers and shields are concerned.  I used to hate the idea of a national conversion to Clearview, not least because I resented the thoroughly unnecessary boost to the Clearview designers' ego that this would represent.  On the other hand, its claimed advantages have withstood independent testing by tachistoscope and in the field.  Except for the odd flukes here and there, the big Clearview users have been consistent about retaining the FHWA series for shield digits.  And in Texas the conversion to Clearview was also used as a platform for moving from 6" all-uppercase Series D to mixed-case Clearview (8" uppercase) on D-series guide signs without significantly expanding sign panel area.  This is beneficial for motorists like me who avoid rural Interstates and, as the price for peace and quiet, have had to put up with sign letter heights less than half those used on rural freeways.

Personally, I think Clearview is considerably more attractive than, say, the traffic typefaces used in Turkey and Poland.  Polish "Drogowskaz" oversells its utilitarian function by frantically avoiding any appearance of aesthetic regularity, while the kerning in the main Turkish traffic alphabet is so wide it unintentionally emphasizes the message--when you drive past a sign which says "1 0 0 0 0   N ü f ü s," you know you have been told the population is ten thousand.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 25, 2009, 03:04:35 PM
two million dollars here, two million dollars there - pretty soon we'll be talking about real money.  I for one have had only three instances of problems reading old button copy signs.  

1) in Texas, where the shields were entirely non-reflective.  That is not a button-copy problem, it is a problem that could be solved with button copy.  I have no idea why Texas changed sometime in the 70s from button copy shields to non-reflective shields on signs with button copy legend.

2) North Dakota.  Some combination of fog and cold weather results in the first few signs on I-29 coming in from SD being completely illegible at night in adverse weather.  The buttons no longer reflect (likely because they are fogged or iced over), and instead random protuberances on the letter and sign - bolts, edges, etc, do catch occasional glint.  I have no idea what they did so wrong.

3) Connecticut using button copy on a retroreflective background with outline shields.  Dumb, dumb, dumb.  

I've had similar quantities of trouble reading retroreflective white on retroreflective green, especially in situations of frost where both foreground and background ice over in patches, yielding some very inconsistent reflectivity.

so, given that the other 47 states are fine (yes, even California porcelain; it just needs to be washed every so often), this idea of sign replacement every 2-3 years just as a matter of policy strikes me as complete and utter waste.  

And yes, I know they do not make button copy anymore.  If an old sign falls down, replace it with retroreflective white on non-reflective green, which to me is the best color scheme.  Or even microprismatic HI on engineer grade green.  I can read button copy on non-reflective much better than retroreflective on retroreflective, and in the very very few instances where I have seen retroreflective white on non-reflective green (Virginia, Montana, Kansas, etc), it has been similar in legibility to button copy, except slightly improved because the letters were not individual dots, but solid forms.

I don't mind Poland's type.  The ugliest typeface has to be Helvetica, which has absolutely no business being used on highway signs.  Or "Daddy Grotesk", whatever that type is for "Slow Down, my Daddy Works Here" which makes Comic Sans look like a serious effort.

Quote
"1 0 0 0 0   N ü f ü s,"

and a few old soreheads.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on November 25, 2009, 03:26:07 PM
I've had similar quantities of trouble reading retroreflective white on retroreflective green, especially in situations of frost where both foreground and background ice over in patches, yielding some very inconsistent reflectivity.

That is actually due to condensation on the sign surface and I think it is a problem of retroreflective materials in general.  I am personally not convinced button copy is free from this particular problem.

Quote
And yes, I know they do not make button copy anymore.  If an old sign falls down, replace it with retroreflective white on non-reflective green, which to me is the best color scheme.

That has been out of court for quite a while (MUTCD requires retroreflectorization or illumination to maintain similar appearance by night as by day).  Plus, the MUTCD now has a retroreflectivity provision which requires signs to be replaced when their retroreflectivity is not up to scratch.  This includes signs which look perfectly good by day but which, for one reason or another (e.g. bruised sheeting), just don't work at night.

Quote
Or even microprismatic HI on engineer grade green.

High-intensity sheeting is dirt-cheap now, so that is what Arizona DOT uses with white microprismatic sheeting for legend etc.

Quote
I can read button copy on non-reflective much better than retroreflective on retroreflective, and in the very very few instances where I have seen retroreflective white on non-reflective green (Virginia, Montana, Kansas, etc), it has been similar in legibility to button copy, except slightly improved because the letters were not individual dots, but solid forms.

Where did you see nonreflective green in Kansas?  I thought we got rid of the last of that ages ago.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jdb1234 on December 01, 2009, 09:23:40 PM
More Clearview from Birmingham:

(http://s761.photobucket.com/albums/xx260/jdbarnes1234/101_0636.jpg)

(http://s761.photobucket.com/albums/xx260/jdbarnes1234/101_0637.jpg)

I'm not sure what font these shields are in:

(http://s761.photobucket.com/albums/xx260/jdbarnes1234/100_0573.jpg)

And for your viewing pleasure:

(http://s761.photobucket.com/albums/xx260/jdbarnes1234/100_0558.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on December 02, 2009, 02:39:14 AM
Negative 1st Avenue. Awesome.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: codyg1985 on December 02, 2009, 06:32:40 AM
^^ Looks like ALDOT is replacing all older button-copy signage with the Clearview signs along US 31/Red Mountain Expressway.

ALDOT has also put up gas/food/lodging signs up along US 78/Future I-22 around Jasper that use clearview.

Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Duke87 on December 02, 2009, 07:17:35 PM
There's ongoing construction on the Bronx River Parkway in southern Westchester County.

The County DPW is showing its absolute brilliance with the new signs:
(http://img512.imageshack.us/img512/7069/dscn6089.jpg)

Not only are they using Clearview, but they're borrowing NYSDOT's "box the street name" technique. Double fail! :pan:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: City on December 02, 2009, 07:28:35 PM
Negative 1st Avenue. Awesome.

Where is it? I don't see a -1st Street on any of these pictures.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: roadfro on December 02, 2009, 08:21:11 PM
Negative 1st Avenue. Awesome.

Where is it? I don't see a -1st Street on any of these pictures.

He's referring to the "US 78 / 3rd-4th Ave S" exit direction sign in the last photo, interpreting the dash as a minus sign.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Riverside Frwy on December 02, 2009, 09:16:56 PM
To be honest, the lettering of Clearview I actually kind of like, its mostly the numbers that are so hideous that even makes a blind person's eyes bleed. :-D
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: BigMattFromTexas on December 02, 2009, 10:27:38 PM
To be honest, the lettering of Clearview I actually kind of like, its mostly the numbers that are so hideous that even makes a blind person's eyes bleed. :-D
I used to but now that I see more and more of it around San Angelo and all around Texas I seem to like it ALOT less...
Im actually becoming more fond of highway gothic, which I know is the exact opposit of what I said in the very first post of this thread.
 BigMatt
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: myosh_tino on December 02, 2009, 10:45:06 PM
There's ongoing construction on the Bronx River Parkway in southern Westchester County.

The County DPW is showing it's absolute brilliance with the new signs:
(http://img512.imageshack.us/img512/7069/dscn6089.jpg)

Not only are they using Clearview, but they're borrowing NYSDOT's "box the street name" technique. Double fail! :pan:
My eyes!  My eyes!   :crazy:
I'm sorry but that sign looks absolutely hideous!
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Duke87 on December 02, 2009, 11:23:34 PM
Hey, if you think that's hideous, check out the gore point sign:
(http://img69.imageshack.us/img69/6536/dscn6090.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vdeane on December 03, 2009, 01:40:09 PM
I've seen some strange signs around NY but that one takes the cake! :-o
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Brandon on December 03, 2009, 02:08:23 PM
To be honest, the lettering of Clearview I actually kind of like, its mostly the numbers that are so hideous that even makes a blind person's eyes bleed. :-D

Agreed.  The Clearview numbers are bad, especially the 6 and the 9.  The letters are tolerable, but the "g" needs a trim, and the "l" could do without the tail.  I don't mind the tail so much on the "y".  The capital Clearview letters though, IMHO, look pretty decent.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: exit322 on December 03, 2009, 02:50:48 PM
And a good reason Clearview is catching on:

My wife works in downtown Akron and takes the part of I-77 three days a week where the Clearview signs were posted.  When they first started going up, she said to me, "they're putting up new signs on 77, and they're a lot easier to read when driving through."
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: mightyace on December 03, 2009, 04:05:16 PM
"they're putting up new signs on 77, and they're a lot easier to read when driving through."

Yes, because they're so ugly you can't help but notice them!  :pan:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Brandon on December 03, 2009, 04:35:32 PM
"they're putting up new signs on 77, and they're a lot easier to read when driving through."

Yes, because they're so ugly you can't help but notice them!  :pan:

LOL!  As far as I can see it, the increased readability seems to be due to the sheeting, not the font.  I'm sure that FHwA font at the same size and reflectivity would be just as legible as Clearview.  Problem is, I've never seen the two ever put side-by-side at the same font size and reflectivity when one is promoting Clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jdb1234 on December 04, 2009, 12:41:47 AM
^^ Looks like ALDOT is replacing all older button-copy signage with the Clearview signs along US 31/Red Mountain Expressway.

You would be correct.  I noticed most of them 2 weeks ago.  There have been a few put up over the past few days.  An interesting thing is that the last sign I posted, the 8th Ave S is still in button copy. 




Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Hellfighter on December 04, 2009, 01:06:42 AM
I'm Speechless!  :-o
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vdeane on December 04, 2009, 12:52:22 PM
LOL!  As far as I can see it, the increased readability seems to be due to the sheeting, not the font.  I'm sure that FHwA font at the same size and reflectivity would be just as legible as Clearview.  Problem is, I've never seen the two ever put side-by-side at the same font size and reflectivity when one is promoting Clearview.
I don't know about reflectivity, but you can get same size on I-90 east at exit 37 - the 1 mile advance sign has not yet been made Clearview, but the next one has.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Riverside Frwy on December 04, 2009, 09:45:29 PM
There's ongoing construction on the Bronx River Parkway in southern Westchester County.

The County DPW is showing it's absolute brilliance with the new signs:
(http://img512.imageshack.us/img512/7069/dscn6089.jpg)

Not only are they using Clearview, but they're borrowing NYSDOT's "box the street name" technique. Double fail! :pan:
My eyes!  My eyes!   :crazy:
I'm sorry but that sign looks absolutely hideous!

That's an understatement.This sign makes me want to rip the eyes from my sockets and throw it in the street so I won't have to look at it.  X-(
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: realjd on December 05, 2009, 01:35:56 PM
LOL!  As far as I can see it, the increased readability seems to be due to the sheeting, not the font.  I'm sure that FHwA font at the same size and reflectivity would be just as legible as Clearview.  Problem is, I've never seen the two ever put side-by-side at the same font size and reflectivity when one is promoting Clearview.

You personally may not have seen it in a test like this, but keep in mind that there was extensive research done that did show a significant increase in legibility (at same font size and reflectivity), especially among older drivers. The font was designed by engineers for legibility, not necessarily aesthetics.

If you're interested, the FHWA Interim Approval summarizes some of the research and the results, and provides citations if you're really motivated to dig up the papers:
http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/res-ia_clearview_font.htm

The ClearviewHwy company includes a great writeup explaining the development of the font, including some of the testing that was done:
http://clearviewhwy.com/ResearchAndDesign/index.php

And this NY Times article is also a good read about the new font
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/12/magazine/12fonts-t.html

Again, I'm not saying it's necessarily a nice looking font, but it IS more readable, regardless of what your gut feeling may be.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on December 06, 2009, 03:02:47 PM
It is also worth noting that the type community does not see aesthetics the way we road enthusiasts do.  Formally Series E Modified, and the FHWA alphabet series in general, are what are called neo-grotesque typefaces:  i.e., relatively recently designed sans-serif typefaces where the stroke width is more or less uniform throughout the letter.  (Typefaces with this characteristic are also often called gothic, hence the common name "Highway Gothic" for the FHWA alphabet series.)  In contradistinction, the Clearview typefaces are examples of what are called humanist typefaces, which are sans-serif typefaces where the variation in stroke width through each letter is such that the typeface has an almost calligraphic appearance.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sans-serif#Classification

The type community is full of snobs who prefer humanist typefaces over neo-grotesque and gothic typefaces, regardless of design role, because they think the greater geometric complexity equates to added sophistication and thus aesthetic appeal.  This is quite independent of the comparative field testing carried out by TTI which showed that Clearview has legibility advantages over Series E Modified which are marked for certain driver groups and for certain combinations of sheeting type.  The type snobs are not aware of this research and even if they were led to it, they would not consider it important or relevant to anything they are interested in.  From their point of view Clearview rules because it is a humanist typeface, full stop.  (While there is a case to be made for the involvement of type designers in the planning of a traffic signing system, type snobs tend to be myopic and to fail to realize that the real role of the type designer is not to design signs, but rather to develop a robust system which engineers and others not trained in typography can deploy to design signs which will both fit the context and look attractive.)

The generalization is made (including in the Wikipedia article linked to above) that humanist typefaces tend to be the most readable of the sans-serif typefaces.  This, however, is not the same as saying that a given humanist typeface is infallibly more readable than a given neo-grotesque typeface, much less that all letters in a given humanist typeface are more readable than all letters in a given neo-grotesque typeface.  Nevertheless, the type community has a monopolistic hold on the business of packaging prestige (at least for type) and tends to portray a preference for Series E Modified as showing a lack of sophistication.

Personally, I think it is entirely reasonable to prefer the look of Series E Modified, and I think there is a continuing role in traffic sign design for the FHWA alphabet series in general even if Clearview's legibility advantages are taken as a given.  But the field and tachistoscope testing of Clearview is hard to argue with (except where digits are concerned--as far as I can tell, the testing never looked at Clearview digits in detail), and the preference of the opinion-formers in the type community for humanist typefaces in general makes it difficult to argue that Clearview should not be used because it is ugly.  Right now I have an uneasy feeling that it is inertia, more than the ability to make a positive argument in favor of continuing to use it, that keeps Series E Modified appearing on signs in a majority of states.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on December 07, 2009, 12:08:34 AM
But the field and tachistoscope testing of Clearview is hard to argue with (except where digits are concerned--as far as I can tell, the testing never looked at Clearview digits in detail), and the preference of the opinion-formers in the type community for humanist typefaces in general makes it difficult to argue that Clearview should not be used because it is ugly.

Except I think there has been a study showing either no benefit or even detriment to Clearview if used on dark-on-light installations, thus why the B series hasn't been approved by FHWA. If that is true, is there really much benefit to having the font, considering it would make the look and feel of positive-contrast signage completely different from negative-contrast? (Road signing is all about consistency, or should be, in any event.) 

I believe that more field testing should be done. I conducted some informal tests during my senior year of high school, where I had someone stand across the room and I held up two sheets of paper, one with Series E Mod, and one with the equivalent Clearview, and lo and behold, most people said E(M) was more legible.

Also, as a free software/open-source enthusiast, and taxpayer to boot, I find it objectionable for the government to spend $600 per workstation on a copyrighted typeface when a public domain typeface exists that can do the same job and has for the past 50 years.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on December 07, 2009, 07:06:44 AM
Except I think there has been a study showing either no benefit or even detriment to Clearview if used on dark-on-light installations, thus why the B series hasn't been approved by FHWA. If that is true, is there really much benefit to having the font, considering it would make the look and feel of positive-contrast signage completely different from negative-contrast? (Road signing is all about consistency, or should be, in any event.)

I think I may have seen the same study too--wasn't it done by TTI also?

The requirement for consistency in traffic signing has more to do with things like use of the same colors for the same meanings, same sign for same application, etc. than it does with typography.  Clearview adopters are far from alone in using typefaces from different type families on traffic signs--for instance, Spain uses Autopista (looks like Series E Modified) and Carretera Convencional (looks like Transport Heavy), while in France L1/L2 and L3/L4 (which are from different type families--L1/L2 being neo-grotesque while L3/L4 is an italic humanist face) can appear on the same sign.  Personally, I think multiple type families on the same sign can look attractive as long as the functions of the respective type families are clearly delimited, as is the case with Clearview when it is used only for white on green legend and not in shields or on "EXIT ONLY" bottom panels.  Unfortunately I haven't seen a lot of consistency on the last point--when I saw a lot of pictures of Clearview signs posted here with "EXIT ONLY" in Clearview, I went through a few old TxDOT signing contracts and realized how hit and miss it was to have the bottom panel in Series E or Series E Modified instead of Clearview.

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I believe that more field testing should be done. I conducted some informal tests during my senior year of high school, where I had someone stand across the room and I held up two sheets of paper, one with Series E Mod, and one with the equivalent Clearview, and lo and behold, most people said E(M) was more legible.

For characters printed in black on a nonreflective white surface, one would expect Series E Modified to be more legible.  Keep in mind also that you were working with young eyes, and probably some advance familiarity with the legend unless you went to a lot of trouble to hide your test cards, all of which are factors which had to be controlled in the various Clearview studies by expanding the sample size and using nonsense words (e.g. "Player" on the TTI test signs).

My own experience is more mixed.  I have tested Clearview several times by posting Series E Modified and Clearview signs to this forum, and then trying to read them on my laptop screen from across the room.  Obviously I know what these signs say in advance, having made them myself, so it is not a pure recognition test.  There is also some divergence between seeing the signs internally illuminated on a LCD screen and seeing real signs illuminated by retroreflective sheeting at night.  Nevertheless, when I am standing against the far wall, I can't read either Clearview or Series E Modified but Clearview does look less blobby.  When I start walking slowly toward the laptop, I feel like I can see what the Clearview legend says before I can decode the identical Series E Modified legend.  The real acid test, of course, is when I don't know what the signs say, and I can't do this myself as long as I make up the signs.

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Also, as a free software/open-source enthusiast, and taxpayer to boot, I find it objectionable for the government to spend $600 per workstation on a copyrighted typeface when a public domain typeface exists that can do the same job and has for the past 50 years.

There isn't really any difference between Clearview and the FHWA alphabet series from this point of view.  In order to secure approval from FHWA, the Clearview designers had to renounce all trademark claims.  This means that anyone is free to generate his or her own versions of the Clearview typeface for use with traffic signing software, just as is the case with the FHWA alphabet series.  The fact that no-one has come forward to do so (aside from Michael Adams, who came up with Roadgeek versions of the Clearview typefaces which he licenses only for non-commercial applications) means, I think, nothing more than that first-mover advantage is durable for computer fonts.  It can be argued (and I have so argued in the past) that the fact that the Clearview type supplement on the MUTCD website has the glyphs as rasters, while the SHS book has the FHWA alphabet series as vectors, means that the Clearview designers are attempting a form of trade-secrets protection in the Clearview supplement.  On the other hand, the resolution is high enough that fonts compiled by third parties from the Clearview supplement would approximate the "real" Clearview fonts at least as closely as the various versions of Series E Modified that are available for use with sign design software.  (There is, for example, a Series E Modified font widely used with certain design packages where the C is just wrong.  At the high-end consumer section of the market, the 5 in Page Studio Graphics' Pixymbols version of Series E Modified is just wrong.)

In regards to open-source software more generally, it is a sad fact that state DOTs use closed-source, platform-dependent software (always Windows, never Linux or any version of the Mac OS) almost exclusively, and the costs on a per-workstation basis are far in excess of the cost of a Clearview font license.  For instance, in order to do sign design you need to have specialist sign design software, all of which is closed-source and most of which is quite effectively dongle-protected.  SignCAD, for example, costs in the thousands of dollars (between $2000 and $3000 per workstation, I think).  Even a stripped-down viewer version of SignCAD which allows *.SGN files to be viewed and converted to other formats but not edited costs almost a thousand dollars.  GuidSIGN is comparable in price.  Integrating SignCAD output into construction plans takes a CAD package, and I think both MicroStation and AutoCAD are over a thousand dollars for a single-workstation license (not sure about volume discounting).  MicroStation and AutoCAD by themselves are not much use without specialist civil engineering design software, like Geopak or Inroads.  The costs don't stop there either.  Unlike consumer-grade programs like Inkscape or CorelDRAW, or even Google SketchUp, these programs are not designed to present a shallow learning curve to first-time users.  This means that anyone who trains a CAD operator, for example, has a significant training investment which a competing organization gets almost for free when it poaches the employee--usually it is the state DOT which loses out to a consultant because DOTs in general have to trade low pay for job security.

So, in short, a $600 license for Clearview is not that much when you have to buy something like $5000 worth of other software in order to get value from the $45,000 annually (not including your share of FICA, plus any other benefits like health insurance which you offer) you pay to cover the workstation seat.

It is possible to make a case for a reduction in design costs, including in design-related overheads such as the cost of software and font licenses, but I suspect that this is a relatively low priority for most state DOTs.  The mantra is to pick the low-hanging fruit first, and in the heavy civil construction sector (including highway construction) the construction phase affords the greatest scope for savings in out-turn cost.  Consultant fees for final design are typically around 5%-10% of the total construction cost, so the excess above estimate that can result from not getting competitive bids (which happens when the market for construction services shrinks to the extent that contractors are not "hungry," and bid on a "take it or leave it" basis) is often greater than the design fee.  State DOTs in general would love not to have to deal with a brain drain, but in reality this is possible only if the workload in design offices is consistent over a long period of time, which hasn't really been the case since the period of first Interstate construction.  Use of consultants tends to be on a higher percentage basis for large projects than for projects in general (in Kansas, for example, KDOT uses consultants for 70% of its design work overall, but for 100% of the major projects) because state DOTs are no longer equipped to handle step changes in workload.  Consultants can do it because they pay their employees more partly to accept a higher risk of relocation.  (Caltrans has a low level of consultant utilization because of a legal [constitutional?] requirement that plans for work on the California state highway system has to be sealed by Caltrans civil PEs, but it can be argued that the flipside is shown in chaotic project management, the high volumes of work done by local agencies and coordinated through Caltrans OSFP, large-scale project buybacks like the Bakersfield freeway network, and even Caltrans touting single-handed bridge design in its attempts to recruit new civil engineering graduates.)

To return to sign design, in principle you could use Inkscape or even CorelDRAW instead of, say, SignCAD to produce sign designs for insertion in construction plans.  There have been reports of CorelDRAW being used for sign design in Canadian design offices, where the production environment and culture is somewhat different from that prevailing in US state DOT and consultant offices.  The problem, however, is that US transportation agencies use, and require their consultants to use, expensive CAD packages because they want drawings produced to true scale, so that what is shown on the plan sheet, and what is notated in dimensioning callouts, are always in a consistent relation to each other (even for sign designs which are often notated "NTS" or "Not to scale," meaning in this case that the sheet is not necessarily drawn to an uniform scale but that the elements in each sign design are in correct proportion to each other).  This is very difficult to accomplish with commercial vector graphics packages, even when they are enhanced with custom scripts, while in a CAD program it is easier to tell when you are using dimensioning callouts which are inconsistent with something that can be built in the real world.  (In both you can make drawings that tell barefaced lies--e.g. by specifying an inner diameter for a pipe which is greater than the outer diameter--but the CAD environment is more likely to keep you honest, partly because it is easier to take measurements in a CAD program, and partly also because the major elements of most CAD drawings are actually produced in overlay programs which are specifically engineered not to produce output which is inconsistent with reality.)

I apologize for the windiness of this post and for roaming onto more general "Plan Production 101" issues, but I hope the foregoing gives some idea why I think issues like the cost of Clearview workstation licenses are oversold as reasons not to use Clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on December 07, 2009, 11:08:46 AM
Quote
I believe that more field testing should be done. I conducted some informal tests during my senior year of high school, where I had someone stand across the room and I held up two sheets of paper, one with Series E Mod, and one with the equivalent Clearview, and lo and behold, most people said E(M) was more legible.

For characters printed in black on a nonreflective white surface, one would expect Series E Modified to be more legible.

Having a laser printer nearby with no personal consideration for ink costs, I did the test cards in white on green background. :)


Quote
Keep in mind also that you were working with young eyes, and probably some advance familiarity with the legend unless you went to a lot of trouble to hide your test cards, all of which are factors which had to be controlled in the various Clearview studies by expanding the sample size and using nonsense words (e.g. "Player" on the TTI test signs).

If I remember correctly, I was using random control cities from I-40.

I do have to wonder though what you mean by "young" eyes. I personally find the FHWA Series typefaces easier to read. However, though I am young, I am far from possessing 20/20 vision; in fact, at work I often find I cannot read the credit meter on a slot machine when standing one bank of machines away (about 4-6 feet or so).

Quote
The real acid test, of course, is when I don't know what the signs say, and I can't do this myself as long as I make up the signs.

Could you script your graphics programs to produce random text output of random length and capitalize the first letter? It would be for the most part unpronounceable gibberish, but you would have the benefit of not seeing the legend beforehand. If you wanted to spend some time on it you could probably create a simple algorithm for creating pronounceable nonsense words.

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There isn't really any difference between Clearview and the FHWA alphabet series from this point of view....

That may be how the sausage is made, but I don't have to like it. :) I would like government at all levels to use more open technologies, as they in general are cheaper, better, and less prone to obsolescence than their copyrighted counterparts. Massachusetts was a leader in this regard, specifying OpenDocument as the standard for office documents in state government, but Microsoft lobbied until their policy was amended to add their botched Open Office XML format as an acceptable standard. Unfortunately, I think that corporate voices carry too much power with government for change to ever be realized in this matter.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on December 07, 2009, 01:31:01 PM
I do have to wonder though what you mean by "young" eyes. I personally find the FHWA Series typefaces easier to read. However, though I am young, I am far from possessing 20/20 vision; in fact, at work I often find I cannot read the credit meter on a slot machine when standing one bank of machines away (about 4-6 feet or so).

Where Clearview is concerned, by "young eyes" I mean eyes with good light sensitivity, the ability to accommodate quickly to sudden changes in lighting, and a very high tolerance for nighttime glare.

Personally, I am in my mid-thirties, so I am not (yet) middle-aged but my vision, particularly in high-demand situations like at night, is noticeably worse than it was when I was in my early twenties.  I have more trouble with glare and I won't drive in pitch-black dark if I can realistically avoid it.  And even when I was twenty, I still preferred to drive under clear skies and a full moon when I had to drive at night.  My vision has not been 20/20 since I was seven but it has long been 20/20 with corrective lenses (glasses from age 9, contact lenses from age 14, and a mixture of glasses and contact lenses since age 23).  My glasses prescription is somewhat out of date but it is still close enough that my glasses keep me ahead of the 20/40 night vision requirement for driving in Kansas.

Older drivers are susceptible to problems like dry macular degeneration which cut visual acuity.  Even if this and other causes of lost visual acuity are left out of consideration, older drivers still have to deal with a range of problems connected with normal degradation of vision, such as clouding of the lenses over time (which cuts the light that reaches the retina and can eventually require cataract surgery), a slowing in pupil reaction to change of light (the pupils in older drivers are slower to open up again when the lighting level drops), etc.  This, combined with the results of TTI's Clearview tests, leads me to think that there is something of a generation gap in Clearview acceptance--you hear lots of relatively young people who have no use for Clearview, but very few complaints about the changeover to Clearview from older people.  If I had to guess, I would say the median age of members on this board is probably in the mid- to late twenties, so I don't find it surprising that a solid majority of people on here don't care for Clearview.

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Could you script your graphics programs to produce random text output of random length and capitalize the first letter? It would be for the most part unpronounceable gibberish, but you would have the benefit of not seeing the legend beforehand. If you wanted to spend some time on it you could probably create a simple algorithm for creating pronounceable nonsense words.

I could try that, except I am not sure there is a random-number generator.  I would also have to write a script to export the results to PNG to remove the effects of text rendering within the graphics program (the Roadgeek Clearview fonts are not particularly well-hinted and are best worked with at high zoom).  As it happens, I have to work on different parts of this problem, since at present I have no automatic mechanism for exporting my images to PNG.  This may be a holiday project.

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That may be how the sausage is made, but I don't have to like it. :)

I don't like it either.  I particularly dislike the steep learning curve connected with anything CAD.  I just spent an hour this afternoon trying to get SignPC (a free TxDOT bolt-on program which is designed to allow you to put together basic signs in MicroStation 8.05) and I was never able to get it to produce complete text strings instead of widely spaced individual letters with little edge guides for spacing, or to figure out how to put together the different parts of the sign cell to finish the sign around the legend.  The help file was full of phrases like, "Do a fence move," "Snap to points," "Turn on level 2," etc.  Nowadays the impulse is to laugh at anyone who talks about buying a "X for dummies" book to get started with a consumer-grade program, but I am pretty sure that rather old-fashioned approach still obtains for major CAD programs because you have to have a lot of basic conceptual furniture in place just to understand what the help file is trying to tell you.

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I would like government at all levels to use more open technologies, as they in general are cheaper, better, and less prone to obsolescence than their copyrighted counterparts.

The trouble with that position (which I tend to agree with in principle) is that there has to be an open-source option which offers the required functionality.  That is the case for standard "office productivity" software packages like word processors, spreadsheets, and database programs, but I do not know of a single open-source CAD program.  Also, once the agency has committed to a particular program, whether it is open- or closed-source, the agency has a lot of work (i.e., paid-for value) embedded in formats characteristic to the program in question.  This "legacy" material leads to switching costs if the standard program is changed, along with the running costs of keeping the material readable to later versions of the same program.  It is not typically possible to avoid these problems of cost and commitment unless the open-source software and open-source formats are around at the time the agency has to commit to a particular program for that application.  These have to be traded off against the significant costs in forgone efficiencies which result when an agency refuses to adopt a program for an application where no open-source alternative exists.  For instance, any state DOT which refused to adopt a closed-source CAD program would still be paying an army of draftsmen to draw construction plans by hand.

State DOTs have a mixed record in adopting open-source alternatives.  PDF, which many use for construction plans, is an open format, but it is designed to accept elements (such as images) in closed formats like TIFF.  I am personally not aware of any lossless open-source formats for bitonal image data (such as scanned construction plan sheets) which matches TIFF with CCITT Group IV compression for efficiency.  (JBIG--which I hate--and DjVu are not lossless.)  CAD programs are strictly closed-source, but I think the file formats are at least partly open.

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Unfortunately, I think that corporate voices carry too much power with government for change to ever be realized in this matter.

It is a tug of war.  Open-source options are attractive for highway agencies because management of legacy material is a huge issue for them, and the openness of the source code helps guarantee against obsolescence.  On the other hand, the vendors of closed-source software have a robust business model and a steady funding stream and that gives them the resources to maintain sales pressure, e.g. by persuading their customers that they "need" features which they were quite happy to do without in the past.  A case in point is the various attempts that have been made to sell 3-D functionality to highway design professionals (it is of very doubtful value except as a way of checking coordination of horizontal and vertical curves in perspective--a friend tells me that adding 3-D attributes to an existing design is an expensive and time-consuming proposition, which is normally resorted to only when the honchos demand it specifically).
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on December 07, 2009, 01:55:23 PM
...I do not know of a single open-source CAD program.

There is one called QCad, which I have installed on my computer once before through the Linux software repositories, but I have never used it for anything, and since I don't have any CAD experience I don't really know how it compares to professional software and really don't have much use for it.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on December 07, 2009, 02:52:46 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QCad

Apparently it is an AutoCAD clone (uses DXF format both internally and externally) and development began in 1999.  Ports to Windows are unofficial, and only the "community" edition is made available through the GNUPL--the functionality it offers is restricted compared to the full version.  3-D is not supported in any version (though highway design professionals like my friend would say, "You don't need it").

In contradistinction, the first AutoCAD release came out in 1982, while the first version of MicroStation that was not a viewer (2.0) came out in 1987.  This means a minimum 10 years when state DOTs would have had to wait for open-source CAD alternatives if they didn't want to buy into closed-source programs.

There are a couple of programs called FreeCAD or some variants thereof, but both were designed single-handed and are oriented toward design of 3-D solids.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_CAD_software

MicroStation, it turns out, has an interesting history:  it was originally a viewer (PseudoStation) for design files produced using Intergraph's Interactive Computer Graphics Design System, which required expensive, high-end VAX workstations.  (Who uses VAX anymore?)  PseudoStation allowed users to use a PC instead, the savings being so high that the Bentley brothers were able to sell a decent number of copies at their asking price of $7,943.  This prompted them to develop their own PC-based CAD package which would incorporate functionality from the ICGDS.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MicroStation

Intergraph has been around since 1969 and is of military origin.  The original motivation for developing computer graphics capability was to allow visualization of missile trajectories.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intergraph

Wikipedia says that the development of PC-based CAD allowed companies to replace four or five draftsmen with a single CAD operator:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer-aided_design

I am pretty sure that computerization of highway design (though not of plans production) began in the US in the late 1950's/early 1960's with the use of punch-card machines for optimization of earth-moving.  Pen plotters were also available by the late 1960's at latest, and around 1970 MnDOT started plotting designs for freeway guide signs (for insertion in construction plans sets) which were pattern-accurate except for the route shields.  I think these designs must have been generated through key entry at a dumb screen terminal (then a new technology), or possibly even with punch cards.  I understand that the remote ancestor of the current SignCAD program is the collection of routines which MnDOT used to confect freeway guide sign designs, and that the current SignCAD company is a spinoff/privatization which retains close links to MnDOT.

It was actually not all that common for state DOTs to prepare pattern-accurate sign designs before about 2000, when the required functionality became easily accessible within signing CAD packages.  Before then, what designers typically expected from a signing CAD program was a set of drawings showing correct positioning of shields and legend on each sign panel.  In the age of demountable copy, it was not strictly necessary to have the correct outline of a given letter:  all that was needed was the correct location of a consistent reference point such as the top left of the letter.  Quite a few designers and state DOTs discounted the ability of pattern-accurate sign designs to serve as a quick visual check on the fabricated sign.  Instead, they prepared dimensioned sign sketches, and relied on secondary guidance (such as sign drawings books and spacing tables for the various traffic sign alphabets) to ensure the signs were correctly fabricated.

A few states did bother with pattern-accurate sign designs and a variety of techniques were used to produce them.  One common approach was to form the letters on little pieces of paper, which were attached in the correct positions using rubber cement; the finished result was sent out for reproduction.  I think this technique was used by Arizona DOT and Nevada DOT in the late 1950's/early 1960's, by MnDOT through the 1960's, and by PennDOT from the late 1950's to the mid-1980's.  It was also possible to buy lettering stencils with the correct outlines of the individual letters in the traffic sign alphabets, and these were used by Arizona DOT from about 1965 to about 1985, when CAD took over.  The I-10/I-17 stack in Phoenix was probably the last major Arizona DOT project to have hand-drawn sign design sheets.

The list of states which I know didn't bother with pattern-accurate sign design sheets in the pre-2000 "dark ages" is rather long--CA, OR, WA, KS, OK, TX, MO, MI, OH, KY (Kentucky Turnpike was the only one which did have pattern-accurate sign design sheets--using pre-1948 unrounded typefaces, no less), NC, GA, FL, and MS.  Many of these states did have pattern-accurate standard plan sheets, which often (as in the case of MI) used idiosyncratic typefaces with glyphs for some letters and digits which failed to match the FHWA standards.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: LeftyJR on December 17, 2009, 03:26:01 PM
I don't mind the Clearview letters so much - it's the numbers that bug me.

IF states are going to switch to Clearview, they need to keep the FHWA Series numbers (at least on the route markers).


I have found that PA has been keeping the FHWA numbers, while replacing the letters with Clearview. 

The newer Clearview signs in PA look much better than the old ones do!  The new signage on I-376 looks good.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Alps on December 17, 2009, 06:16:10 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QCad

Apparently it is an AutoCAD clone (uses DXF format both internally and externally) and development began in 1999.  Ports to Windows are unofficial, and only the "community" edition is made available through the GNUPL--the functionality it offers is restricted compared to the full version.  3-D is not supported in any version (though highway design professionals like my friend would say, "You don't need it").

Not to stray off topic, but 3-D in AutoCAD can be very useful.  Or Microstation, which also supports it.  Right now you have vertical information stored in project files that are then imported for graphs and elevations.  Why not simply have a 3-D file with the elevations built in?  I think now that CAD programs have been 3D for a number of years, standards will start to come around to incorporate that functionality.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: wytout on December 21, 2009, 02:06:21 PM
Hadn't driven northbound on 9 in a while in CT lately.  When I saw this I almost threw up on my shoes.  I had to go back around for a shot.  It must be very new.  It's the last NB exit at Corbin's Corner just before the northern CT-9 Terminus at I-84E/W.

(http://www.wytout.com/personal/clearviewfilth.JPG)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: joseph1723 on December 22, 2009, 11:55:48 PM
Here in Ontario I've only seen around 3 BGSs done by MTO in clearview probably as a test. The rest that I've seen installed this year are all still done in FHWA. The City of Toronto loves clearview though, they use clearview on all their BGSs and street name signs.  

Here's a pic of a clearview sign from onthighways.com:

(http://img62.imageshack.us/img62/7177/qewdv12feb.jpg)
Look like MTO still uses FHWA for the numbers like everyone else.

However it looks like that MTO might switch to clearview in the future,  according to this article about clearview from their website. (http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/transtek/roadtalk/rt15-4/#a12) Their halation sample looks like it was done in arial though. :-D
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on December 23, 2009, 12:28:29 AM

However it looks like that MTO might switch to clearview in the future,  according to this article about clearview from their website. (http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/transtek/roadtalk/rt15-4/#a12) Their halation sample looks like it was done in arial though. :-D

I think that website just crashed my firefox :/

sounds like appropriate behavior for a Clearview page!
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: joseph1723 on December 24, 2009, 12:12:18 AM
Yeah I should have put a Clearview warning before posting that link. Anyways I will miss the old series EM font if MTO decides to use Clearview but at least it doesn't look as bad as Toronto clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Alex on December 29, 2009, 11:15:06 AM
Saw this link on Yahoo! Groups Northeast Roads this morning:

PennDOT: New signs clearly are much better (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09363/1024257-147.stm)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: shoptb1 on December 29, 2009, 03:19:20 PM
Saw this link on Yahoo! Groups Northeast Roads this morning:

PennDOT: New signs clearly are much better (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09363/1024257-147.stm)

Boo-ya!  Why am I the only person on this board that likes the ClearView font?   Maybe 'cuz my eyes are starting to suck and it's harder for me to read the Highway Gothic at night vs. Clearview.  :banghead:

Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on December 29, 2009, 06:02:13 PM
Saw this link on Yahoo! Groups Northeast Roads this morning:

PennDOT: WHAT WE ARE DOING IS GOOD.  WE WILL CONTINUE.  DO NOT LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT.

thanks for the propaganda, fellers.  My tax dollars at work.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on December 29, 2009, 06:05:35 PM
that said, the one thing that Clearview does do better than Highway Gothic is differentiate the Series E equivalent number 6 and 4.  I once got a speeding ticket because I was driving into the sun and I misread a half-knocked-down Speed Limit 45 as Speed Limit 65.  (hey, every other construction zone on I-40 in AZ was 65... the very last one before the California state line? 45.) 

They ticketed me for 51 in a 45, despite the fact that I pointed out that the sign was bent sufficiently backwards as to be illegible.  Virginia plates on the rental car; they knew I couldn't afford to fly back to butt-ass Arizona to contest the citation. 
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: PAHighways on December 29, 2009, 08:07:26 PM
Saw this link on Yahoo! Groups Northeast Roads this morning:

PennDOT: New signs clearly are much better (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09363/1024257-147.stm)

I don't know why this is news considering Clearview signs have been showing up around the area and state since the beginning of the decade.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: MikeTheActuary on December 29, 2009, 08:57:45 PM
Boo-ya!  Why am I the only person on this board that likes the ClearView font?   Maybe 'cuz my eyes are starting to suck and it's harder for me to read the Highway Gothic at night vs. Clearview.  :banghead:

After I recovered from several days of tracing the characters, I found that I didn't hate Clearview.   It grows on you after a while, I think.

What bothers me is lack of consistency.   Clearview at DFW is nice, because it's ALL Clearview.   Random Clearview signs popping up in Highway Gothic land, however, are much like running nails across a chalkboard.

The economics of highway sign replacement being what they are...I'm resigned to being annoyed for a few years...at least until Clearview dominates and the few remaining Highway Gothic signs can be enjoyed as relics of yesteryear.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on December 29, 2009, 09:03:34 PM

After I recovered from several days of tracing the characters, I found that I didn't hate Clearview. 

I still hate the fact that it has a non-uniform stroke width.  In general a non-uniform stroke width may be all right, but only if the font around it is designed well.  Clearview is not designed well - and all I see is the bulges and the narrow straits where the font decided that it needed to change its stroke width based on some obscure study that threw aesthetics in the garbage. 

the fact is, the best-looking highway sign fonts (FHWA 1926, FHWA 1948, Transport (Britain), Mittelschrift (Germany)) - they are all of uniform stroke width. 
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: shoptb1 on December 30, 2009, 07:45:30 AM
the fact is, the best-looking highway sign fonts (FHWA 1926, FHWA 1948, Transport (Britain), Mittelschrift (Germany)) - they are all of uniform stroke width. 

I will have to admit that I have never had any problem reading Mittelschrift fonts at night as opposed to Highway Gothic, when the former is presented in a large-enough font size.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: burgess87 on December 30, 2009, 03:16:49 PM
I'm currently in Central Texas - we drove down from WNY this weekend.

I have to say, the Clearview signs have really helped during the nighttime - most of Arkansas' signage along IH 30 is in Clearview now.

When done right (see AR & TX) - I could get used to Clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on December 30, 2009, 05:00:07 PM
I was in the Texas panhandle around Nov of this year and when I saw the frosted-over signs at dawn I really had trouble reading them and that was independent of whether they were Highway Gothic or Clearview - they just had the reflectivity frosted to the point where the signs yielded blobs of color and did not denote their legend at all...

I think the major technological improvement that needs to be done is not playing with the fonts, but making sure that at dawn hours (say 4am to 6am) the standards in place actively are sufficient to break the ice.

(http://shields.aaroads.com/misc/Iowa_69.jpg)

can you tell what road leads to Des Moines?  Or what the destination city is of US-65 and US-69 south?  I barely can... and that is an enhanced photo with the contrast bumped up to 340%... (3.4x as sharp difference between black and white compared to what you see on the actual highway).  trust me, when you are driving past this gantry, you have no idea what the signs say because the frost at 4am on a November morning has made the sign gantry illegible.  I took this photo at 6:06am local time (well past when rush hour starts!) and I had to bump up the contrast to 340% - when you are driving past the sign, it is 100% and you cannot read the shields.

And this has nothing to do with the font (Clearview vs. Highway Gothic) - the signs are just plain frosted over, and no amount of Clearview can fix that.  

Maybe that's what I want my federal tax dollars going towards - making signs actually be visible when they are frosted, not replacing perfectly good older signs with newer ones when they remain ineffective under sub-optimal highway conditions.  Clearview is a waste - concentrate on blasting frost using the fonts you have had available since 1943.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: shoptb1 on December 31, 2009, 09:48:46 AM
Maybe that's what I want my federal tax dollars going towards - making signs actually be visible when they are frosted, not replacing perfectly good older signs with newer ones when they remain ineffective under sub-optimal highway conditions.  Clearview is a waste - concentrate on blasting frost using the fonts you have had available since 1943.

As usual, you make a good argument....and thanks for the photo...I think that helps illustrate your point.  And I absolutely won't dispute the fact that there is a separate and outstanding issue with reflective signs and icing. 

However, the point that I'm making is that the font does make a difference in night-time legibility sans ice coverage.  The studies seem to show (and based upon my own personal experience I would have to agree) that the Clearview font (especially when presented in a larger font size than the old button-copy implementations) is more effectively comprehended at a glance than the Highway Gothic font.  Therefore, I would have to say that regardless of whether or not there is icing on the reflective signs, the font legibility is higher when presented in a Clearview font vs. a Highway Gothic font. 

Now, with that said, I will be the first to submit Kentucky as an example of where a larger font-size usage of Highway Gothic font lettering can be just as effective for me personally for legibility.  I have no issue reading Kentucky's new interstate signage, which I believe is still Highway Gothic on retroreflective signs, but in a larger-than-normal font-size.   Problem is though...if we're going to be replacing smaller font-size signage with something larger...why not do it in Clearview, which seems to have a higher legibility rate?  But this whole issue is separate from the one you mention, which is related to reflectivity and icing conditions...not font, right?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Alex on December 31, 2009, 02:36:54 PM

Maybe that's what I want my federal tax dollars going towards - making signs actually be visible when they are frosted, not replacing perfectly good older signs with newer ones when they remain ineffective under sub-optimal highway conditions.  Clearview is a waste - concentrate on blasting frost using the fonts you have had available since 1943.

That is more of an argument for retaining highway sign lighting than a font issue. I contest that in areas with frost and areas with a lot of dew (especially on the Gulf Coast during the winter months), that lighting should be used. I know that in the Delaware MUTCD, sign lighting is mentioned, but the state removes fixtures when replacing signs, because the MUTCD indicates that if reflectivity is sufficient enough, lighting is not required. However there are many times, Clearview or not, that signs are harder to read because of condensation.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on December 31, 2009, 02:39:13 PM
yeah, the icing has nothing to do with the font - a Clearview font sign would ice up just as badly if made with the same materials (aluminum, vinyl, etc).  

if the studies say Clearview is easier to read than EM then that's what they say... question is, is it so much easier to read that it's worth the tax money to develop the font, do the testing, and replace signs by the thousands?  I do not believe that to be the case.  There are other technological improvements that could be made to signage that would have a much greater bang for the buck, like solving the icing problem - or, alternately, just not using the money for signage when other aspects of the infrastructure are in need of improvement.  

For example, in California, brand new retroreflective signage (not Clearview in this case, but still new) at the East LA interchange ... same 1949 ramp system that makes it impossible to stay on I-5 southbound unless you're Mario Andretti.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: TheStranger on December 31, 2009, 09:42:40 PM


For example, in California, brand new retroreflective signage (not Clearview in this case, but still new) at the East LA interchange ... same 1949 ramp system that makes it impossible to stay on I-5 southbound unless you're Mario Andretti.

There's a simple answer for "why would California throw money at signs and not interchange fixes?" - the latter probably requires environmental impact statements, long gestation process, hearings (and hearing out complaints from nearby property owners), etc.  the former probably simply requires "going into the budget, and maybe a brief runthrough of how much it'll cost", and then putting the new sign up there.

Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on December 31, 2009, 10:25:16 PM
or alternately they could just not spend the money that they continue to not have
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on December 31, 2009, 11:42:30 PM
Regarding the condensation problem, I understand dew-resistant films are available to address it.  I also wonder if another possibility might be to move toward plastic sign substrates, which might dew up less easily and also be less attractive to metal thieves.

Comparing a sign rehabilitation job (which might top out at $2 million) to a major interchange improvement (probably $100 million or more in the case of the East Los Angeles Interchange) isn't really useful.  The reasons for this have to do with the disparities in cost, timescales for obligation of funding and project development, and relation of project rate of return to project scale which prompt state DOTs to program operational improvements (like sign rehabilitations, minor resurfacings, etc.) separately from major projects.

Looking more closely at this specific case:

The sign replacement has a project development cycle of about three years, and a total project lifecycle of perhaps 20 years or so.  It is not inherently complex (i.e., does not require in-depth investigations like traffic studies, and qualifies for CE since it occurs on existing infrastructure), so benefit, cost, and payoff period are all easily defined.

In the case of the East LA Interchange, the scoping process alone would probably take at least three years.  This is because you have to define the minimum parameters of an improvement that will deliver benefits that feed through to the wider economy, as opposed to--say--moving a bottleneck to the next interchange along.  This requires in-depth investigations, including traffic and origin/destination studies.  Also, because the East LA Interchange is a system interchange, this means that the minimum improvement is probably quite large, costing well over $100 million.  (The East LA Interchange has been around in close to its current form since the mid-1960's, so the available opportunities for small-scale operational improvements have been pretty well exhausted.)  You also have to have discussions with affected interests (adjoining communities, haulage interests, and other "stakeholders," to use the current jargon) to gauge their attitudes towards potential improvements and what the impacts are likely to be for them in terms of traffic, drainage, etc.  It takes time to work through these issues, compile environmental documentation, draw up construction plans, and then do the construction.  Given Caltrans' current project development methods, I wouldn't expect a major change to the East LA Interchange to have a project development cycle of less than 20 years.  This is approximately the same as the lifetime that could be expected from new signs installed in a sign rehabilitation contract.

Part of the reason for disentangling large and small projects when programming is to make sure that small projects which can deliver welfare for the motoring public at a good rate of return are not held up indefinitely in favor of some grand project which is supposed to solve all traffic problems forevermore but is subject to a project development process of uncertain length, is of uncertain scope, and delivers an uncertain rate of return.  It is a way for the state DOT to keep a diversified portfolio, in a manner of speaking.

Moreover, it is useful to have a stock of small projects in the hopper which can be readied for contract letting quickly in order to accommodate abrupt changes (either down or up) in funding levels.  Small projects can be rushed in to plug the breach left by rescinded funding for a major project, while (as we saw with ARRA) they are essentially the only things that can be developed from scratch quickly enough to meet within-the-year contract letting deadlines.

In regards to the benefits that can be expected from sign replacement contracts, it has to be noted that porcelain signs are not "perfectly good" from a strictly economic standpoint.  They are highly durable, which allows their somewhat higher initial cost to be paid out over long periods of time, so that they can cost less per year of service life than other types of signing.  However, especially at night, they provide a distinctly inferior service to motorists.  They require lighting to comply with the similar-appearance requirement in the MUTCD (and lighting is itself a significant running cost), and without retroreflective sheeting they have poor target value.  A commitment to maintain signs in place for over 50 years is also not consistent with the adaptations that may eventually become necessary to accommodate older drivers.  So systematic sign rehabilitation is in effect an attempt to purchase a higher level of service at a somewhat higher cost, while cutting down on technological risk.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Hellfighter on December 31, 2009, 11:49:38 PM
Clearview has invaded Quebec along A-55!

http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=45.453207,-71.95796&spn=0,359.888506&z=14&layer=c&cbll=45.453091,-71.957882&panoid=JpEb6CzxaNi050TXL_ky6A&cbp=12,162.86,,0,2.37 (http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=45.453207,-71.95796&spn=0,359.888506&z=14&layer=c&cbll=45.453091,-71.957882&panoid=JpEb6CzxaNi050TXL_ky6A&cbp=12,162.86,,0,2.37)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on December 31, 2009, 11:51:28 PM
They require lighting to comply with the similar-appearance requirement in the MUTCD (and lighting is itself a significant running cost), and without retroreflective sheeting they have poor target value.  A commitment to maintain signs in place for over 50 years is also not consistent with the adaptations that may eventually become necessary to accommodate older drivers.  So systematic sign rehabilitation is in effect an attempt to purchase a higher level of service at a somewhat higher cost, while cutting down on technological risk.
hmm, maybe it's time to re-evaluate that similar-appearance requirement?  what are the benefits of having that?  

also, all this accomodating of drivers with poor eyesight... if drivers cannot see the signs, what else are they not seeing?  Deer aren't getting more reflective as technology improves, and nor are tires in the road, stalled cars, and other things to be noticed and avoided.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on January 01, 2010, 12:06:35 AM
hmm, maybe it's time to re-evaluate that similar-appearance requirement?  what are the benefits of having that?

Basically, instant recognition of signs by type.  

Quote
also, all this accommodating of drivers with poor eyesight... if drivers cannot see the signs, what else are they not seeing?  Deer aren't getting more reflective as technology improves, and nor are tires in the road, stalled cars, and other things to be noticed and avoided.

The issue is not one of drivers not being able to see the signs--it is more one of making the highway environment as forgiving as possible for older drivers.  The changes that get pushed (not just Clearview, but also things like wider stripes) typically deliver benefits for most age groups, but tend to be more beneficial to older drivers.  Older drivers become less likely to encounter the other hazards you mention because they tend to elect not to drive where they are likely to encounter them.  Deer don't usually wander onto urban freeways, etc.

The tradeoff is between making relatively low-cost improvements which extend the ability of elderly drivers to stay in charge of their own transport, versus the significantly higher costs of keeping them out of transport poverty through some kind of subsidized transit provision, or the even higher costs (including the hidden cost of accelerated mental deterioration) of moving them early into assisted-living centers.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on January 01, 2010, 12:29:42 AM
Quote
Older drivers become less likely to encounter the other hazards you mention because they tend to elect not to drive where they are likely to encounter them.

I do not agree with this statement.  Deer were just one example of potential hazards; there are plenty of other hazards on urban freeways (other cars, mainly) whose presence is not mitigated by better signage.  

the driving environment is, by definition, not forgiving.  And to make some aspects of it forgiving while leaving other aspects precisely as dangerous as they were before, we are encouraging drivers to take to the road when "oh, I can't read the button copy signs anymore" would have been a tipoff that they are no longer competent as drivers.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: hbelkins on January 02, 2010, 10:11:00 PM
I was in the Texas panhandle around Nov of this year and when I saw the frosted-over signs at dawn I really had trouble reading them and that was independent of whether they were Highway Gothic or Clearview - they just had the reflectivity frosted to the point where the signs yielded blobs of color and did not denote their legend at all...

I woke up this morning in Texarkana, Texas, and headed west on I-30 before dawn on my way to the DFW area. There was frost this morning and many of the signs along I-30, many of them newer installations, were very hard to read because of the frost. Usually I can get decent photos with a flash that will show the sign, but not this morning. I will have to post some of my efforts to show how much the cold temperature had affected their legibility before dawn.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Riverside Frwy on January 04, 2010, 01:31:31 AM
I saw this today heading to a relative's house. :pan:

EDIT:Link was linked to wrong thing. :sombrero:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: mightyace on January 04, 2010, 05:22:26 PM
On the way back to Nashville today, I saw that the southernmost exit of I-65 in KY, Exit 2 for US 31 to Franklin, KY now has Clearview signs.  As it was still dark and I was dead tired and needing to get back, I have no photos of it yet.

Hopefully it won't cross the border into TN!
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Riverside Frwy on January 05, 2010, 12:28:51 AM
Crap the link came out wrong.

EDIT:Ok try this one:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Orange,+CA&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=40.732051,89.824219&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Orange,+California&ll=33.786495,-117.878881&spn=0.010468,0.02193&z=16&layer=c&cbll=33.786216,-117.880107&panoid=RVMUy2_2uopoMarVOo1oQA&cbp=12,181.67,,0,6.23

Caltrans put a green strip for "Santa Ana" that's Clearview.First time I've seen Clearview in the wild.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Android on January 05, 2010, 12:23:22 PM
Hey, I'm a newbie here, but I would have joined a year ago had I known about this place! I've been waiting for something better than the boards on the Usenet which I seldom read anymore. 

Anyway, I'm a Clearview hater myself.  Well, hater of about 60% of it, the lowercase and the numbers.   They just look bad to me.  Why could they not have just gone with the modified Highway Gothic I've seen in some cities? 

Down in Fort Collins, CO, where I lived for many years, they also switched to Clearview on their street signs, but the city has never used lowercase, just ALL CAPS on their signs, plus they still use FHWA numbers most of the time.  I have no problem with those. 

Here in Wyoming they have been using Clearview since 2007, mixed case, plus numbers.  :crazy:  but their usage of it really varies.   Since WYDOT puts an plain date code on their signs it's easy to tell how old they are, and I still see new signs in Highway Gothic.  But Wyoming has always had a wild mix of typefaces on their signs,and I don't know why.  I'm not complaining though, I'm happy it's not (yet) turned into total replacement.    I mean, in the last year, I've seen new exit/gore signs in Series D, Series E and Clearview:

(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/2009GoreSigns.jpg)


Still, as time goes by and I see more and more of it here in Wyoming, I'm starting to get used to Clearview. I still don't like the look of it, as others have said, that lowercase L looks horrible.  But from a far distance they do seem to be perhaps a little bit more legible, but that could also very well be due to the fact the they are still bright shiny new signs. 

My "favorite" one so far around Wyoming is this one with a messed up "y" in Cheyenne:

(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/I80Sidney1-4Mile.jpg)

A while back when they changed one of the Glendo exit signs, I put together this before/after animation.  Which is better?  Well, with that lowercase L in there, it's no contest for me.   ;-)

-Andy

(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/GlendoSignChange2.gif)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: shoptb1 on January 05, 2010, 06:51:51 PM
A while back when they changed one of the Glendo exit signs, I put together this before/after animation.  Which is better?  Well, with that lowercase L in there, it's no contest for me.   ;-)

-Andy

(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/GlendoSignChange2.gif)

Welcome to the forum!  Thanks for posting this animation...I'm going to have to be honest though...I like the Clearview better.  As you'll learn, I'm about the only person on this forum that actually likes Clearview. :)  However, I would like to state that I think either of the fonts that you've shown are easily readable.  My issue is with the much more difficult-to-read ancient button-copy compared to Clearview, which is the majority of the replacements here in Ohio.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on January 05, 2010, 07:38:45 PM
in the case of that animation, the Clearview is more legible, because the FHWA variant is too bold (the E has hardly any hole in it).  But that is a more attractive font; the Clearview hooked "1", curved "l", and pregnant "d" just look silly!
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: realjd on January 05, 2010, 07:50:34 PM
Welcome to the forum!  Thanks for posting this animation...I'm going to have to be honest though...I like the Clearview better.  As you'll learn, I'm about the only person on this forum that actually likes Clearview. :)  However, I would like to state that I think either of the fonts that you've shown are easily readable.  My issue is with the much more difficult-to-read ancient button-copy compared to Clearview, which is the majority of the replacements here in Ohio.

I'm with you. I do generally like Clearview better, although it's not necessarily for aesthetics. I like to see innovation with our highways, and (as we discussed earlier in the thread), studies did show better legibility in some cases, and similar in others.

And for what it's worth, I do like the lowercase 'l'. Growing up, I was taught to write with tails on letters like 'l', and it always bugged me how "Ill." on signs looked like "III" or "lll" since the capital I in the FHWA font didn't have horizontal strokes.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Riverside Frwy on January 05, 2010, 08:17:08 PM
I love Clearview.....letters. :-P

The numbers are absolutely hideous, but overall if Clearview is done right I generally like it better.If I was in charge of the entire highway I would indeed adopt Clearview, but keep the old numbers.I especially love the little "tails" the lower case L's have in Clearview as well.

A high point of Clearview I like is the fact that the letters are aren't as bold and skinnier than standard font, making the sign seem less cluttered.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on January 05, 2010, 08:26:45 PM
I love Clearview.....letters. :-P

The numbers are absolutely hideous, but overall if Clearview is done right I generally like it better.If I was in charge of the entire highway I would indeed adopt Clearview, but keep the old numbers.I especially love the little "tails" the lower case L's have in Clearview as well.

A high point of Clearview I like is the fact that the letters are aren't as bold and skinnier than standard font, making the sign seem less cluttered.

well, standard E with EM spacing is also not quite as bold and makes the sign seem less cluttered.

and yes, the numbers are the worst.  Most of the uppercase letters aren't bad, but the lowercase are a mixed bag and the numbers I just can't stand.  They took some good ideas (curved top for 6, bottom for 9 - see New York font) and somehow ruined them!
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Riverside Frwy on January 05, 2010, 08:59:50 PM
I love Clearview.....letters. :-P

The numbers are absolutely hideous, but overall if Clearview is done right I generally like it better.If I was in charge of the entire highway I would indeed adopt Clearview, but keep the old numbers.I especially love the little "tails" the lower case L's have in Clearview as well.

A high point of Clearview I like is the fact that the letters are aren't as bold and skinnier than standard font, making the sign seem less cluttered.

well, standard E with EM spacing is also not quite as bold and makes the sign seem less cluttered.

and yes, the numbers are the worst.  Most of the uppercase letters aren't bad, but the lowercase are a mixed bag and the numbers I just can't stand.  They took some good ideas (curved top for 6, bottom for 9 - see New York font) and somehow ruined them!

The Problem with the numbers is they are too "broad" (for lack of a better term.) The curves of number(9 and 6 in particular) don't flow with each other.The numbers seem like they have been "stretched" to point that it creates an ugly shape.

Look at my example, I used a red line to demonstrate:
(http://i361.photobucket.com/albums/oo58/PanzerVIZeke/I-96CVvsSH.jpg)

Notice how in the standard font, the curves of the 9 and 6 seem in perfect alignment.The curves aren't bent as much, creating a sexy look.The Clearview numbers looks some nightmare between the "box" look(like the old US Routes signs in AgentSteel's Avatar) and the standard look.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on January 05, 2010, 09:09:56 PM
if done right, that style of number can flow quite well.

(http://shields.aaroads.com/img/NY/NY19700661i1.jpg)

I don't have an example of a 96 (gee I wonder what font the shield generator needs!); that will have to do for now.  Those numbers are fundamentally identical to clearview 6es but look so much better!
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: hbelkins on January 05, 2010, 09:44:07 PM
(http://www.millenniumhwy.net/2008_Michigan_Day_2/Images/66.jpg)

First exit north of the Indiana state line in Michigan.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Hellfighter on January 05, 2010, 09:55:03 PM
(http://www.millenniumhwy.net/2008_Michigan_Day_2/Images/66.jpg)

First exit north of the Indiana state line in Michigan.

Ah yes, they've done that on that whole section from Indiana to I-96.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Riverside Frwy on January 05, 2010, 11:08:03 PM
That I-69 sign would look beautiful if it used standard numbers...

I really like the Clearview directional, where even though "SOUTH" is all upper-case the S is still bigger than the rest of the word.This makes sense though, as Clearview was designed to be mixed case anyway.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: shoptb1 on January 05, 2010, 11:34:22 PM
I love Clearview.....letters. :-P

The numbers are absolutely hideous, but overall if Clearview is done right I generally like it better.If I was in charge of the entire highway I would indeed adopt Clearview, but keep the old numbers.I especially love the little "tails" the lower case L's have in Clearview as well.

A high point of Clearview I like is the fact that the letters are aren't as bold and skinnier than standard font, making the sign seem less cluttered.

I agree that the numbers are terrible.  However, look at the following two examples.

Here's TERRIBLE (illegible at night as well)

(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_vV2-Fg-7T40/S0QSGDpVp3I/AAAAAAAAA3U/cseo-yt5AFs/s720/IMG_1229.JPG)


This is one of the best for legibility (Kentucky uses much larger font size on their shields)

(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_vV2-Fg-7T40/S0QSGU4mfqI/AAAAAAAAA3Y/koP70Im4jl8/s912/IMG_1260.JPG)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: mightyace on January 05, 2010, 11:41:40 PM
I agree that the numbers are terrible.  However, look at the following two examples.

Here's TERRIBLE (illegible at night as well)

(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_vV2-Fg-7T40/S0QSGDpVp3I/AAAAAAAAA3U/cseo-yt5AFs/s720/IMG_1229.JPG)

I passed this sign Sunday night (1/3) and had NO TROUBLE reading it!  I also passed by the other sign as well.  And, it was legible, too.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jdb1234 on January 06, 2010, 12:32:45 AM
Alabama update:

The 8th Ave S signs in button copy on the Red Mountain Expressway have been replaced with this.

(http://s761.photobucket.com/albums/xx260/jdbarnes1234/101_1019.jpg)

(http://s761.photobucket.com/albums/xx260/jdbarnes1234/101_1020.jpg)

I would like the signs better if they would spell out University, but that would not work with the existing sign bridges.  Besides, 8th Ave S has not existed in Birmingham for a long time.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: myosh_tino on January 06, 2010, 01:02:29 AM
I agree that the numbers are terrible.  However, look at the following two examples.

Here's TERRIBLE (illegible at night as well)
I see nothing wrong with that I-275 shield.  Interstate shields with that sized numbers are pretty common in California...
(http://www.aaroads.com/california/images280/i-280_nb_exit_005b_07.jpg)

(http://www.aaroads.com/california/images405/i-405_nb_exit_045a_01.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Android on January 06, 2010, 03:07:14 AM
Coming into Cheyenne the other day, I saw a BGS in the far distance and thought to myself "Wow, when did they do that sign in E-Modified?" but as I got closer I realized it was one of the new Clearview signs.  In the far distance the way the light scattered the thinner CV typeface, it looked bolder than it was.  I had to laugh at myself on that one.    But those are pretty new signs... I'd like to see how well these signs look after they get older and dirtier. 

I'm not a big fan of button copy - in its time it did its job, but I can see why it was discontinued once better reflective materials were developed.  ( Although I'm still amazed that no company in China or some other 3rd world country didn't step in to produce a comparable product after the old supplier quit making them - I've seen such opportunism in many things before, especially auto parts.)    But the E-Modified typeface that goes hand-in-hand with button copy, I've always thought it looked somewhat, well, awkward.  The standard EM kerning (spacing between letters) and between words never had a good feel to it for me. And that is with or without the buttons.   

Speaking of awkward kerning, several years ago I decided I wanted the various FHWA highway Gothic letterings as computer fonts, and before I stumbled across the Roadgeek fonts, I was in the process of authoring up my own.  Before I finished though, I found the Roadgeek ones... and well, I combined those with the work I had already done.  Keeping my settings as far as metrics, kerning and spacing though.  I wanted a computer font that worked good to make usable lettering on the screen and in documents, and not to make my own Road signs.   Also, I went the "Extended View" route and incorporated some of the opened up features in like the " a e, s, b and d" to name a few, that I'd seen on signs in Cheyenne and in some Denver suburbs, and in pre-clearview Iowa, among other places. Mostly in the Series D and E, which are the ones I worked on the most and the ones I find most suitable for the computer and for documents.  Had to rework some of the punctuation symbols as well.

But I never plan on using any Clearview fonts on my computer - I mean, while I have the Roadgeek ones, I never touch them.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vdeane on January 06, 2010, 09:15:45 AM
if done right, that style of number can flow quite well.

(http://shields.aaroads.com/img/NY/NY19700661i1.jpg)

I don't have an example of a 96 (gee I wonder what font the shield generator needs!); that will have to do for now.  Those numbers are fundamentally identical to clearview 6es but look so much better!

Here's a NY 96:
(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_6zDqXUkKvc0/SHkSqJyRuoI/AAAAAAAAAHM/K9-9Jy0w49c/s800/100_1314.JPG)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: hm insulators on January 06, 2010, 11:20:20 AM
Clearview or not, I just want to be able to read the danged sign when I'm on the freeway! I was on a recent trip to the Los Angeles area, and my gosh! There are still quite a large number of the old button-copy signs in southern California, some probably older than I am (I'm 48), and those old signs are so filthy, dirty, nasty and grungy you can't even read them during broad daylight, let alone at night, during which Caltrans decides not to light up the signs at all. I grew up there so I know the L.A./Orange County freeway system like the back of my hand, but what about the people who are just passing through or are otherwise new to the area?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on January 06, 2010, 11:31:44 AM
that NY 96 has standard Series F - I'm looking for an older shield with the NY custom font ...
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on January 06, 2010, 11:38:39 AM
Although I'm still amazed that no company in China or some other 3rd world country didn't step in to produce a comparable product after the old supplier quit making them - I've seen such opportunism in many things before, especially auto parts.

China is still stuck on glass cateyes!  :-D  I have ordered some from there but I can make my own glass for much cheaper.  Sorry, China!
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: shoptb1 on January 06, 2010, 06:31:22 PM
Clearview or not, I just want to be able to read the danged sign when I'm on the freeway! I was on a recent trip to the Los Angeles area, and my gosh! There are still quite a large number of the old button-copy signs in southern California, some probably older than I am (I'm 48), and those old signs are so filthy, dirty, nasty and grungy you can't even read them during broad daylight, let alone at night, during which Caltrans decides not to light up the signs at all. I grew up there so I know the L.A./Orange County freeway system like the back of my hand, but what about the people who are just passing through or are otherwise new to the area?

According to some folks, we just need to be in awe of their historical value and not worry too much about "function". Sorry, couldn't resist  :sombrero:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on January 06, 2010, 06:44:02 PM

According to some folks, we just need to be in awe of their historical value and not worry too much about "function". Sorry, couldn't resist  :sombrero:

I just happen to disagree on their level of dysfunction.  There is the occasional one that is just plain wrong, or lacks critical information (see: East LA Interchange, I-5 southbound) but if the information on them is correct, I think they work just fine!
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: TheStranger on January 06, 2010, 06:54:51 PM
There is the occasional one that is just plain wrong, or lacks critical information (see: East LA Interchange, I-5 southbound) but if the information on them is correct, I think they work just fine!

Which sign in particular on I-5 are you referring to, out of curiosity?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on January 06, 2010, 06:59:11 PM
Which sign in particular on I-5 are you referring to, out of curiosity?

all of them.  They are technically correct, but too close together to allow for merging.  There is no single lane to take to stay on I-5 southbound - the best option is to stay in the #2 lane to avoid getting on I-10 westbound, and then switch quickly over to the #3 lane to not get on the 60 by accident.  Usually, by the time you realize you are in the wrong lane, it is too late to switch given how heavy traffic is usually through there.

(this of course does not prevent people from executing a classic Jackass Merge (tm)... Southern California: More Important than You, since 1903.)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: myosh_tino on January 06, 2010, 09:52:39 PM
Which sign in particular on I-5 are you referring to, out of curiosity?

all of them.  They are technically correct, but too close together to allow for merging.  There is no single lane to take to stay on I-5 southbound - the best option is to stay in the #2 lane to avoid getting on I-10 westbound, and then switch quickly over to the #3 lane to not get on the 60 by accident.  Usually, by the time you realize you are in the wrong lane, it is too late to switch given how heavy traffic is usually through there.

(this of course does not prevent people from executing a classic Jackass Merge (tm)... Southern California: More Important than You, since 1903.)
Looking at the photos on AARoads, it looks like you can stay in either the #2 or #3 lanes to remain on I-5 south.  The #1 lane will take you to CA-60, the #2 lane will keep you on I-5, the #3 lane is an option lane (I-5 or I-10) and the #4 and #5 lanes are for I-10.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jdb1234 on January 09, 2010, 02:25:41 PM
One more clearview sign:
(http://s761.photobucket.com/albums/xx260/jdbarnes1234/101_1030.jpg)

On an interesting note the previous sign here only mentioned Highland Ave and not Arlington Ave.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: joseph1723 on January 10, 2010, 12:19:38 AM
Here's one of the latest Toronto clearview sign in my area:
(http://img46.imageshack.us/img46/1218/dscn5004.jpg)

Which replaced this one with a cut off portion during mid-late 2009:
(http://img704.imageshack.us/img704/6606/gardinerexpwywestyongep.jpg)
In my opinion I like the spacing on the older sign better.
(picture from google streetview)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: LeftyJR on January 12, 2010, 02:23:48 PM
I was out last night in an area where both Cleaview and FHWA fonts are signed (Central PA) while it was snowing, I've determined that Clearview is easier to read in the dark and/or in bad weather.  It pains me to say it, but Clearview is growing on me.

The e and t (e's look like o's and t's look like other tall letters) are much easier to read imo.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: mightyace on January 13, 2010, 09:41:52 PM
I <GASP> spotted the first Clearview signs in Tennessee.

Actually realized is the correct word in that I've passed these signs dozens of times without realizing it.  (Denial I guess.  :-D)

They are at one, possibly two intersections in Franklin, TN traffic lights for the street names.  (BTW The street signs in Franklin have multiple fonts depending on where they are.)

Since this appears to be a city installation, the BGSs maintained by TDOT are safe for now.

I'll get and post a picture as soon as I can.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: codyg1985 on January 13, 2010, 11:00:50 PM
^ I think the street name sign for McEwen Drive off of I-65 sports Clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jdb1234 on January 14, 2010, 12:04:51 AM
Here is the blue clearview service sign along Corridor X mentioned earlier.

(http://s761.photobucket.com/albums/xx260/jdbarnes1234/101_0965.jpg)

Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: mightyace on January 14, 2010, 01:01:09 AM
^ I think the street name sign for McEwen Drive off of I-65 sports Clearview.

I'll take a closer look the next time I'm by that way.  (might even be an hour or so from now)  The signs on McEwen Drive itself are also maintained by the city of Franklin.

There's also a few unisigns there and downtown I need to grab images of.

EDIT:
I didn't have time to stop today, but I did give it a look see as I went by and I think you may be right.  However, the size of the letters for the street name relative to the sign size is smaller than the one at Hillsboro Rd. and DelRio Pike.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Michael on January 15, 2010, 02:31:17 PM
NYSDOT posted Clearview signs for Half Acre Road just west of Auburn in an intersection reconstruction this past fall.  :ded:  I hope it's an isolated incident.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vdeane on January 15, 2010, 03:23:22 PM
Is it at least better looking than the ones on the Thruway?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Android on January 15, 2010, 06:47:40 PM
Here's another Wyoming before/after Clearview animation I just made up.  Not the same exact same sign, but the same business loop (one has been replaced, the other has not)  This one doesn't bother me very much, but I do wish the 135 was in FHWA numerals and not Clearview. 

-Andy

(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/DouglasLoopChange1.gif)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: shoptb1 on January 15, 2010, 09:33:16 PM
Here's another Wyoming before/after Clearview animation I just made up.  Not the same exact same sign, but the same business loop (one has been replaced, the other has not)  This one doesn't bother me very much, but I do wish the 135 was in FHWA numerals and not Clearview. 

-Andy

(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/DouglasLoopChange1.gif)

I still like the Clearview text best although I would agree that I'm not crazy about the numerals.  Especially the 135. 
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: mightyace on January 15, 2010, 09:36:14 PM
I still like the Clearview text best although I would agree that I'm not crazy about the numerals.  Especially the 135. 

The Clearview 135 is the only part of that sign that I like better.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Android on January 15, 2010, 09:48:35 PM
lol, well to each their own, but having a white FHWA shield in that Loop I-25 and a Clearview exit number 135 just clash for me.  And I definatetly do NOT want to see shields in Clearview!  (http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/images/smiles/eusa_wall.gif)  ;-)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vdeane on January 16, 2010, 12:41:52 PM
For some reason I don't mind the Clearview numerals, though I agree they shouldn't be on shields.  But why the exit number change on that sign?

Also, could you possibly put them side-by-side instead of using an animated GIF?  My brain prefers more than half a second to compare differences.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Android on January 16, 2010, 01:12:38 PM
I said it previously, it's not actually the same sign - it's the same business loop, different signs.   They replaced the northbound sign a few years ago (one of the first CV signs I'd seen in WY) but not the southbound one.  I was playing around with a new camera the other day and got a nice clear shot of the NB one, so I decided to go out and get a pic of the SB one yesterday to see how it compared.  It was so similar that making that animated gif out of it was easy.  It was only because they were so similar that I animated it.  I try to save bandwidth all the time and I could have posted those individually with half the file size.

Actually, I was also thinking earlier that half second lag was too short, and was going to change it to longer.  (Which I just did, to 1.5 seconds - however it may not load that way if your computer or server caches images.)  

Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Riverside Frwy on January 16, 2010, 01:50:48 PM
The numbers definitely look better when they are not on the shields.Still love the Clearview letters though.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Android on January 17, 2010, 03:07:03 AM
Okay, here's another photo, but no animation this time!

Last year, I posted the following to the misc.transport.road newsgroup, if it looks familiar to you.   

=========================

That brings me to this topic.....  When an Exit/gore sign at milepost
25, on NB WY I-25 got ran over a few months ago, I figured I'd
be seeing a fugly Clearview replacement.  It took a while, during
which there was just an orange cone standing in for it, but a couple
of days ago I finally saw the new sign.  Sure enough.... Clearview,
yech.


Anyway, that particular gore sign location is signficant to me because I
happened to get some photos of it a few years ago, when it was still a
1992-vintage sign that was much larger than it needed to be .  Then,
that got replaced in 2006 ago with a more appropriate/typical sign.  And now
in 2009, it's an ugly Clearview one.   *sigh*

(and please, leave Al Gore out of this)

so..... Once Upon A Time there were Three Gores (signs), One was a Big
Gore, one was an Little Gore  and one was and Ugly Gore.....  Here's
photos of all three:


(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/Exit25Gore-BigSmallUgly.jpg)

Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Michael on January 17, 2010, 02:00:19 PM
^^ I like the first one the best.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Alex on January 19, 2010, 09:49:35 AM
I noted the use of Clearview on a blue services sign along Interstate 10 westbound in Tallahassee yesterday. This is the first instance of Clearview outside the OOCEA or a local municipality (There are some internally lit street signs in Pensacola that use Clearview now as well) that I have observed.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: wandering drive on January 20, 2010, 04:08:29 PM
As one might expect, the Illinois Tollway north of Rockford uses Clearview for the signs it replaced.  One thing I didn't notice until today was the US-51 shield... in Clearview.  I don't have a picture, but it looks like whoever made the sign made sure that the "hat" on the 1 was extra long.  Not a pleasant thing to see while dodging semis and Illinois drivers.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Brandon on January 20, 2010, 04:10:53 PM
As one might expect, the Illinois Tollway north of Rockford uses Clearview for the signs it replaced.  One thing I didn't notice until today was the US-51 shield... in Clearview.  I don't have a picture, but it looks like whoever made the sign made sure that the "hat" on the 1 was extra long.  Not a pleasant thing to see while dodging semis and Illinois drivers.

Somebody in the Naperville sign shop screwed up.  I've noticed they like to go for a bit of experimentation every now and then.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on January 20, 2010, 05:00:34 PM
Really? All of the US-51 shields from Rockford I have show FHWA numerals.

(http://www.denexa.com/roadgeek/road-photos/main.php?cmd=image&var1=roadtrips%2Fwaukesha%2Fimg_3377.jpg&var2=700_85)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: wandering drive on January 20, 2010, 07:39:09 PM
The shield I saw was a reassurance shield heading NB just north of State St.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: codyg1985 on February 03, 2010, 07:44:16 AM
Hawaii uses Ciearview (http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&t=h&layer=c&cbll=21.34365,-157.891544&panoid=p-suh1QHrxyQywRf83vCbg&cbp=12,295.95,,0,-1.21&ll=21.343526,-157.891281&spn=0,359.98071&z=16) on some of its new signs.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Stojko on February 04, 2010, 06:54:12 PM
I actually like Clearview... it looks more fresh to me. Newfoundland's replaced some signs with it, I've noticed a few of the exit signs on Pitts Memorial Drive (Route 2) in St. John's have been converted but other than that most of the new signs I've saw are just replacing signs that were very, very, very old and damaged (quite a few of those in this province, unfortunately).

I don't like the mix of the old style and Clearview though, on some highways one sign is Clearview, the next isn't and sometimes two signs are together with one Clearview and one not... that looks horrible, all or nothing for me. ;)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Brandon on February 16, 2010, 04:31:04 PM
Did some poking around on Google's Street View (dang, I love that!) and found that even Northwest Territories is using Clearview.  Granted, their directional signs are white on blue, but it's definitely Clearview.

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=61.073068,-117.494144&spn=0,359.856148&t=h&z=14&layer=c&cbll=61.073086,-117.494568&panoid=QtNA7rUtR6hqDYdDHMkXhQ&cbp=12,297.85,,0,4.14
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: shoptb1 on February 28, 2010, 12:17:11 PM
The first of the new Clearview BGS's have been installed on I-71 Southbound between Columbus and Cincinnati.  The new mounting posts are installed between Grove City and Jeffersonville, but except for these two signs on the 6-lane section around Jeffersonville, the signs themselves haven't been installed yet.  I think they look great...glad that they have finally aligned the OH-435 shield (the old one was just slapped on and not aligned correctly on the sign). 

(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_vV2-Fg-7T40/S4qkQxU6gVI/AAAAAAAABZg/u8nmbCkG470/s800/IMG_9743.JPG)

(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_vV2-Fg-7T40/S4qkRQc8inI/AAAAAAAABZk/_0u_YpHGtKM/s800/IMG_9745.JPG)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Riverside Frwy on February 28, 2010, 02:01:31 PM
Shoot, the exit numbers are Clearview. Atleast the shields aren't
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: BigMattFromTexas on February 28, 2010, 02:56:35 PM
San Antonio...
(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_WYYeXvkUoUE/SvOG5CQtRXI/AAAAAAAADBs/tuwqOmIPe7U/s800/DSCF1390.JPG)
 BigMatt
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Ian on February 28, 2010, 06:02:40 PM
Shoot, the exit numbers are Clearview. Atleast the shields aren't

Lets keep it this way ;-)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: shoptb1 on February 28, 2010, 09:01:23 PM
Shoot, the exit numbers are Clearview. Atleast the shields aren't

Lets keep it this way ;-)

I agree.  I do not like the shields in Clearview, although I do think the signs and exit tabs should be.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: burgess87 on March 01, 2010, 03:30:41 PM
What does the "CH" on the IH 71 BGSes in Ohio stand for?

I've been through there recently, and couldn't understand what it meant.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: bulldog1979 on March 01, 2010, 03:34:33 PM
What does the "CH" on the IH 71 BGSes in Ohio stand for?

I've been through there recently, and couldn't understand what it meant.

Isn't that an abbreviation for the place name "Washington Courthouse (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Court_House,_Oh)"?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: andrewkbrown on March 01, 2010, 03:40:27 PM
What does the "CH" on the IH 71 BGSes in Ohio stand for?

I've been through there recently, and couldn't understand what it meant.

Isn't that an abbreviation for the place name "Washington Courthouse (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Court_House,_Oh)"?

That's Correct. It's 20 miles from my hometown, Wilmington.
There's an interesting old sign in Wilmington giving the distance to Washington CH on US22/OH3. Yet, unlike the common abbreviation, this sign shows it as "Wash. Court House." Spelling the CH completely, but not Washington.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: shoptb1 on March 01, 2010, 06:48:04 PM
What does the "CH" on the IH 71 BGSes in Ohio stand for?

I've been through there recently, and couldn't understand what it meant.

Yep, as stated, it stands for Washington Court House.  I wish that ODOT would sign it 'Washington C.H.' instead of just CH, but that's just me being anal.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: mightyace on March 01, 2010, 08:44:24 PM
Here are the northbound versions of signs in December before they were changed:

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4012/4283629955_3e1fded777_o.jpg)

Notice South Solon instead of Washington Court House as a control point.

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2626/4229908445_3fbc9dbd53_b.jpg)

They at least had the C and H separated!  And, no mention of Xenia.  (Of course, the correction of the signs and adding "TO" on US 35 was necessary.)

I'll miss ol' button copy signs!  :-(
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: burgess87 on March 01, 2010, 08:55:23 PM
Thanks for that.  Being a hockey fan, I saw the "CH" and I'm like, "No way the Montreal Canadiens have anything going on in Ohio, unless they're playing Columbus."

 :pan:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: BigMattFromTexas on March 02, 2010, 10:52:56 PM
*OFF TOPIC*
^ GO PENGUINS!!! (http://smileys.on-my-web.com/repository/Penguins/penguin-015.gif)
Okay so I'll put it back on topic now, haha
San Angelo uses Clearview on all of the signs except for the standalones on Loop 306 just before it becomes US 67.
Here's a shot of it on near downtown:
(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_WYYeXvkUoUE/SsfpIVu4tvI/AAAAAAAACV0/yTrTiYknm_0/s800/038.JPG)
Highway gothic :)
(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_WYYeXvkUoUE/SxMhiaWZdmI/AAAAAAAADfA/H_Wy6N3AGTk/s800/DSCF1463.JPG)

Sorry, I erased what DTP said, but I understand, but I've still seen worse on here... haha
 BigMatt
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on March 21, 2010, 10:34:03 AM
The conversion to Clearview has led to problems in how signs are shown in construction plans sets.  Here is a before-and-after example courtesy of Illinois DOT, whose default sign design program is Transoft's GuidSIGN.

This sign design sheet was produced shortly before Illinois DOT adopted Clearview:

(http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/wiki/images/7/7d/60363_061308-60363-01X-619-289-11x17-second.png)

Note that all of the sign legend, including shields and white-on-green text elements, is pattern-accurate.

Now compare with this sheet, which comes from one of five or six fairly large contracts which Illinois DOT has let recently for major work on I-290 (the Eisenhower Expressway) in suburban Chicago:

(http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/wiki/images/2/2c/011510-60G51-194-676-585-11x17-second.png)

As you can see, an ugly placeholder typeface (from the same general family as Arial and Helvetica) has been used in place of the actual Clearview legend.  The only parts of the sign that actually use the correct typeface are the shields, which still use the FHWA alphabet series.

This problem is especially common with state DOTs, like Illinois DOT and Virginia DOT, which have standardized on GuidSIGN for their sign design, but it is by no means confined to them--other state DOTs which use SignCAD instead have had problems getting Clearview legend to render correctly on plan sheets.  If you don't have the right version of signcad.rsc, Clearview legend will not render correctly, full stop.

In the distant past it took a special effort to produce pattern-accurate sign design sheets--you had to work with special stencils or stamps to get letters of the correct shape on the plan sheet.  This is why relatively few states, like Arizona, Minnesota, and Nevada, have pattern-accurate sign design sheets dating from the era of first Interstate construction.  But the number of state DOTs producing pattern-accurate sign design sheets has increased monotonically since 2000 with the increasing availability of sign design software capable of producing pattern-accurate output.  So the introduction of Clearview without adequate support for it in state DOT sign design software installations has been very much a retrograde step.  VDOT has finally got its act together and is now producing pattern-accurate Clearview signs in GuidSIGN, and Illinois DOT will probably follow suit eventually, but in the meantime there are literally hundreds of sign design sheets for the I-290 work which are not pattern-accurate for want of Clearview font support.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: ctsignguy on March 23, 2010, 09:08:25 PM
Here are the northbound versions of signs in December before they were changed:

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4012/4283629955_3e1fded777_o.jpg)

Notice South Solon instead of Washington Court House as a control point.

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2626/4229908445_3fbc9dbd53_b.jpg)

They at least had the C and H separated!  And, no mention of Xenia.  (Of course, the correction of the signs and adding "TO" on US 35 was necessary.)

I'll miss ol' button copy signs!  :-(

ODOT has had a general practice of not placing cities on BGS where you would have to 'drive back' to get to that town.  That was why you see no mention of Xenia on that Ohio 435/US 35 BGS.....by their thinking, US 68 was the Xenia exit for I-71 north.  But when you drive south on I-71, 435/35 is Xenia....but no real mention on the US 68 exit

 There are exceptions, but not many
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: WNYroadgeek on March 23, 2010, 09:13:13 PM
(http://www.upstatenyroads.com/signs/i490/i490exit1eb.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vdeane on March 24, 2010, 12:34:04 PM
So does this mean NYSDOT is doing clearview or not?  Given the sign's location, I can't really tell which authority put it up.

Though I've always wondered if one sign on I-390 for exit 15B is clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: cu2010 on March 24, 2010, 12:47:31 PM
It (and the one it replaced) looks like a NYSTA sign. It's just at the end of the concrete just past the Exit 47 tollbooth heading up 490.

It wouldn't look so bad if the letters weren't entirely too large.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Duke87 on March 24, 2010, 12:51:18 PM
It wouldn't look so bad if the letters weren't entirely too large.

And if the numbers in the NY 19 shield weren't too small.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: andrewkbrown on March 24, 2010, 05:57:40 PM
Here are the northbound versions of signs in December before they were changed:

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4012/4283629955_3e1fded777_o.jpg)

I've noticed that too. The I-71 north exit to US

Notice South Solon instead of Washington Court House as a control point.

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2626/4229908445_3fbc9dbd53_b.jpg)

They at least had the C and H separated!  And, no mention of Xenia.  (Of course, the correction of the signs and adding "TO" on US 35 was necessary.)

I'll miss ol' button copy signs!  :-(

ODOT has had a general practice of not placing cities on BGS where you would have to 'drive back' to get to that town.  That was why you see no mention of Xenia on that Ohio 435/US 35 BGS.....by their thinking, US 68 was the Xenia exit for I-71 north.  But when you drive south on I-71, 435/35 is Xenia....but no real mention on the US 68 exit

 There are exceptions, but not many

I've noticed that too, with Wilmington posted for I-71 south exit to US 68, and Xenia for I-71 north at US 68.
Yet at SR 73 and I-71, both directions are signed Waynesville Wilmington.
Then there's the SR 72 exit at I-71. For Jamestown Sabina, even though SR 72 doesn't actually go through Sabina.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: BigMattFromTexas on March 24, 2010, 09:04:41 PM
Okay, so am I the only one who thinks if an areas highway signage is gonna be in Clearview, the rest of it should be in Clearview, and not Gothic? They seem to do that a whole lot here in Angelo...
 BigMatt
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Ian on March 24, 2010, 09:07:29 PM
Okay, so am I the only one who thinks if an areas highway signage is gonna be in Clearview, the rest of it should be in Clearview, and not Gothic? They seem to do that a whole lot here in Angelo...
 BigMatt

Not really. I mean, each sign has a right to stay put up until its lifespan is done or if it is damaged or badly faded.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: BigMattFromTexas on March 24, 2010, 09:13:52 PM
Okay, so am I the only one who thinks if an areas highway signage is gonna be in Clearview, the rest of it should be in Clearview, and not Gothic? They seem to do that a whole lot here in Angelo...
 BigMatt

Not really. I mean, each sign has a right to stay put up until its lifespan is done or if it is damaged or badly faded.

Ok, let me explain, here in Angelo they built Houston Harte Expressway, all the signs (except for one) are in Clearview, then theres this one sign that was put up at the same time as the other ones, that is in Gothic, I don't really get where that came in, I'm saying that if you're gonna do new signage in a complete area, wouldn't you expect all the signs to be in the same font...
 BigMatt
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Ian on March 24, 2010, 09:14:58 PM
Okay, so am I the only one who thinks if an areas highway signage is gonna be in Clearview, the rest of it should be in Clearview, and not Gothic? They seem to do that a whole lot here in Angelo...
 BigMatt

Not really. I mean, each sign has a right to stay put up until its lifespan is done or if it is damaged or badly faded.
Ok, let me explain, here in Angelo they built Houston Harte Expressway, all the signs (except for one) are in Clearview, then theres this one sign that was put up at the same time as the other ones, that is in Gothic, I don't really get where that came in, I'm saying that if you're gonna do new signage wouldn't you expect all the signs to be in the same font...
 BigMatt

Oh ok. Probably a different contractor doing the signage or something. There are plenty of new signage bring installed in the Philadelphia area that are both clearview and gothic.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: BigMattFromTexas on March 24, 2010, 09:20:24 PM
Ok, cause it's for Central High School, SAISD prolly ignorantly requested the sign after the rest of the signs had been ordered and whatnot. Central thinks they're the best even though last year the football team went 0-10 and this year was 2-8...
 BigMatt
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: KEK Inc. on March 25, 2010, 01:04:25 AM
I actually like Clearview.  It looks sleek and more modern; however, the numerals aren't the greatest, and they look horrible in their respected shields.

[Removed excess formatting. -S.]
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: burgess87 on March 26, 2010, 11:20:35 AM
Way to go, NYSTA . . . . that sign is horrendous, and I can't believe I live within an hour of it.

If you're gonna do Clearview, take a look at Texas.  They do it right.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: shoptb1 on March 27, 2010, 07:16:47 PM
For those of you that are missing Button Copy, there's plenty still left in Ohio.  I would say that there's more Button Copy than other types (retroreflective, Clearview).  Some interstate routes have Clearview, but most have previous types.  Button Copy is pretty much the only type that is found on non-interstate freeways, such as US- and Ohio-routes. 

(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_vV2-Fg-7T40/S66ONMISVfI/AAAAAAAABbM/27GdskJ6sqI/s640/IMG_9808.JPG)

(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_vV2-Fg-7T40/S66OMvXsUSI/AAAAAAAABbI/_ladjm8Dpdw/s912/IMG_9815.JPG)

(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_vV2-Fg-7T40/S66OLwqFGDI/AAAAAAAABbE/BUejah69Iew/s640/IMG_9814.JPG)

Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on March 27, 2010, 07:20:26 PM
any photos of US or state route shields with buttons on the shields?  There is apparently a US-40 in Columbus somewhere but each time I remember to look for it, I'm in another state.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: shoptb1 on March 27, 2010, 08:05:47 PM
any photos of US or state route shields with buttons on the shields?  There is apparently a US-40 in Columbus somewhere but each time I remember to look for it, I'm in another state.

I've never seen any state route shields here with buttons, but I have seen a US-40 shield.  I believe that its on the Broad Street exit off I-670 East.  I'll check next time I'm over there...
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on March 27, 2010, 08:45:41 PM

I've never seen any state route shields here with buttons, but I have seen a US-40 shield.  I believe that its on the Broad Street exit off I-670 East.  I'll check next time I'm over there...


that sounds familiar.  Any chance you can grab a picture for us?  From what I've heard, it's a nasty interchange.

and as for the state routes - maybe they just didn't want to make button-copy outlines of the Ohio state shape?  The only state outline I recall offhand being done in buttons is Florida. 
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: joseph1723 on March 30, 2010, 12:10:16 AM
These two were installed a few year ago but I think they really made the signs look bad by using this huge lettering size. I don't mind the Clearview as much by could they size the signs better?

(http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/443/dvpbloor.jpg)

(http://img34.imageshack.us/img34/6629/dvpdonmills.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: mightyace on March 30, 2010, 12:52:35 AM
^^^

I agree.  The text is too big for the sign.

IMHO It looks like Clearview has to be "just the right size" for it to look as good as it can.  i.e. There is less room for error than with the traditional fonts.

And, if I am correct in that assessment, it is probably one of the reasons that I don't like Clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on March 30, 2010, 04:07:26 AM
It looks like these signs use Clearview 6-W instead of 5-W (which is recommended for freeway guide signs).  It is a bit like using mixed-case Series F instead of Series E Modified.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: shoptb1 on March 30, 2010, 08:42:40 AM
These two were installed a few year ago but I think they really made the signs look bad by using this huge lettering size. I don't mind the Clearview as much by could they size the signs better?

(http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/443/dvpbloor.jpg)

(http://img34.imageshack.us/img34/6629/dvpdonmills.jpg)


I like the Clearview font, but the sizing is AWFUL on these....EECK! 
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Ian on March 30, 2010, 08:46:18 AM
These two were installed a few year ago but I think they really made the signs look bad by using this huge lettering size. I don't mind the Clearview as much by could they size the signs better?

(http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/443/dvpbloor.jpg)

(http://img34.imageshack.us/img34/6629/dvpdonmills.jpg)


I always thought Ontario signs looked a little European, but those look very European.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: burgess87 on March 30, 2010, 03:22:27 PM
It looks like these signs use Clearview 6-W instead of 5-W (which is recommended for freeway guide signs).  It is a bit like using mixed-case Series F instead of Series E Modified.

I use 5WR on my signs for SimCity, and it seems to come out really nicely.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: KEK Inc. on April 03, 2010, 05:36:32 AM
I saw some Clearview in some city signs in Monterey, CA.  On Del Monte Bl. and Fisherman's Wharf, they added a new traffic light with new signs.  Monterey used to have brown signs with a more old fashioned font, that actually was pretty thematic.

Also, there were a couple of green temporary constructions signs (Ah, California never fails to impress me.  :P)  along California State Route 1 that used clearview.  One of the signs was on SB SR-1 just a stone's throw from Castroville in the western terminus of SR-156, and the other one was on NB SR-1 after Carpenter St. north of Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: shoptb1 on April 03, 2010, 11:00:03 AM

I've never seen any state route shields here with buttons, but I have seen a US-40 shield.  I believe that its on the Broad Street exit off I-670 East.  I'll check next time I'm over there...


that sounds familiar.  Any chance you can grab a picture for us?  From what I've heard, it's a nasty interchange.
 

Here's the US-40 exit sign assembly (which is after I-71 and US-40 exit from I-670 East).  You can see the old button-copy outline on the US-40 shield.  The buttons haven't been replaced in a long time, so at night it's only the overhead sign lighting that illuminates the US-40 shield.  This whole interchange is scheduled to be redesigned as part of the first phase of the I-70/I-71 (Split) rework project, so I'm sure that this panel will be sent off to the scrap heap after that happens.

(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_vV2-Fg-7T40/S7dWuBJR39I/AAAAAAAABcU/I4rFY3YrJRQ/s720/IMG_9888.JPG)



Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: shoptb1 on April 03, 2010, 11:07:45 AM
The replacement of the button-copy signs on I-71 between Grove City, OH and Jeffersonville, OH is now complete.  I have to say, the use of Clearview in Ohio is top-notch...no ugly Clearview numerals in the shields, thank goodness. Also, all of the mileage signs have the shields instead of spelling out the route name.  Here's a before and after shot of the mileage signage just past the Harrisburg, OH exit heading south on I-71.  It seems that ODOT also decided that the mileage to I-275 needed to be modified :)

Before (Button-Copy)
(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_vV2-Fg-7T40/S7dYjgSQSVI/AAAAAAAABcs/kw926cjVm6g/s512/IMG_1224.JPG)

After (Clearview)
(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_vV2-Fg-7T40/S7dWvQYa0GI/AAAAAAAABcc/B_T25FFh7Kw/s640/IMG_9819.JPG)

Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on April 03, 2010, 12:14:08 PM
thanks for the photo!  Can you email me the original high-resolution one?  shields@aaroads.com

that looks similar to some assemblies found in the city of Baltimore, for US-40 and US-1.  No buttons on the number, and very small buttons on the outline. 
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: shoptb1 on April 04, 2010, 12:27:12 PM
Also, not sure if these signs will be replaced as part of the same project, but these BGS' at the intersection of I-270 (Exit 55) and I-71 on the south side of Columbus (near Grove City) are the oldest on the Columbus freeway system. (and the worst-maintained).  As you can see, the I-270 shield is pretty much faded beyond recognition.  Interestingly, you can still see the blanks on the I-270 reassurance BGS where Indianapolis was replaced by Dayton as the control city many years ago.  I'll post the replacement signs if these are part of the project...new ones seem to be popping up daily.

(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_vV2-Fg-7T40/S7i9SEWEOUI/AAAAAAAABdA/uHgsjcY1nc0/s640/IMG_9882.JPG)

(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_vV2-Fg-7T40/S7i9RLeCZYI/AAAAAAAABc8/_cf1OI-42XE/s640/IMG_9883.JPG)

Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on April 04, 2010, 12:58:45 PM
that very first 71 is the original 1957 spec for green signs, with the small number.  The shields on guide signs were not supposed to have the state name, from the very beginning.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: mightyace on April 06, 2010, 05:15:51 PM
Here's a before and after shot of the mileage signage just past the Harrisburg, OH exit heading south on I-71.  It seems that ODOT also decided that the mileage to I-275 needed to be modified :)

Before (Button-Copy)
(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_vV2-Fg-7T40/S7dYjgSQSVI/AAAAAAAABcs/kw926cjVm6g/s512/IMG_1224.JPG)

I'll miss that old sign. <sniff>  :-(
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Hellfighter on April 06, 2010, 11:33:36 PM
Hey, looks like MDOT putting up Clearview on I-275 from I-696 to I-94.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Mr_Northside on April 07, 2010, 09:15:34 AM
Here's a before and after shot of the mileage signage just past the Harrisburg, OH exit heading south on I-71.  It seems that ODOT also decided that the mileage to I-275 needed to be modified :)

Before (Button-Copy)
(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_vV2-Fg-7T40/S7dYjgSQSVI/AAAAAAAABcs/kw926cjVm6g/s512/IMG_1224.JPG)

I'll miss that old sign. <sniff>  :-(

I don't know that I'll miss that specific sign as opposed to the new one... but I'm definitely gonna miss seeing either one the annual trip to Louisville for Lebowskifest this year (due to vacation/friends wedding).

That sign was always a bit of a glimmer of hope on one of (In my opinion) the most boring sections of highway I've ever been on.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: shoptb1 on April 07, 2010, 11:43:42 AM

That sign was always a bit of a glimmer of hope on one of (In my opinion) the most boring sections of highway I've ever been on.


Not only is the sign still there in the same exact place....I think that the I-275 shield looks much better than the letters spelling out I-275.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: mightyace on April 07, 2010, 08:26:47 PM

That sign was always a bit of a glimmer of hope on one of (In my opinion) the most boring sections of highway I've ever been on.

On the trip back to Nashville, it's the first sign that Nashville within our reach as it is around 135 miles from the south side of Louisville.

Not only is the sign still there in the same exact place....I think that the I-275 shield looks much better than the letters spelling out I-275.

While I generally like the shields instead of spelled out, for some reason I liked the letters.  Oh well, I guess it's "progress."  :pan:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: hbelkins on April 08, 2010, 12:02:22 AM
That sign was always a bit of a glimmer of hope on one of (In my opinion) the most boring sections of highway I've ever been on.

Anyone who gets a glimmer of hope from seeing a mileage sign for Louisville is a sick puppy -- unless you're seeing it in reverse in your rear view mirror as you're driving away from Kentucky's biggest cesspool.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: bugo on April 08, 2010, 12:24:03 AM
Way to go, NYSTA . . . . that sign is horrendous, and I can't believe I live within an hour of it.

If you're gonna do Clearview, take a look at Texas.  They do it right.

I strongly disagree.  The Clearview in Oklahoma is far less unattractive than the Texas Clearview.  They're both ugly but the Texas signs are really ugly.

Here's some proof that Texas Clearview signs are ugly:

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4025/4441757904_12f46c7912.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: shoptb1 on April 08, 2010, 02:39:24 AM
Way to go, NYSTA . . . . that sign is horrendous, and I can't believe I live within an hour of it.

If you're gonna do Clearview, take a look at Texas.  They do it right.

I strongly disagree.  The Clearview in Oklahoma is far less unattractive than the Texas Clearview.  They're both ugly but the Texas signs are really ugly.

Here's some proof that Texas Clearview signs are ugly:

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4025/4441757904_12f46c7912.jpg)

I'm surprised that they put Dennison and Greenville on the same line, and not one above/below the other.  That makes "Dennison Greenville" look like one place.  Isn't that against MUTCD standards?

Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: mightyace on April 08, 2010, 03:02:01 AM
Anyone who gets a glimmer of hope from seeing a mileage sign for Louisville is a sick puppy -- unless you're seeing it in reverse in your rear view mirror as you're driving away from Kentucky's biggest cesspool.

Woof!  Woof!  Cough! Cough!  :sombrero:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: KEK Inc. on April 08, 2010, 03:09:39 AM
Way to go, NYSTA . . . . that sign is horrendous, and I can't believe I live within an hour of it.

If you're gonna do Clearview, take a look at Texas.  They do it right.

I strongly disagree.  The Clearview in Oklahoma is far less unattractive than the Texas Clearview.  They're both ugly but the Texas signs are really ugly.

Here's some proof that Texas Clearview signs are ugly:

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4025/4441757904_12f46c7912.jpg)
The exit tabs are what kills them.  The EXIT just doesn't look right and Clearview numerals by nature suck.  :P  The sign is fine; however, why is Denison and Greenville on the same line?  Couldn't they shove the text, "SOUTH" adjacent to US-69 instead of above it? 
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: burgess87 on April 08, 2010, 02:54:02 PM
Way to go, NYSTA . . . . that sign is horrendous, and I can't believe I live within an hour of it.

If you're gonna do Clearview, take a look at Texas.  They do it right.

I strongly disagree.  The Clearview in Oklahoma is far less unattractive than the Texas Clearview.  They're both ugly but the Texas signs are really ugly.

Here's some proof that Texas Clearview signs are ugly:

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4025/4441757904_12f46c7912.jpg)

Yeah, not sure what TxDOT was thinking there.  Just remember, it could be worse:  the state highway numbers could be Clearview as well.  Blech!
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: cu2010 on April 08, 2010, 04:33:47 PM
In my opinion, it's not the Clearview on those signs that make them look ugly, it's the layout. "Denison" and "Greenville" should be on two separate lines, and the "Frontage Road" sign has too much empty space.

TxDOT is one of the (very few) jurisdictions that actually uses Clearview well, in my opinion. But you've got your oddities in every bunch.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: burgess87 on April 08, 2010, 06:36:55 PM
For anyone curious about how TxDOT does things, they've posted their Freeway Signing Handbook online:

http://onlinemanuals.txdot.gov/txdotmanuals/fsh/freeway_signing_policies.htm
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: hbelkins on April 08, 2010, 09:42:20 PM

Woof!  Woof!  Cough! Cough!  :sombrero:

My dislike for the City of Louisville / Jefferson County (or Louisville Metro as they call themselves now) has nothing to do with the college sports team that wears red, white and black and where the basketball team is coached by a person who used to work at a similar job in Lexington and is now famous for porking ladies who are not his wife at Italian restaurants.

And it really has nothing to do with roads, either.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on April 10, 2010, 12:35:02 PM
The only known use of Clearview by Henrico County. I'm sure there's another "Dr" under there...

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2395/4507562873_263d4ff6b4.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/coredesatchikai/4507562873/)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: joseph1723 on April 10, 2010, 03:15:50 PM
Here's the latest Clearview sign in Ontario I think this one was installed within these two weeks:
(http://img683.imageshack.us/img683/5061/rscn7861.jpg)

Which was overlaid on this earlier one that was falling apart:
(http://img191.imageshack.us/img191/3719/dscn4080.jpg)

I wonder if MTO is switching to Clearview or is just installing more test signs as most new signs put this year were still done in FHWA.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: huskeroadgeek on April 11, 2010, 12:16:41 AM
I'll make my first post on my site my feelings on what appears to be one of the more hot topics in the roadgeek community. I HATE Clearview. I'm sure it's just because I'm so used to the Highway Gothic fonts, but I think it will take me a long time to get used to Clearview. Fortunately, I haven't seen many Clearview signs because they aren't putting them up in my area(Nebraska) or in any other places I've been to recently. But I've seen them in pictures, and they just look so unnatural. They look to me like the cheap fake road signs they use in movies instead of the real thing(one of my pet peeves in movies).
I completely understand the reasoning behind them and maybe I'll feel a little differently about them when I actually see them in person, but they just look so strange to me in pictures.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on April 11, 2010, 02:13:01 AM
I strongly disagree.  The Clearview in Oklahoma is far less unattractive than the Texas Clearview.

(http://www.denexa.com/roadgeek/road-photos/main.php?cmd=image&var1=ok%2Fcotton%2Fimg_1953.jpg&var2=700_85)

You were saying?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Android on April 11, 2010, 02:23:05 AM
Ugh!  That sign is pretty horrible.  

Really, the ONLY application of Clearview I've yet seen that I like, as I probably mentioned before, is in Fort Collins, CO, where I lived for many years.   They use ONLY capitol letters, and they usually do not use Clearview numbers.   Here's a gallery of street signs I compiled - the first one is particularly ironic, eh?  

(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/FtCollinsCLEARVIEW1a.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: huskeroadgeek on April 11, 2010, 02:55:50 AM
I strongly disagree.  The Clearview in Oklahoma is far less unattractive than the Texas Clearview.

(http://www.denexa.com/roadgeek/road-photos/main.php?cmd=image&var1=ok%2Fcotton%2Fimg_1953.jpg&var2=700_85)

You were saying?
Ugh. Terrible. Are all the signs in OK being converted to Clearview? The last time I was in OK was 3 years ago, and I didn't see any. Of course I only clipped the panhandle through Cimarron and Texas Counties so they may not have made it out there yet, or they may not have started yet statewide.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on April 11, 2010, 10:49:10 AM
Ugh!  That sign is pretty horrible. 

Really, the ONLY application of Clearview I've yet seen that I like, as I probably mentioned before, is in Fort Collins, CO, where I lived for many years.   They use ONLY capitol letters, and they usually do not use Clearview numbers.   Here's a gallery of street signs I compiled - the first one is particularly ironic, eh? 

The bad thing here is a lot of those are the incorrect weight of Clearview. If CV-5W doesn't fit, rather than knocking it down to 4W, they're just compressing it. Think of using the sideways arrow handles in Inkscape...
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on April 11, 2010, 12:30:37 PM
The bad thing here is a lot of those are the incorrect weight of Clearview. If CV-5W doesn't fit, rather than knocking it down to 4W, they're just compressing it. Think of using the sideways arrow handles in Inkscape...

They have been going in the other direction as well--I've seen signing plans which specify Clearview 6-W instead of 5-W or 5-W-R.  Properly designed Clearview legend will not call attention to itself.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on April 11, 2010, 12:46:42 PM
yes, compress-a-font or expand-a-font always looks terrible.  I've seen it done for Highway Gothic and even FHWA 1926 (the classic block font)!  

about the only time that compressed and expanded fonts were used liberally was on the 1910s Auto Club porcelain guide signs, but even those had the stroke thickness manually adjusted as necessary once the width was set.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on April 11, 2010, 01:16:50 PM
Ascending order of condensation (6-W, 5-W, 5-W-R, 4-W, 3-W, 2-W):

(http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/wiki/images/3/36/Randlett-waurika-clearview-6w.png)

(http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/wiki/images/6/69/Randlett-waurika-clearview-5w.png)

(http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/wiki/images/2/2d/Randlett-waurika-clearview-5wr.png)

(http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/wiki/images/3/3c/Randlett-waurika-clearview-4w.png)

(http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/wiki/images/2/20/Randlett-waurika-clearview-3w.png)

(http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/wiki/images/d/da/Randlett-waurika-clearview-2w.png)

Personally, I think that if you are a sign designer and you are already using mixed-case Clearview for small signs work, you shouldn't try to "double up" on sign size reduction (smaller sign = worse service to the driver) by using a Clearview typeface more condensed than 5-W-R.

Edit:  I see the 6-W sign is narrower than the 5-W sign.  I use the kerning built into the Roadgeek series and cannot vouch for its accuracy with regard to Clearview legend (I can do so only for Roadgeek Series E Modified).
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: The Premier on April 11, 2010, 01:21:47 PM
Here's the latest Clearview sign in Ontario I think this one was installed within these two weeks:

images omitted

I wonder if MTO is switching to Clearview or is just installing more test signs as most new signs put this year were still done in FHWA.

MTO should consider making the signs from scratch rather than overlaying them. It looks much better.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on April 11, 2010, 01:22:48 PM
wow, that 5-W has some extraordinarily sparse kerning.  Can you set it so that the resulting space between letters is consistent and matches, proportionally, the 6-W?  (Namely, the spacing would be the same as if you compressed 6-W to the glyph width of 5-W.)

maybe set the 5-W's spacing to that of the 5-W-R?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on April 11, 2010, 01:24:57 PM
MTO should consider making the signs from scratch rather than overlaying them. It looks much better.

when they overlay, are they putting a new hard substrate (metal? fiberglass?) over the old layers?  Or just new soft/flexible sheeting?

there appears to be some rippling with the new Clearview sign, but I am thinking that if they put a thin layer of material (maybe 030 aluminum) over the old sign, and put the new vinyl on top of that, you'd get the combined advantage of the old sign structure (which I am sure is in good condition) and the new legend, thereby saving money.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on April 11, 2010, 02:23:59 PM
wow, that 5-W has some extraordinarily sparse kerning.

That is the way it is supposed to be.  The kerning is basically the same as that used in SignCAD drawings in states which use Clearview 5-W (Arizona, for example).  5-W-R has the same glyphs as 5-W but has reduced intercharacter spacing so that 5-W-R legend matches identical Series E Modified legend in length.  It is the 6-W which seems to have the out-of-spec kerning; what we have above is essentially "6-W-R."

Edit:  This sign has the Clearview 6-W legend with kerning adjusted to better approximate the specification:

(http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/wiki/images/d/dd/Randlett-waurika-clearview-6w-kerning-adjusted.png)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on April 11, 2010, 02:40:32 PM
I much prefer the 5-W-R kerning, though I'm not looking at it from several hundred feet away at 80 mph...
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on April 11, 2010, 03:02:02 PM
The bad thing here is a lot of those are the incorrect weight of Clearview. If CV-5W doesn't fit, rather than knocking it down to 4W, they're just compressing it. Think of using the sideways arrow handles in Inkscape...

Actually, no.  If the sideways arrow control had been used, the result would have been something like this:

(http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/wiki/images/6/60/Randlett-5w-distorted-glyphs.png)

Rather than this:

(http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/wiki/images/d/d5/Randlett-overtight-kerning.png)

In other words, the horizontal sizing control in Inkscape distorts the glyphs rather than altering the underlying kerning.  Inkscape actually doesn't have a control for applying kerning changes globally to a piece of legend.  You have to do it a letter at a time, with Alt and the arrow keys.  CorelDRAW does provide controls for manipulating kerning globally.  You can do it in the text styles dialog (similar to Inkscape's but more fully featured) by increasing or decreasing the intercharacter spacing by a set percentage of the space width.  The curve editing tool also becomes a manual kerning tool when a text object is selected (you choose one or more glyphs and use the pointer to move them relative to the rest of the text, and can hold down Ctrl to constrain the movement to be either horizontally or vertically in relation to the original position).

It looks like the real-life Randlett/Waurika sign uses undistorted Clearview 5-W/5-W-R glyphs but with kerning much smaller than that specified for either.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on April 11, 2010, 03:13:50 PM
I much prefer the 5-W-R kerning, though I'm not looking at it from several hundred feet away at 80 mph...

"On paper" (or, rather, on computer screen) I like them about equally.  On the open road 5-W-R appeals to me fractionally more than 5-W, because it looks less snaggle-toothed.  On the other hand, I suspect 5-W would put less strain on my eyes if it were late and I was tired.

Frankly, to me the distinction between the two is less important than:

*  Keeping Clearview out of route marker digits

*  Keeping Clearview out of negative-contrast situations such as white and yellow panels on guide signs

*  Not using all-uppercase Clearview for primary legend (destinations, street names, etc.) in positive-contrast situations

*  Not using any Clearview variant more condensed than 5-W-R

All of these have proven to be problematic for many agencies.  Virginia DOT, for example, is now using all-uppercase Clearview on D-series signs.  (Ugh!)  I am seeing Illinois DOT plan sheets with Clearview route marker digits.  (Double ugh!)  TxDOT now has standard signs for toll roads which use Clearview against white backgrounds.  (Jesus weeps.)  Some TxDOT districts are even using 2-W for D-series signs; the piranha-teeth effect sends shivers up and down your spine.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Android on April 11, 2010, 03:41:51 PM
I don't have any problem with all-uppercase Clearview - that's part of why I posted that gallery of street signs from Fort Collins.   It is frustrating though there, about the city's lack of consistancy.  About the only consistant thing is all-uppercase, but Ft Collins has never used lowercase their road signs.  That particular set of photos I put together some time back, I just combed through more recent photos from Ft Collins and put together another...  showing again the inconsistant nature of signs around town.  Also, their latest sign replacement program must have started just before Clearview, because there are many not-that-old street signs in Highway Gothic.  And then, the main drag, College Ave/US287, that's all HG.   So, really, it's kind of frustrating, with that mix of typefaces all over town.  But, when done well, I think many of the new Clearview signs are pretty decent.  When not done well....

(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/FtCollinsCLEARVIEW2a.jpg)

Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on April 11, 2010, 04:34:39 PM
I don't have any problem with all-uppercase Clearview - that's part of why I posted that gallery of street signs from Fort Collins.   It is frustrating though there, about the city's lack of consistancy.  About the only consistant thing is all-uppercase, but Ft Collins has never used lowercase their road signs.

But that's just the problem.  Clearview is optimized for maximum legibility when used in mixed-case and is not significantly more legible than the FHWA alphabet series when used in all-uppercase.  If you are going to keep on using all-uppercase lettering, you might as well not change over to Clearview in the first place.

Before they adopted Clearview, Oklahoma DOT, TxDOT, Michigan DOT, and Arizona DOT all used all-uppercase legend (Series D in most cases, with the possible exception of Series C or even Series B on some boundary signs in Michigan, and Series C generally in Oklahoma) on their conventional-road guide signs.  Since they adopted Clearview, all four state DOTs have adopted mixed-case for these signs.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on April 11, 2010, 10:03:46 PM
The bad thing here is a lot of those are the incorrect weight of Clearview. If CV-5W doesn't fit, rather than knocking it down to 4W, they're just compressing it. Think of using the sideways arrow handles in Inkscape...

Actually, no.  If the sideways arrow control had been used, the result would have been something like this:

(http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/wiki/images/6/60/Randlett-5w-distorted-glyphs.png)

Rather than this:

(http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/wiki/images/d/d5/Randlett-overtight-kerning.png)

I was referring to what was going on in Android's first set of signs— the wide "Drake" and "Valley Forge" signs look sideways-compressed to my eyes. I know the ODOT mileage sign is just a kerning fail, probably due to the fact that they hadn't really had much Clearview experience when that was put up.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: hbelkins on April 11, 2010, 10:12:34 PM
I much prefer the 5-W-R kerning, though I'm not looking at it from several hundred feet away at 80 mph...

"On paper" (or, rather, on computer screen) I like them about equally.  On the open road 5-W-R appeals to me fractionally more than 5-W, because it looks less snaggle-toothed.  On the other hand, I suspect 5-W would put less strain on my eyes if it were late and I was tired.

Frankly, to me the distinction between the two is less important than:

*  Keeping Clearview out of route marker digits

*  Keeping Clearview out of negative-contrast situations such as white and yellow panels on guide signs...

Why? What's wrong with black-on-white or black-on-yellow Clearview that isn't wrong with white-on-green or white-on-blue? (That's assuming that there's anything "wrong" with Clearview to start with....
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on April 11, 2010, 10:15:52 PM
FHWA only approved Clearview for use on positive-contrast applications because at the time that's all they had tested. Studies conducted since then have shown that Clearview legibility is no better than, or *worse* than, FHWA Series fonts for negative-contrast applications.

It's worth noting that FHWA still has a "conditional approval" (can't remember the exact term) for Clearview. Clearview is not mentioned in the 2009 MUTCD at all. FHWA could revoke that approval at any time, thus banning further Clearview signage.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: shoptb1 on April 12, 2010, 12:17:47 AM
It's worth noting that FHWA still has a "conditional approval" (can't remember the exact term) for Clearview. Clearview is not mentioned in the 2009 MUTCD at all. FHWA could revoke that approval at any time, thus banning further Clearview signage.

Road geek sentimentality aside, I think that the majority of public opinion has been positive towards Clearview indicating that it's much easier to read than Highway Gothic fonts at the same point size.  If the majority of the driving public finds this new font easier to read in most circumstances, isn't that the point of road signs anyway....prevention of accidents and easier navigation?  

That said, I don't think that there's any reason that a certain state highway department couldn't continue to use Highway Gothic if they wanted....


Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on April 12, 2010, 12:20:34 AM
I think that the majority of public opinion has been positive towards Clearview


really?  I've had numerous non-roadgeek friends of mine ask me (as their local roadgeek who is supposedly an expert at interpreting all things sign-related) "what's with the ugly font on recent signs?"
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: roadfro on April 12, 2010, 12:49:55 AM
It's worth noting that FHWA still has a "conditional approval" (can't remember the exact term) for Clearview. Clearview is not mentioned in the 2009 MUTCD at all. FHWA could revoke that approval at any time, thus banning further Clearview signage.

The term you're looking for Scott is "Interim Approval". With an interim approval, I think an agency need only submit a request to use the item in question, instead of the lengthier and more complex experimentation process.

Which is one of my pet peeves about the MUTCD and FHWA.  Why should they be in the business of regulating or dictating fonts? If a state wants to use Helvetica on its signs, why not? Why a federal standard? It's not like 50 different standards for a "merge" or "divided highway ends" sign if states use different fonts.

It's all in the name of the manual...uniform.  Uniformity of sign design isn't just in symbols, but in messages, sizes and fonts.  When non-standard fonts are used (and not used consistently) it makes a sign look "unofficial" an "unprofessional".
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Android on April 12, 2010, 02:24:39 AM
  When non-standard fonts are used (and not used consistently) it makes a sign look "unofficial" an "unprofessional".

definitely.  It is helpful to have some kind of uniform look to the signage as you travel the country. 

And onto another topic - back-lit street signs.  In Fort Collins they have many, but they are all Highway Gothic (fine with me!) but I keep expecting to come across one in Clearview.   Well a couple of weeks ago I did, somewhere on the plains north of Denver. I grabbed a photo, and here it is - not just Clear View, but also Mountain View!  ;-) -

 (http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/MOUNTAINVIEW-BACKLIT.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: shoptb1 on April 12, 2010, 08:39:47 AM

really?  I've had numerous non-roadgeek friends of mine ask me (as their local roadgeek who is supposedly an expert at interpreting all things sign-related) "what's with the ugly font on recent signs?"

Since Ohio started placing Clearview on the highway...I've had more folks come up to me in passing and comment on the great new signage.  "Easy to read", "larger fonts", "better reflectivity" are the most common comments.  Of course, the "better reflectivity" is just because it's a new sign (not really specific to the Clearview), but considering that most of these folks are usually not ones to make any road-related comments...I take it as a good thing. 
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Michael on April 12, 2010, 09:59:05 AM
From the Texas Freeway Signing Handbook (http://onlinemanuals.txdot.gov/txdotmanuals/fsh/freeway_signing_policies.htm) mentioned earlier (Chapter 4, Section 3):

Quote
In 2003, TxDOT decided to implement Clearview as the standard font for all freeway guide signs (white on green, white on blue, and white on brown).

I'm glad I don't live in Texas! :banghead:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: joseph1723 on April 12, 2010, 03:29:02 PM
when they overlay, are they putting a new hard substrate (metal? fiberglass?) over the old layers?  Or just new soft/flexible sheeting?

According to the Ontario Traffic Manual the overlays are supposed to be 1mm/0.40 aluminum sheets that are riveted to the sign. 

there appears to be some rippling with the new Clearview sign, but I am thinking that if they put a thin layer of material (maybe 030 aluminum) over the old sign, and put the new vinyl on top of that, you'd get the combined advantage of the old sign structure (which I am sure is in good condition) and the new legend, thereby saving money.

Yeah there's a pretty noticeable rippling on the sign, I've seen some other ones that were done a lot better than this one  but it's maybe the the new type of sheeting that makes the effect worse. It look like MTO is using diamond grade sheeting and making the whole sign diamond grade instead of the old arrangement with engineer grade background and high intensity legend. I'm kind of more partial towards the old sheeting arrangement and the FHWA fonts. I wonder if MTO is starting to phase in Clearview and diamond grade signs?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Android on April 12, 2010, 07:15:35 PM

Inconsistency only looks bad when it's not the norm. Highway guide signs previously used FHWA Series EM pretty much exclusively, so the presense of Clearview or Helvetica or anything else on them becomes quite jarring. On the other hand, MTA's signage in the NYC subway is set exclusively in Helvetica. Seeing Highway Gothic there would be equally jarring!

Meanwhile, street signs always have looked wildly different from town to town, even within the same town (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=2175.0), so "different" things don't really stand out so much.


True, that is.  However, having lived in Fort Collins from 1981-2001, and learned to drive there, I was used to what they had.  And what they had there was consistant, I had no idea back then what typeface they used, but now know it was Series C.   Then this Clearview stuff starts showing up...  as I said, I don't mind it since they mostly do not use the horrible CV numerals, but the more and I see of it, (I get down there about once a month) the more variety there is, when it used to be consistant all over town. 

Those examples from Stamford, see what you mean by inconsistant - I do see that many of the newer signs are that modified version of HG that I like, Cheyenne WY and some parts of Denver use that now too, best of both worlds there, .
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on April 12, 2010, 08:32:45 PM
It look like MTO is using diamond grade sheeting and making the whole sign diamond grade instead of the old arrangement with engineer grade background and high intensity legend. I'm kind of more partial towards the old sheeting arrangement and the FHWA fonts. I wonder if MTO is starting to phase in Clearview and diamond grade signs?

Are you sure it is diamond grade, as opposed to prismatic high-intensity, which has a very similar diamond pattern?  The way to tell prismatic apart from diamond is the distinct alternating "striping" about 1/2 wide that is seen from particular angles.

(http://www.tcpsigns.com/images/highintensitysheeting.jpg)

Prismatic is very cost-effective compared to diamond, though it is not quite as reflective (JN, do you know the absolute numbers?  I have heard High Intensity - both honeycomb and prismatic - is 3x as bright as old-school Engineer Grade, and diamond is 10x.) 

Diamond is intended for very high-priority applications, like stop signs.

I agree that an EG green background is more aesthetically pleasing than having the same level of reflectivity for both foreground and background.  Texas appears to have made some EG/honeycomb Clearview signs a couple years ago (before honeycomb was replaced with prismatic around August '06) and they are just about the only Clearview signs out there that I think are decent looking.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on April 13, 2010, 04:32:52 AM
JN, do you know the absolute numbers?  I have heard High Intensity - both honeycomb and prismatic - is 3x as bright as old-school Engineer Grade, and diamond is 10x.

Sorry, no, don't have that information at my fingertips--though I assume that comparison is based on retroreflectivity coefficients at a fixed combination of observation and entrance angles.

It is interesting that high-intensity prismatic sheeting is positioned (http://solutions.3m.co.uk/3MContentRetrievalAPI/BlobServlet?locale=en_GB&lmd=1187869627000&assetId=1180574984281&assetType=MMM_Image&blobAttribute=ImageFile) as an upgrade from enclosed-lens sheeting, not encapsulated-lens sheeting, and that one of its main selling points is a "whiter white" than can be obtained with the older sheeting types.  "Whiter white" = better looking sign under daylight illumination.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on April 13, 2010, 10:27:55 AM
as far as I know, prismatic was unveiled and then the honeycomb stuff was retired, and about 2-3 years later (late 2009), they retired EG.  So for a little while, EG and prismatic existed side by side.

indeed, they are no longer making EG.  I asked the sign company I work with to stockpile a few rolls for me so I can continue to make replicas to 1970s standards!
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Brandon on April 13, 2010, 10:42:51 AM
Regarding Clearview numbers, I've noticed some clipped Clearview numbers showing up on the Illinois Tollway system.  The 4 and 7 both are clipped the way some state DOTs used to do for their custom fonts.  The 2 also appears to be clipped the same way.
The 4 is best shown here: http://highwayexplorer.com/il_showFull.php?id=3921&section=30881&terminus=Other
And here is the 7: http://highwayexplorer.com/il_showFull.php?id=3904&section=30881&terminus=Other
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: joseph1723 on April 15, 2010, 12:21:01 AM
Are you sure it is diamond grade, as opposed to prismatic high-intensity, which has a very similar diamond pattern?  The way to tell prismatic apart from diamond is the distinct alternating "striping" about 1/2 wide that is seen from particular angles.

You're probably right, it probably is prismatic high-intensity and I still haven't had the chance to look at that sign upclose and in detail before so I can't be sure about what type of sheeting was used, the thing that originally threw me off was that the MTO website (http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/transtek/roadtalk/rt15-4/#a12) said that:
Quote from: MTO webpage
The guide signs MTO will install this fall, along with the many sites where we use high performance Type XI sheeting, will be offered as potential evaluation sites for human factors studies.



Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on April 15, 2010, 12:25:12 AM
Quote from: MTO webpage
The guide signs MTO will install this fall, along with the many sites where we use high performance Type XI sheeting, will be offered as potential evaluation sites for human factors studies.


I do not know the distinction between all the Type-and-roman-numeral classifications of sheeting.  Does anyone know?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on April 15, 2010, 01:31:06 AM
Quote from: MTO webpage
The guide signs MTO will install this fall, along with the many sites where we use high performance Type XI sheeting, will be offered as potential evaluation sites for human factors studies.


I do not know the distinction between all the Type-and-roman-numeral classifications of sheeting.  Does anyone know?

http://trafficsign.us/signsheet.html

Richard Moeur does.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jdb1234 on April 16, 2010, 11:28:10 AM
On the road this morning, I found a new clearview sign for Birmingham Airport at the interchange between I-459 and I-20 here in Birmingham.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: ATLRedSoxFan on April 22, 2010, 11:50:41 AM
Here in Atlanta, I've noticed more and more Clearview signs appearing with the ongoing construction, but also seems like GDOT is now starting to install the "Tab" BGS as well. I've noticed them slowly appearing since last Sept.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jdb1234 on April 22, 2010, 03:17:18 PM
Update: It appears all signage for Birmingham Airport is now in clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: The Premier on April 30, 2010, 06:05:38 PM
Here's some Clearview for you gang. This is on SR 8 in Cuyahoga Falls, Stow, and Boston Heights.

(http://img693.imageshack.us/img693/2197/video50065907.jpg) (http://img693.imageshack.us/i/video50065907.jpg/)

(http://img202.imageshack.us/img202/5479/video70024712.jpg) (http://img202.imageshack.us/i/video70024712.jpg/)

(http://img704.imageshack.us/img704/5679/video50154809.jpg) (http://img704.imageshack.us/i/video50154809.jpg/)

A little note on the third picture: SR 8 is under reconstruction between Boston Mills Rd and Hines Hill Rd in Boston Heights (the Turnpike interchange is included in this) so it has the trademark orange part on the bottom of the signs.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: cu2010 on April 30, 2010, 08:54:11 PM
Wow...that third sign is hard to read with the sun shining on it thanks to the reflective sheeting...
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: exit322 on April 30, 2010, 11:02:20 PM
I think that the majority of public opinion has been positive towards Clearview


really?  I've had numerous non-roadgeek friends of mine ask me (as their local roadgeek who is supposedly an expert at interpreting all things sign-related) "what's with the ugly font on recent signs?"

Most of the people I talk to that go from here towards Akron on 77 (most of 77 south of Akron in Summit County has converted to Clearview) like it more than the signs that were there (which unlike on 76 weren't all that old and still reasonably reflective).
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: joseph1723 on April 30, 2010, 11:49:09 PM
Wow...that third sign is hard to read with the sun shining on it thanks to the reflective sheeting...

Yeah, part of me thinks that the halation issues are caused more by the newer high reflectance reflective sheeting being used instead of problems with the FHWA fonts. I for one like how Ontario does their signs with a EG grade background and High Intensity legend. The newer signs especially the high reflectance type seem too reflective and even blinding to me especially when viewed in direct sunlight.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: The Premier on May 01, 2010, 07:28:06 PM
Most of the people I talk to that go from here towards Akron on 77 (most of 77 south of Akron in Summit County has converted to Clearview) like it more than the signs that were there (which unlike on 76 weren't all that old and still reasonably reflective).

Keep in mind that the new Clearview signs are from the Central Interchange to 1 mile before Arlington Rd. (Exit 120)

Needless to point out, there is not a lot of button copy signs left in the Akron-Canton area, apart from I-76 between Gilcrest Rd (Exit 27) and the Central Interchange.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: KEK Inc. on May 05, 2010, 03:14:01 AM
I took these photos yesterday while running some errands in Portland, OR.  I didn't notice the Clearview, but this sign has been here for about a year, I believe. 

I don't really see many new Oregon signs, but with OR-569, I believe all of the new signs still use Highway Gothic.  This may be something Portland did since it's on a city street. 

(http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb153/KEK_INC/road/0504101316.jpg)

(http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb153/KEK_INC/road/0504101315.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Crazy Volvo Guy on May 11, 2010, 09:20:34 AM
Yeah, part of me thinks that the halation issues are caused more by the newer high reflectance reflective sheeting being used instead of problems with the FHWA fonts. I for one like how Ontario does their signs with a EG grade background and High Intensity legend. The newer signs especially the high reflectance type seem too reflective and even blinding to me especially when viewed in direct sunlight.

This, pretty much.   Reflective sheeting wasn't around when they came up with highway gothic - and the only reflective part of the lettering was the buttons.  As long as the b/c lettering was maintained, there was no problem reading it.

Just part of why b/c never should have gone away.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: codyg1985 on May 11, 2010, 09:25:50 AM
Yeah, part of me thinks that the halation issues are caused more by the newer high reflectance reflective sheeting being used instead of problems with the FHWA fonts. I for one like how Ontario does their signs with a EG grade background and High Intensity legend. The newer signs especially the high reflectance type seem too reflective and even blinding to me especially when viewed in direct sunlight.

This, pretty much.   Reflective sheeting wasn't around when they came up with highway gothic - and the only reflective part of the lettering was the buttons.  As long as the b/c lettering was maintained, there was no problem reading it.

Just part of why b/c never should have gone away.

I see that you are from Florence. I spotted a Clearview sign on AL 20/US 72 Alt going west at the intersection with US 43 in Muscle Shoals. It was a sign indicating the direction of US 72 at that intersection. Have you seen anymore instances of Clearview up there?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: NJRoadfan on May 14, 2010, 07:06:23 PM
NJDOT Clearview install. Don't know if it was a contractor mistake or a test install. Its the only one I can find via Streetview on I-676.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Camden,+NJ&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=45.601981,56.601563&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Camden,+New+Jersey&ll=39.930858,-75.113611&spn=0.005422,0.006909&t=h&z=17&layer=c&cbll=39.930786,-75.113689&panoid=pGWerAFkn_cPpdJHkbU3JA&cbp=12,210.23,,1,-14.08
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: BigMattFromTexas on May 14, 2010, 09:01:44 PM
If people are gonna put ClearView all over, then I have a request for a new overhead sign in Angelo. It might as well be the same thing, they're both ugly...
(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_WYYeXvkUoUE/S-3x9S2tiEI/AAAAAAAAFOs/2j7ye8MSlXk/s800/Graff%20Sign.jpg)
 BigMatt
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on May 14, 2010, 09:29:43 PM
bwahahaha - now where did I put my sign drawing done in Wingdings?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Crazy Volvo Guy on May 15, 2010, 12:00:49 PM
TBH..If some signature features of Highway Gothic had been retained (like the slanted tops of b, h, i, k, and so forth...as well as the numerals remained unchanged) I wouldn't mind it nearly as much as I do.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vdeane on May 15, 2010, 04:09:48 PM
IMO clearview itself is fine; the problem is that it's usually out of proportion with the rest of the sign.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: codyg1985 on May 16, 2010, 01:28:44 PM
Here is some more Clearview in Louisiana. This is probably close to the pic that Andy Jung took a while back.

(http://imgur.com/vXOt8.jpg)

(http://imgur.com/XW3zz.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: national highway 1 on May 21, 2010, 02:54:01 AM
Clearview from Hawaii (courtesy of http://www.alpsroads.net/roads/hi/i-h201/ (http://www.alpsroads.net/roads/hi/i-h201/) )
(http://www.alpsroads.net/roads/hi/i-h201/w4.jpg)
(http://www.alpsroads.net/roads/hi/i-h201/w1e.jpg)
(http://www.alpsroads.net/roads/hi/i-h201/e1c.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Android on May 23, 2010, 11:57:35 AM
I just did a 3000 mile road trip and saw some CV here and there.  I guess I'm getting used to it now - don't have the instant gag-reflex I once had.  But I still hate the numbers.   That's why this sign just a couple of miles from here doesn't bother me that much, (for now) they kept the old number tab at the top.  The rest of the sign though, is it me or are the letters sized just a little bit too large for the sign?

(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/DouglasGillette.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: bugo on May 23, 2010, 03:14:14 PM
[image]

God that is ugly.  The letters are way too big for that sign.  Death to Clearview, long live the FHWA font.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: The Premier on May 23, 2010, 04:06:04 PM
[image]

God that is ugly.

Agreed. Maybe Wyoming DOT should scale down on the font size.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on May 24, 2010, 02:40:14 AM
That sign is just badly designed all around. It'd look just as terrible in FHWA Series fonts.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: roadfro on May 24, 2010, 03:21:36 PM
Terrible spacing makes any sign look bad, regardless of font...
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Android on May 24, 2010, 07:45:59 PM
(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/DouglasGillette.jpg)
God that is ugly.
Agreed. Maybe Wyoming DOT should scale down on the font size.

LOL, I found I had a photo of another one that WYDOT did that may even be worse:

(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/214HigleyBlvd.jpg)

And going back to that Exit 140 Douglas Gillette sign - above I mentioned that I was glad the tag number stayed FHWA?  well I very seldom actually drive past that sign - I usually exit before I get there and there's only just that one sign that changed.  And it was one of the first Clearview signs put up actually, 2007 date code.  Well after I posted that photo, I went and drove by it again and saw that I must have been lucky to get that photo of the old number tag on it, becuase it's got a Clearview one now with a 2007 date on it.   :banghead:  I was trying to find my original unedited photo of that sign but wasn’t having any luck, I was wondering when I took it.  I did snap a fresh photo today though:

(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/DouglasGillette2.jpg)

I agree with the previous comment that poor sign layout is part of why those are bad. 

Back in 2001 WYDOT was trying out some oddball typeface - similar to some I’ve seen in other states, sort of a modified-mixed-case, but was pretty weird.  There’s not a whole lot of these signs up around Wyoming though.   I only post this example here because at  Exit 57, it has the arrow sign in that oddball lettering, but the 1-mile sign has been changed to Clearview (and they did a bit better with this sign than those examples above):

(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/ChugwaterTYOldOddballTypeface.jpg)(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/ChugwaterTYClearview.jpg)

And that brings me full circle back to 2007 - going the other direction on the interstate you find this sign, FHWA and typeset with a much more appropriate font size than that Douglas-Gillette sign above!:

(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/ChugwaterTY-FHWA.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: hbelkins on May 24, 2010, 10:29:21 PM
These Pennsylvania signs on US 22 seem to have a larger Clearview font than many:

(http://www.millenniumhwy.net/2009_State_College_Day_3/Images/117.jpg)

(http://www.millenniumhwy.net/2009_State_College_Day_3/Images/122.jpg)

Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: national highway 1 on May 25, 2010, 12:32:37 AM
These Pennsylvania signs on US 22 seem to have a larger Clearview font than many:
[snip]

Hmm...These don't look bad after all!!!

[Removed images in quotes. Please take the time to do this yourself; we don't need to see the same images three times in a row. -S.]
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: LeftyJR on May 25, 2010, 03:08:08 PM
These Pennsylvania signs on US 22 seem to have a larger Clearview font than many:
[snip]

Hmm...These don't look bad after all!!!


The Cresson/Summit looks great.  The Gallitzin sign looks a little tall.

Most of the newer Clearview in Central PA is pretty clean and properly proportioned, especially in District 2.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: roadfro on May 26, 2010, 01:09:42 AM
Back in 2001 WYDOT was trying out some oddball typeface - similar to some I’ve seen in other states, sort of a modified-mixed-case, but was pretty weird.  There’s not a whole lot of these signs up around Wyoming though.   I only post this example here because at  Exit 57, it has the arrow sign in that oddball lettering, but the 1-mile sign has been changed to Clearview (and they did a bit better with this sign than those examples above):
(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/ChugwaterTYOldOddballTypeface.jpg)(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/ChugwaterTYClearview.jpg)

The pic on the left almost seems like it was created with two separate type faces. The left and right sides look like FHWA, and the middle seems like a bastardized version of Clearview...horrendous!
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: bugo on May 26, 2010, 01:22:19 AM
Back in 2001 WYDOT was trying out some oddball typeface - similar to some I’ve seen in other states, sort of a modified-mixed-case, but was pretty weird.  There’s not a whole lot of these signs up around Wyoming though.   I only post this example here because at  Exit 57, it has the arrow sign in that oddball lettering, but the 1-mile sign has been changed to Clearview (and they did a bit better with this sign than those examples above):
(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/ChugwaterTYOldOddballTypeface.jpg)(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/ChugwaterTYClearview.jpg)

The pic on the left almost seems like it was created with two separate type faces. The left and right sides look like FHWA, and the middle seems like a bastardized version of Clearview...horrendous!
And it's still more attractive than the pure Clearview sign.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Brandon on May 26, 2010, 11:03:53 AM
The pic on the left almost seems like it was created with two separate type faces. The left and right sides look like FHWA, and the middle seems like a bastardized version of Clearview...horrendous!

The sign on the left appear to have two different green colors on the sign, as if it is made from three different panels.  It would appear that the middle panel is gone, and an older typeface and green color is exposed.  Did Wyoming use a non-FHWA font at one time?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Android on May 26, 2010, 05:18:15 PM
You know, you're right about that sign, it's definitely got missing sections there, it was only because of that halfway-decent looking new Clearview sign that I even pulled that one up for comparison. 

This is king of getting off of the Clearview topic.... but since you asked, I don't know the history about that weird mixed-case typeface.  Ever since 1987 I think Wyoming has used an easy-to-spot date code at the bottom left of all their WYDOT-erected signs. (not easy to see in my low-bandwidth samples though)  The newest ones I've seen it on are from 2001, which is when I moved up here.  I really didn't start to pay much attention to the signage beyond noticing the dates until around 2003 or so, and I didn't get any digital cameras until 2005. 

That Chugwater sign though, it's that left FHWA section that has the date on it, 2001, so unless that left section falls off before WYDOT replaces it I guess I'll never know how old it is.  But you are definitely right, I was digging in my road-sign folders looking for another example of that funky mixed-case and found an older picture of that Chugwater sign where it only has ONE missing panel. 

(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/ChugwaterTYOldOddballTypefaceOnePanel.jpg)

And then I found this photo of another oddball mixed-case sign, however the lowercase g is not handled the same was as it was in that Chugwater sign. 

(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/DouglasCasperOddballTypeface.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Eth on May 26, 2010, 08:39:17 PM
And then I found this photo of another oddball mixed-case sign, however the lowercase g is not handled the same was as it was in that Chugwater sign. 

(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/DouglasCasperOddballTypeface.jpg)


This looks a lot like the mixed-case Series D that Georgia uses for most of its BGSes.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on May 26, 2010, 08:44:17 PM
it looks to me like the "g" in Douglas is the same as the "g" in Chugwater, just compressed vertically.  I don't recognize the font offhand, but my first guess would be horizontally stretched Series C.

It vaguely resembles a font that California used in 1949-1950 on overhead black guide signs, before switching to standard FHWA in 1950.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on May 27, 2010, 02:22:40 AM
it looks to me like the "g" in Douglas is the same as the "g" in Chugwater, just compressed vertically.  I don't recognize the font offhand, but my first guess would be horizontally stretched Series C.

That would be my guess as well--mixed-case Series C stretched out to the same width as mixed-case series D.

The biggest difference between Series C and D (and the most reliable way to tell the difference between the two) is in the digit 5.  Unfortunately there is no "5" on this sign.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: hbelkins on May 27, 2010, 09:27:02 AM
This looks similar to some signs that existed on the West Virginia Turnpike between Beckley and the Cabin Creek toll booth until a couple of years ago, when they were replaced. That replacement came before WV started using Clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Android on May 27, 2010, 02:29:17 PM
Yeah, I said that before, I've seen similar lettering in other states ( and cities ) Iowa for one, before they went to Clearview.   And I could post more examples from other places, but that's getting away from Clearview.   I will say this though, when I see such signage in that alternate typeface, I like it better than Clearview.  But I think CV works a bit better for visability, which is the purpose, whether I like it or not.   :rolleyes:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Crazy Volvo Guy on May 29, 2010, 02:48:56 PM
I can actually tell you exactly what the "problem" was with FHWA:

High-intensity reflective sheeting.

Highway Gothic came out in a time when guide signs were not reflective or were, at most, low-intensity sheeted.  The letters themselves were never reflective, only the little buttons in them were.

And that's the way it should still be.  I'd say it's a lot cheaper to install a non-reflective button copy sign and maintain it, since all you'd really have to do is replace a few reflective buttons every so many years.  As an added bonus, barring physical damage, the sign could just be repainted when it deteriorates across, say, 40 years.  That's more environmentally friendly than manufacturing a whole new sign every 20, no?

But alas,  some idiot in Florida decided that button copy was a stupid concept and the entire sign should be reflective.  The rest of the country ultimately caught on sometime in the 80s, it was downhill from there.  Then in the early 2000s, some bored college students at PennState came up with Clearview. (okay so that's probably not really what happened, but that's the way I feel about it :P)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on May 29, 2010, 07:53:06 PM
It's actually a lot cheaper to fabricate a reflective sheeting sign than a button copy sign. The reason? Economies of scale. With button copy, you have to fabricate and have on stock enough copies of ( 26 uppercase letters + 26 lowercase letters + 10 digits ) * the number of letter heights you have in stock + shields. Of course, you also have to consider the price of keeping all of this stocked--either rent or "opportunity cost" (if you're storing all that button copy paraphernalia you can't store, say, traffic cones there). Then you need to actually assemble the sign, using hardware (so you have to pay for the rivets/screws/whatever). And of course pay for the labor for some guy to sit there screwing around assembling the sign.

With sheeting, you stock rolls of sheeting (green, blue, yellow, white, black) which are pretty cheap and when you have to make a sign, design it on the computer, load whatever roll of sheeting, then go out to lunch while the computer makes exactly the characters you need. Not quite as easy as printing off a road sign, but close. (For smaller signs that use process inks, like sign blades and standard regulatory and warning signs, it actually is printing off a road sign!) Then when you get back from lunch, assembling the sign becomes a matter of just peel'n'stick. And you can do fancier stuff with this, since you can cut the sheeting to literally any two-dimensional shape possible. That makes diagrammatics more affordable since you don't have to special-manufacture a giant arrow that splits the right way, you just tell the computer to cut it out while you're cutting out all the other legend.

That said, there are some benefits to button copy besides the aesthetic that roadgeeks like it for. For one thing, all of the signs are consistent, because it just costs too much to make them not be. And of course, when the background is not made reflective like some states in their infinite wisdom did (OK, I'm looking squarely at you) visibility is improved by the contrast between the reflective buttons and nonreflective background. We could still get this improvement today by sticking reflective letters to non-reflective background, but for whatever reason, FHWA doesn't want us to do that.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Duke87 on May 30, 2010, 12:20:04 AM
Button copy is definitely less legible at night than reflective signage... albeit not extremely so. Still, modern sheeting is starting to get ridiculous. This "high-intensity" stuff glows like rainbows when the sun shines directly on it, making the sign near-impossible to read, regardless of font. Thus going entirely counter to the intended purpose. :pan:
Same problem with headlights, actually. Hhigh-intensity sheeting produces a lot of contrast between the sign and the surrounding environment, but little between the letters and the green background (which is far more important), especially at greater distances. These signs appear as little more than glowing white-green rectangles to me until I get relatively close. Lower grades don't glow so much and it's actually easier for me to make out the letters with them.

So, yeah, either the reflectivity is being overdone or, as has been suggested, only the letters should be reflective. I think I like the latter.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on May 30, 2010, 12:22:22 AM
Seems like there's a bunch of us on here that like that idea (it's been brought up before here). Maybe when the next MUTCD public comment comes around, we should get in touch with FHWA?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vdeane on May 31, 2010, 06:50:28 PM
Signs certainly are very reflective these days.  Recently I drove down I-81 at night and I could see a sign on a bridge long before I could see the bridge.  And it wasn't a big sign either; just a street name sign to say what road was crossing over I-81!
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on June 01, 2010, 12:26:49 PM
I just don't see why the background of the sign needs to be reflective.

button copy is very expensive (especially nowadays, given that it's no longer being manufactured).  I'd say make high-intensity foreground on engineer grade background as an acceptable compromise (like Texas did for a few years), but EG is also not being made anymore. 

as for "some idiot in Florida" ... any details on this?  I know the Will Rogers Turnpike was using retroreflective signage as early as 1953 before switching to button copy in the early 1960s because it lasted longer and offered better contrast.  Other examples include Washington State, which started with retroreflective signs in 1958 and then switched away.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Anthony_JK on June 01, 2010, 12:39:34 PM
Louisiana's the latest state to go Clearview crazy....on Interstate 49/US 167 between Opelousas and Lafayette they're currently replacing all of the signage, and it's all Clearview.

I wish that I could show it all...but I don't have a digital camera.

The most interesting sign change, though: at the I-49/US 167/US 190 interchange in Opelousas: the overhanging BGS serving US 190 East that hangs on the SB I-49 overpass now has a yellow bottom section with "LEFT EXIT 1/4 MILE" (actually not an exit but an on-ramp) in black print.  The old signage was a bit smaller, in all green, and simply said "NEXT LEFT". Is this a reflection of national or AHSTO changes, or just LaDOTD's move on its own??


Anthony
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: roadfro on June 01, 2010, 10:24:31 PM
I just don't see why the background of the sign needs to be reflective.

button copy is very expensive (especially nowadays, given that it's no longer being manufactured).  I'd say make high-intensity foreground on engineer grade background as an acceptable compromise (like Texas did for a few years), but EG is also not being made anymore. 

The reflective background comes from the fact that the MUTCD requires signage to be reflectorized or illuminated at night, such that it appears the way it does in daytime.  The reasoning for this requirement is what should be questioned.

Some states create large guide signs by using a highly-reflective white base covered with translucent green film, with the white legend being cut out of the green film.  With that production method, the background cannot be a different reflective material.  However, other production methods would possibly get the job done.


I would be interested in seeing what kind of research has been done with highly reflective signs and the halation problem... If there is a way to efficiently manufacture large signs with two different reflective sheetings, and it could be shown to not hamper driver cognition of the sign legends, would that be a better approach than switching signs to Clearview?

Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on June 01, 2010, 11:26:26 PM
Some states create large guide signs by using a highly-reflective white base covered with translucent green film, with the white legend being cut out of the green film.  With that production method, the background cannot be a different reflective material.  However, other production methods would possibly get the job done.


you can diminish the permeability of the green layer, thereby cutting down its reflectivity. 
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: KillerTux on June 02, 2010, 12:15:37 AM
Some states create large guide signs by using a highly-reflective white base covered with translucent green film, with the white legend being cut out of the green film.  With that production method, the background cannot be a different reflective material.  However, other production methods would possibly get the job done.


you can diminish the permeability of the green layer, thereby cutting down its reflectivity. 
Maryland tried a few different sheeting combinations but they are moving to all Diamond Grade 3M on the BGS. I was happy to find out that the sign shop guys dislike shields with clearview route numbers and that they are not going to move to clearview on anything other then a guide sign. A clearview related video tour of the shop...
http://www.mdhighwaycentennial.com/images/template/gallery/SHA_news-02_100kb.wmv
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on June 02, 2010, 12:20:56 AM
all Diamond Grade 3M on the BGS.

that sounds really expensive.  what do they have against prismatic high intensity?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: KillerTux on June 02, 2010, 12:31:12 AM
all Diamond Grade 3M on the BGS.

that sounds really expensive.  what do they have against prismatic high intensity?
They wanted something that is visible in all conditions and so they picked DG. He told me it is resists fading better then other material and are a few test signs dying out in the sun. Seeing rolls and rolls in brown boxes, it was pretty cool but that money comes from somewhere.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: shadyjay on June 03, 2010, 12:32:06 PM
Out for a drive today to the "big city" (20 miles to our closest traffic light), I noticed new signs along VT 100... and they're CLEARVIEW!   Text has gone from all upper-case to upper/lower case and in a bigger font. 

No pics today since it was raining and I didn't have a camera... but I'll try to get some next time. 

Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Crazy Volvo Guy on June 03, 2010, 08:25:37 PM
Noticed this on Adam Prince's blog:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_vXnjsNX3hQc/S7lUavK4ZBI/AAAAAAAACSg/C48rbQC25Mo/s1600/Exit38AB+PA68+Exit39+PA18+gantry.jpg

and

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_vXnjsNX3hQc/S7lUUcgoa3I/AAAAAAAACSY/Ogi2B9KX51o/s1600/Exit38AB+PA68+-distant+Exit36+Brighton+gantries.jpg

Despite not being a Clearview fan, I'm impressed with that implementation.  A far cry from PennDOT's original Clearview replacement signs, which were truly AWFUL.  I actually don't mind these new ones.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jdb1234 on June 03, 2010, 09:07:27 PM
I don't have a photo, but I believe there are Speed Limit signs in clearview in my area.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Crazy Volvo Guy on June 03, 2010, 09:31:45 PM
I don't have a photo, but I believe there are Speed Limit signs in clearview in my area.

And that would be a violation of MUTCD.  Clearview is approved for guide signs only.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: joseph1723 on June 03, 2010, 10:02:12 PM
Here's some more Clearview from Toronto: The first sign is a picture of a temporary construction sign while I'm not sure if the second one, the speed limit sign is Clearview or some other font but the 6 looks a lot like Clearview to me.

(http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/1867/1001645q.jpg)

(http://img80.imageshack.us/img80/6708/p5150026.jpg)

Meanwhile the MTO recently installed a bunch of Clearview signs on the QEW near the interchange with ON403 and ON407. They still seem to be testing Clearview as a bunch of new FHWA signs went up the same time as the Clearview ones.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on June 03, 2010, 10:32:46 PM
the 6 is not Clearview.  It is an old Ontario font.

(http://shields.aaroads.com/img/ON/ON19450021i1.jpg)

rotate photo 180 degrees  :sombrero:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: joseph1723 on June 04, 2010, 02:58:56 PM
^^^ Oh yeah it's is the old curly Ontario font, but the thing that threw me off was that I thought they stopped using that font a long time ago.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: shadyjay on June 14, 2010, 09:35:56 PM
Out for a drive today to the "big city" (20 miles to our closest traffic light), I noticed new signs along VT 100... and they're CLEARVIEW!   Text has gone from all upper-case to upper/lower case and in a bigger font.  

No pics today since it was raining and I didn't have a camera... but I'll try to get some next time.  


So I finally got the pic today... not the best since I was driving (and it was raining again), but you can pretty much get the point...

(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_LdJssxlEuTQ/TBbWj7aDPXI/AAAAAAAAKzY/qwMwcUrvlZo/s720/2010-Hike2%20076.JPG)

This was taken on VT 100 South approaching the intersection with VT 100B.  On VT 100 North at this intersection, 2 of the 4 signs have been replaced - that's the one I need to get a picture of so that the new vs the old can be compared, within the same assembly.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: luokou on June 15, 2010, 03:34:02 AM

So I finally got the pic today... not the best since I was driving (and it was raining again), but you can pretty much get the point...

This was taken on VT 100 South approaching the intersection with VT 100B.  On VT 100 North at this intersection, 2 of the 4 signs have been replaced - that's the one I need to get a picture of so that the new vs the old can be compared, within the same assembly.

Looks like mixed case FHWA-C to me... note the tail-less lowercase l's and the slanted top of 'd', 'l' and 't'. If it really is Clearview and my glasses aren't playing tricks on me, I'm really glad the numerals are still in FHWA :]
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: LeftyJR on June 15, 2010, 09:16:40 AM
Here are some recently installed Clearview signs in central PA - US 220/Lock Haven Bypass.

I think it looks pretty good.

(http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1297/4703193754_512fcd3181.jpg)

(http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1280/4703193898_67c586c374.jpg)

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4042/4703194170_02e9bdd0d7.jpg)

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4072/4702559067_0b60a33987.jpg)

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4045/4703197566_a5a23f0d94.jpg)


Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on June 15, 2010, 10:14:20 AM


Looks like mixed case FHWA-C to me... note the tail-less lowercase l's and the slanted top of 'd', 'l' and 't'. If it really is Clearview and my glasses aren't playing tricks on me, I'm really glad the numerals are still in FHWA :]

it is indeed Highway Gothic C.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: shadyjay on June 15, 2010, 11:47:21 AM
Alright, my bad then... with all this talk of Clearview and me seeing new signs, I thought the worst, especially with the mixed-case lettering.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Brandon on June 15, 2010, 12:06:03 PM
Lefty JR, that last one looks like it is in Louisylvania.  :colorful:

/It's got a typical Louisiana sign bridge.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: ATLRedSoxFan on June 15, 2010, 12:48:53 PM
Lefty JR, that last one looks like it is in Louisylvania.  :colorful:

/It's got a typical Louisiana sign bridge.

Indeed, the fifty-first state...lol!  Although, I've noticed IL and KY use the same what I call 'swing set" gantry and FL and KY on occasion use the same one lane overhead sign gantry.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Mr_Northside on June 15, 2010, 01:44:22 PM
I'm also sure the new exit numbers are "ready" for I-99?  Even though there is no funding to get the current missing sections up to standard anytime soon.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: LeftyJR on June 15, 2010, 03:58:52 PM
They are definitely I-99 exit tabs and mile posts along the route.  Apparently District 2 is all in with this, money or not...even with a 3 mile gap in the highway.  These mile markers end at the Clinton/Lycoming county line, which is the border between PennDOT districts 2/3.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: NJRoadfan on June 17, 2010, 11:00:13 AM
You are going to see more Clearview on I-95 in VA. They are in the process of replacing alot of the signs between I-495 and Richmond.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: thenetwork on June 22, 2010, 10:27:14 AM
It doesn't look like C-DOT is going anywhere with Clearview for a while...

I was in Denver over the weekend, and they recently replaced many of the BGSs on I-70 between I-25 and I-76 in Denver.  No Clearview, :clap: but what was interesting:

1)  The I-76 East exit signs which used to denote Ft. Morgan are now spelled out to read Fort Morgan.
2)  Both the I-76 and I-70 shields on the BGSs now carry the state name on them (non-neutered).

Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: nyratk1 on June 29, 2010, 12:48:07 PM
The Town of Brookhaven installed a new batch of street signs with mixed case Clearview including around the block from me. :(
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jdb1234 on June 29, 2010, 03:19:14 PM
I don't have a photo, but I believe there are Speed Limit signs in clearview in my area.

I finally got a photo.  Maybe not the best quality in the world.

(http://s761.photobucket.com/albums/xx260/jdbarnes1234/101_0259.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on June 29, 2010, 03:54:21 PM
That's Helvetica. Not even close to Clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jdb1234 on June 29, 2010, 04:07:30 PM
That's Helvetica. Not even close to Clearview.

Okay, thanks.  Never seen Helvectia on a roadsign before.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Eth on June 29, 2010, 05:35:31 PM
I don't have a photo, but I believe there are Speed Limit signs in clearview in my area.

I finally got a photo.  Maybe not the best quality in the world.

<Helvetica speed limit sign>

These are rather abundant in Jackson County, Florida last time I checked (about 6 months ago).  Drives me nuts.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: CL on June 29, 2010, 06:17:44 PM
Municipal governments love to post that type of speed limit sign.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Android on June 30, 2010, 11:16:25 PM
Yeah, I cringe whenever I've seen Helvetica on speed limit signs.  Helvetica is a good typeface, but let's keep it off of official street and road signs please.  
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on July 01, 2010, 12:33:51 AM
Yeah, I cringe whenever I've seen Helvetica on speed limit signs.

Well, it could be worse.

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2411/2100246774_fe0879bd2a_b.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/coredesatchikai/2100246774/)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on July 01, 2010, 12:40:35 AM
the sad part is, that sign replaces a perfectly good DC-US 29 marker with the same layout, black background and all.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: codyg1985 on July 01, 2010, 07:29:29 AM
That's Helvetica. Not even close to Clearview.

Okay, thanks.  Never seen Helvectia on a roadsign before.

The Speed Limit signs and most of the regulatory and warning signs on Redstone Arsenal here in Huntsville are in Helvetica. The roads on RSA are maintained by the Army Department of Public Works.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jdb1234 on July 05, 2010, 04:34:52 PM
Here is a Clearview Sign on I-65:

(http://s761.photobucket.com/albums/xx260/jdbarnes1234/101_0290.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: hbelkins on July 05, 2010, 11:16:31 PM
I just got done with a short trip to Southwestern Virginia. Clearview is becoming more prevalent, not only on the interstates but the surface routes as well. A number of directional signs and the green mileage signs mounted below route markers are in Clearview in the southwestern Mountains.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: deathtopumpkins on July 06, 2010, 01:14:15 AM
That holds true here in Hampton Roads too. Pretty much everything VDOT puts up is Clearview now, and most of the cities are using it too.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: bugo on July 06, 2010, 01:33:06 AM
I don't give a fuck what the government says, and I don't give a rat's ass about their studies, but Clearview is far harder to read than the old FHWA fonts.  Especially when the sign has lots of text on it.  Something about the Clearview letters just runs together. 
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: TheStranger on July 26, 2010, 01:58:57 AM
Here's a Clearview retroreflective greenout plate in Southern California, on a button copy sign:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/raymondyue/4829216479/in/contacts/
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on July 26, 2010, 02:14:10 AM
That's not Clearview. That's some other typeface. Possibly Frutiger Sans, but don't quote me on that.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: shadyjay on July 26, 2010, 11:40:52 PM
Is it Clearview?   (Interstate 89 Northbound, Vermont, sign installed 7/2010)

(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_LdJssxlEuTQ/TE5Re1DiQXI/AAAAAAAALJU/apVa1pY9Oro/s720/022.JPG)


Other examples here:
http://picasaweb.google.com/shadyjayvt/I89July2010#
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Ian on July 26, 2010, 11:47:52 PM
Is it Clearview?   (Interstate 89 Northbound, Vermont, sign installed 7/2010)

(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_LdJssxlEuTQ/TE5Re1DiQXI/AAAAAAAALJU/apVa1pY9Oro/s720/022.JPG)

Yup, thats clearview  :ded:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on July 26, 2010, 11:48:58 PM


Yup, thats clearview  :ded:

ah fudge, I'm gonna be driving that segment in a few months.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: LeftyJR on July 27, 2010, 09:27:03 AM
Is it Clearview?   (Interstate 89 Northbound, Vermont, sign installed 7/2010)

(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_LdJssxlEuTQ/TE5Re1DiQXI/AAAAAAAALJU/apVa1pY9Oro/s720/022.JPG)

Yup, thats clearview  :ded:

How do they pronounce "Barre" in Vermont?   Because in PA, there is a big debate on how to pronounce it when it is attached to Wilkes in "Wilkes-Barre"
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: shadyjay on July 27, 2010, 09:48:46 AM
Bear-eee..... Not Bear

Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on July 27, 2010, 11:09:08 AM
Bear-eee..... Not Bear



really?  long A?  as if it were spelled "baree"?  here I've been pronouncing it "bar" for years, because since when does long A result from having two consonants between the vowels?  Oh wait, this is English. 
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: mightyace on July 27, 2010, 09:14:58 PM
Having grown up in Northeastern PA,  I always heard Wilkes-Barre pronounced as

Wilks Bear-uh
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: shadyjay on July 28, 2010, 12:13:41 AM
Bear-eee..... Not Bear



really?  long A?  as if it were spelled "baree"?  here I've been pronouncing it "bar" for years, because since when does long A result from having two consonants between the vowels?  Oh wait, this is English. 



When I first came up here in 1990, I thought it was "Bar" but we learned pretty quickly it is pronounced the other way.... like "VERY" but with a "B". 

The Wikipedia page for Barre VT (pronunciation in (  )  if it makes sense to anyone)...
Barre (/ˈbæri/)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: iwishiwascanadian on July 28, 2010, 08:23:47 PM
After seeing photos of Clearview I though I wasn't a fan and hated it.  I live in a state (Connecticut) where Clearview is very rare (I've only seen on Clearview sign in CT).  I thought the letter spacing was off and thought that the old font was perfectly fine.  But then, I went down to the DC area where Clearview is everywhere and I must say it is growing on me.  I hate seeing it up close, but when one is travelling at 75 mph (breaking the speed limit) it is quite clear to read. 
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: cu2010 on July 28, 2010, 08:37:32 PM
I really don't think Clearview is that bad if it's used well. The Vermont Clearview signs don't look that bad. NYSTA, on the other hand...

...though, I still prefer good ol' FHWA Series E(M)!
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: 6a on July 28, 2010, 09:15:09 PM
I really don't think Clearview is that bad if it's used well. The Vermont Clearview signs don't look that bad. NYSTA, on the other hand...

...though, I still prefer good ol' FHWA Series E(M)!
All things considered, I don't think Ohio is doing a horrible job either.  As others have said, it is growing on me, but I hate having the piecemeal approach to replacing them, especially when we have some really *really* old signs still up.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: shoptb1 on July 28, 2010, 09:20:10 PM
I really don't think Clearview is that bad if it's used well. The Vermont Clearview signs don't look that bad. NYSTA, on the other hand...

...though, I still prefer good ol' FHWA Series E(M)!
All things considered, I don't think Ohio is doing a horrible job either.  As others have said, it is growing on me, but I hate having the piecemeal approach to replacing them, especially when we have some really *really* old signs still up.

I totally agree about Ohio's implementation.  I think they're doing a great job.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: mightyace on July 28, 2010, 09:29:53 PM
If Ohio had done Clearview as button copy, I might have gone for it.  :sombrero:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Ian on July 28, 2010, 09:33:44 PM
I have to admit, the clearview signs in Delaware and Maryland don't look half bad. However, it would be awesome if they went back to the old FHWA fonts...
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: 6a on July 28, 2010, 09:40:44 PM
If Ohio had done Clearview as button copy, I might have gone for it.  :sombrero:
One of these days I'm going to take some photos of I-270 on the south side of town.  I've seen a couple on this site, but those are the good ones.  One I'm thinking of is faded as all hell and just says "Cincinnati" with a missing shield and arrow.  For the longest time one of the BGS'es on I-270 on the east side had a 270 shield hanging off the sign.

As an aside, why have lighted signs if you don't light them?  UGH
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on July 28, 2010, 09:43:59 PM

As an aside, why have lighted signs if you don't light them?  UGH

at some point, they were lit.  Probably before the energy crisis of 1973 - that is when California started phasing out the underlighting.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: 6a on July 28, 2010, 09:57:05 PM

As an aside, why have lighted signs if you don't light them?  UGH

at some point, they were lit.  Probably before the energy crisis of 1973 - that is when California started phasing out the underlighting.
Sorry, I should have been more clear - we still have lighted signs here, but many of them have burned out bulbs.  Sometimes only one of the lights work, other times neither do.  It's a shame, really.  Seems like it happens on the best signs, too.  The worst ones have a permanent fluorescent glow, as if God himself said all shall see the mistake of man and ODOT. :)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: joseph1723 on July 28, 2010, 11:52:33 PM
I also admit that Clearview has kind of grown on me a little too, the new Ontario test signs look pretty decent to me even though they're in Clearview, but I still don't like the Toronto ones like  this one (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=1411.msg57811#msg57811) I've posted a few months ago. Of course I still prefer seeing FHWA series EM the most.


Asides:
Ontario is also making some new signs with FHWA series E along with EM and Clearview, I wonder if they're trying out which font is better.

We have some older signs still with lighting fixtures attached but I haven't seen a working one for a while now. They even stopped putting the catwalks on the new gantries too.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: iwishiwascanadian on July 29, 2010, 08:38:16 PM
I hate Clearview on signs in Southern Ontario, I saw the ones that were done on the QEW in Hamilton and hate them.  They don't seem to fit in with the gantries in the Golden Horseshoe. 
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: shoptb1 on July 29, 2010, 09:47:39 PM
One I'm thinking of is faded as all hell and just says "Cincinnati" with a missing shield and arrow.  For the longest time one of the BGS'es on I-270 on the east side had a 270 shield hanging off the sign.


I know the signs that you're talking about...they're on I-270 westbound at the I-71 intersection.  I believe that all of these signs will be replaced when this summer's bridge replacement project on I-270 between I-71 and US-23/High Street is completed.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: shoptb1 on August 08, 2010, 06:08:55 AM
This slideshow on the NYTimes website is pretty interesting, albeit a bit dated (from 2007).  This provides an interesting view into the genesis of Clearview and it's initial implementations:

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2007/08/12/magazine/20070812_CLEARVIEW_2.html (http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2007/08/12/magazine/20070812_CLEARVIEW_2.html)

Additionally, here's a video discussing the change.  Feel free to disagree with their opinions.  LOL

http://thehardestyear.com/2009/07/signs-of-change-how-a-new-font-called-clearview-is-changing-americas-highways/ (http://thehardestyear.com/2009/07/signs-of-change-how-a-new-font-called-clearview-is-changing-americas-highways/)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: shoptb1 on August 08, 2010, 03:17:57 PM
Also, kind of along the same lines...ODOT's work on OH-315 this summer is probably going to replace the majority of older (and honestly much-in-need of replacement) button-copy signs on the freeway segment between I-670 and No. Broadway.  As I was driving around today, I noticed this OH-315 sign on Ackerman Rd, which just might be the oldest looking sign on the entire freeway.  Pretty interesting...very thin font used on the shield itself. Reminds me of the button-copy US-40 shield on the Broad Street exit off of I-670 East. 

(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_vV2-Fg-7T40/TF8A2QJG5iI/AAAAAAAAB5s/EyBL2lftKDE/s640/IMG_2094.JPG)

Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: CL on August 08, 2010, 08:34:10 PM
^ Are you sure that font's thin or are the numbers just peeling? Shields in Utah tend to do that.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Hot Rod Hootenanny on August 08, 2010, 11:12:49 PM
Also, kind of along the same lines...ODOT's work on OH-315 this summer is probably going to replace the majority of older (and honestly much-in-need of replacement) button-copy signs on the freeway segment between I-670 and No. Broadway.  As I was driving around today, I noticed this OH-315 sign on Ackerman Rd, which just might be the oldest looking sign on the entire freeway.  Pretty interesting...very thin font used on the shield itself. Reminds me of the button-copy US-40 shield on the Broad Street exit off of I-670 East. 

Those overhead signs on 315 (between Bethel and Ackerman) would make Caltrans blush. But after almost 30 years, they need to go.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: shoptb1 on August 09, 2010, 08:40:39 AM
Those overhead signs on 315 (between Bethel and Ackerman) would make Caltrans blush. But after almost 30 years, they need to go.

The cave paintings in Lascaux, France would make CalTrans blush at their relative "newness", but that's a different story.   :sombrero:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Android on August 16, 2010, 01:15:30 AM
Here's another before/after from Wyoming - photos taken Jan 16 and August 15 2010.  You can't see the date codes in the low-res version I have below, but the signs were from 2000 and 2010. 

(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/Cheyenne25Denver125.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on August 16, 2010, 01:29:46 AM
what was wrong with the old sign that it needed replacement after only two years?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Android on August 16, 2010, 01:35:24 AM
2000 to 2010, that's ten years, not two...
Still, I have no idea why that sign was replaced, it looked fine in January, and I noticed no issues with it after then.  But that's one of several brand new shiny 2010 Clearview signs put up this summer...  And that one was a north-facing sign that doesn't get a whole lot of sun-exposure. 
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on August 16, 2010, 01:37:01 AM
2000 to 2010, that's ten years, not two...
Still, I have no idea why that sign was replaced, it looked fine in January, and I noticed no issues with it after then.  But that's one of several brand new shiny 2010 Clearview signs put up this summer... 


oh, I apparently can't read.  still, though, the sign looks fine to me, and it's not like the legend needed updating.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on August 16, 2010, 06:57:38 PM
I don't have a picture, but I-195 in VA now has a Clearview sign on it - a sign for the University of Richmond, just before the VA 147 exit. I-195 was the last interstate highway in Virginia without any Clearview signs on it at all prior to this sign being installed (within the last two weeks).
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: 6a on August 17, 2010, 09:47:35 PM
Here's another before/after from Wyoming - photos taken Jan 16 and August 15 2010.  You can't see the date codes in the low-res version I have below, but the signs were from 2000 and 2010. 

(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/Cheyenne25Denver125.jpg)
Well, we can't fault a sign for putting on a little weight in winter, now can we?  :biggrin:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Android on August 18, 2010, 12:00:43 AM
LOL. Too bad that that one won't likely "fatten up" ever again.   In another note, I saw a brand new 2010 exit/gore sign for northbound I-25 milepost 9 that was in Series E. (way too much traffic to try to get a photo, I was lucky to even notice the typeface and the date code)  But then I saw several other 2010 gore/exit signs in Clearview.  I suspect that maybe WYDOT  may have a certain amount of pre-made signs in storage from years past and they only put on the date code (bottom left) when they leave the warehouse.   Also, it appears they are not using Clearview on anything but Interstate guide signs, I saw a couple of off-interstate signs with a 2010 date on them in Series D today.  like this one as you meet the interstate at exit 80, as seen in this link: http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/CheyenneDouglas2010.jpg
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: kj3400 on August 19, 2010, 09:53:41 PM
The other day I spotted a new clearview sign for I-95 north on I-695 under Washington Blvd. I guess MdDOT got tired of the old button copy sign that used to be there.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Alex on August 20, 2010, 02:53:43 AM
The other day I spotted a new clearview sign for I-95 north on I-695 under Washington Blvd. I guess MdDOT got tired of the old button copy sign that used to be there.

(http://www.aaroads.com/forum_images/mid-atlantic/i-695_il_exit_011.jpg)

Found this image in my queue from 12-30-08 of that particular sign. For what its worth, the Exit 11B sign ahead of the southbound off-ramp was Clearviewized by then...

So was the original intent of that button copy sign to direct all traffic into the right-hand lane for Interstate 95? Or did the original interchange design call for Exit 11 to depart in unison before splitting?

I did not get on the inner loop during that stretch last month, but noted new Clearview signs on the outer loop for Exits 36, 33 of course, and 32 (those were still Hwy Gothic at the beginning of last year).
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: burgess87 on August 23, 2010, 04:01:52 PM
No picture at this time, but the NYSTA's put up another CV sign at the following location:

Thruway EB @ Exit 48A (NY 77 / Pembroke / Medina).

This one actually doesn't look messed up.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: cu2010 on August 23, 2010, 04:45:55 PM
Was it put up recently (within the past few months)? I've seen a bunch of new NYSTA signs that were in Series E(M) (the new signs EB at Exit 39 come to mind, along with the new signs at the Woodbury toll barrier)...they still look off, but they aren't Clearview.

NYSTA definitely got way too Clearview-happy for their own good...I saw warning signs, and even a "KEEP RIGHT EXCEPT TO PASS" sign in Clearview (and a "PLEASE RECYCLE" sign at a service area in Clearview that made me want to take a Post-it Note and write "please don't use Clearview" and put it under the sign)...if they're still putting up Clearview signs that's a shame.

The real problem with NYSTA Clearview (heck, most NYSTA signage in general) is that the lettering is way too big. It's not quite as noticeable with E(M), but it's definitely noticeable with Clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: burgess87 on August 23, 2010, 06:28:03 PM
Was it put up recently (within the past few months)? I've seen a bunch of new NYSTA signs that were in Series E(M) (the new signs EB at Exit 39 come to mind, along with the new signs at the Woodbury toll barrier)...they still look off, but they aren't Clearview.

NYSTA definitely got way too Clearview-happy for their own good...I saw warning signs, and even a "KEEP RIGHT EXCEPT TO PASS" sign in Clearview (and a "PLEASE RECYCLE" sign at a service area in Clearview that made me want to take a Post-it Note and write "please don't use Clearview" and put it under the sign)...if they're still putting up Clearview signs that's a shame.

The real problem with NYSTA Clearview (heck, most NYSTA signage in general) is that the lettering is way too big. It's not quite as noticeable with E(M), but it's definitely noticeable with Clearview.

I've seen those recycle ones at the Thruway service centers.  I'm certain the 48A sign is CV as well.

As to when it was done, the NYSTA is re-paving much of that stretch in both directions right now.  I'm guessing the new sign was put up within the past two weeks.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: kj3400 on August 24, 2010, 09:50:03 AM
The other day I spotted a new clearview sign for I-95 north on I-695 under Washington Blvd. I guess MdDOT got tired of the old button copy sign that used to be there.

(http://www.aaroads.com/forum_images/mid-atlantic/i-695_il_exit_011.jpg)

Found this image in my queue from 12-30-08 of that particular sign. For what its worth, the Exit 11B sign ahead of the southbound off-ramp was Clearviewized by then...

So was the original intent of that button copy sign to direct all traffic into the right-hand lane for Interstate 95? Or did the original interchange design call for Exit 11 to depart in unison before splitting?

I did not get on the inner loop during that stretch last month, but noted new Clearview signs on the outer loop for Exits 36, 33 of course, and 32 (those were still Hwy Gothic at the beginning of last year).

I don't know. It seems to me though that would have been the case conisidering the entire interchange is symmetrical except for 11B sticking out like a sore thumb. I just can't see where they would have put the matching ramp.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: 6a on August 24, 2010, 04:53:40 PM
Okay, this is nit-picky as hell, but one thing has really been chewing at me.  The ampersand.  Look at this thing,

(http://img715.imageshack.us/img715/3436/ughpersand.jpg) (http://img715.imageshack.us/i/ughpersand.jpg/)

It looks like a visual representation of that "I got your nose" game you play with toddlers, it's disgusting.

Sorry, just had to get that off my chest :banghead:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Alps on August 24, 2010, 06:26:32 PM
(http://img715.imageshack.us/img715/3436/ughpersand.jpg) (http://img715.imageshack.us/i/ughpersand.jpg/)
chest :banghead:
Is what it looks like to me.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Android on August 24, 2010, 11:03:15 PM
I guess Clearview isn't the only typeface to use an ampersand drawn like that, but until seeing this I was unaware of it.  I don't care for it at all - looks to me like it was drawn up by someone who could not quite remember how it was supposed to look. 
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on August 24, 2010, 11:31:42 PM
Yeah, that's a pretty ugly ampersand. The first time I saw one I had basically the exact same reaction as you.

Although, the ampersand was traditionally a ligature of the word "et", "and" in Latin, which is particularly apparent in this ampersand.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: burgess87 on August 30, 2010, 03:37:44 PM
Here's a not-so-good cell phone picture of the Clearview sign on IH 90 EB @ Exit 48A in Pembroke, NY:

(http://img835.imageshack.us/img835/9456/clearview.jpg)

Best CV sign NYSTA's put together, bar none.  They put another one up on the Thruway WB lanes @ Exit 49, and it looks terrible.   :pan:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on August 30, 2010, 04:25:43 PM
Clearview: So awful it distorts the fabric of time and space. :pan:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Quillz on August 30, 2010, 10:01:47 PM
I'm a huge fan of Clearview. 100% serious.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Quillz on August 31, 2010, 12:07:02 AM
Here's another concept I made...

(http://www.quillz.net/pics/florida_toll_road_94.png)

I took the shield design that is used in both Prince Edward Island and in Florida (toll roads), and used the same gold-on-blue color scheme and went with Clearview numerals, 2-W.

I'm not sure at what point I woke up and realized I really liked Clearview, but it just happened. I've also noted it's not very common around here in California. Some new signs in Orange County have it, but that's the only place I've seen it. Of course, CalTRANS is notorious for reusing signs, so I imagine I won't be seeing Clearview in wide usage around here for a long time.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on August 31, 2010, 12:26:49 AM
I can't help but think how much better the numbers would be if they were uniform stroke thickness.  the fact that the vertical leg of the 4 is extra bold is ... highly distracting.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Quillz on August 31, 2010, 12:31:36 AM
While I like Clearview, I definitely would agree with most (or maybe everyone) that the the three thickest weights (6, 5 and 4) are way too wide for everyday purposes. They work well on guide signs but nowhere else. I've found for shields and smaller applications, 1 is good for three-digit numbers and 2 and 3 can be used for double-digit and single-digit numbers, respectively.

I've looked at some of the error Interstate shields in Michigan that use Clearview numerals and it appears that the "75" and "96" are 2-W, which is what I've found does look best within a shield.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: cu2010 on August 31, 2010, 12:41:53 AM
Here's a not-so-good cell phone picture of the Clearview sign on IH 90 EB @ Exit 48A in Pembroke, NY:

The text certainly looks better (though the exit tab leaves much to be desired), but there's still way too much green space.

I don't get how NYSTA can make consistently bad-looking signs. I really don't get it.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on August 31, 2010, 12:44:27 AM
I've looked at some of the error Interstate shields in Michigan that use Clearview numerals and it appears that the "75" and "96" are 2-W, which is what I've found does look best within a shield.

I thought they were 3 or wider.  maybe we're looking at different shields?

(http://shields.aaroads.com/img/MI/MI19880962i1.jpg)

all the ones I remember look like this.

(http://shields.aaroads.com/img/MI/MI20040751i1.jpg)

Michigan needs to stop that!

then again, they need to stop with the damn '78-spec ugly shields with no state name, silly margins, overlarge numbers, etc ...

HERE is what correct shields looks like.

(http://shields.aaroads.com/img/MI/MI19550101i2.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Quillz on August 31, 2010, 12:51:40 AM
You know what... You're probably right. Looking at it again, I think it is 4-W.

Here's 2-W... (http://www.quillz.net/pics/75_cv_2.png)

Here's 3-W... (http://www.quillz.net/pics/75_cv_3.png)

And here's 4-W... (http://www.quillz.net/pics/75_cv_4.png)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on August 31, 2010, 12:55:12 AM
and your shields look a lot less grotesque because you are using the 10" numbers on the 24" shield, as opposed to the horrid 12".

10" 3W doesn't look too too bad.  but still looks worse than '61 neutered if you're going to go for a no-state-name shield.

(http://shields.aaroads.com/img/ID/ID19830901i1.jpg)

it's all about the wide white margins.

Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Quillz on August 31, 2010, 12:59:42 AM
and your shields look a lot less grotesque because you are using the 10" numbers on the 24" shield, as opposed to the horrid 12".

10" 3W doesn't look too too bad.  but still looks worse than '61 neutered if you're going to go for a no-state-name shield.

(http://shields.aaroads.com/img/ID/ID19830901i1.jpg)

it's all about the wide white margins.


Yeah, when I do my concepts, I always bump up the outer margins, usually a good 20-40px when blown up to 1,000px or so. I just grabbed some shield off Wikipedia and changed the numbers really quick. If I was doing a full conceptual set of shields I'd usually spend a bit of time getting the edges right.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on August 31, 2010, 01:17:10 AM
Yeah, when I do my concepts, I always bump up the outer margins, usually a good 20-40px when blown up to 1,000px or so. I just grabbed some shield off Wikipedia and changed the numbers really quick. If I was doing a full conceptual set of shields I'd usually spend a bit of time getting the edges right.

well no, that is not the problem.  it is that the 1970/78 spec shield really did butcher the margins - a much smaller red crown, and far too thin margins.

wikipedia, so that's where everyone's getting their inept shield patterns!

http://shields.aaroads.com/generator.php

only correct shields.  have fun... :sombrero:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Quillz on August 31, 2010, 01:20:08 AM
Do you have a vector of the original 1957 shield specs? I don't like working with raster images, it's easier to do concepts with vectors.

I'm not sure what exact spec of shield is on Wikipedia, but it's probably the 1970 one that you mentioned.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on August 31, 2010, 01:22:26 AM
Do you have a vector of the original 1957 shield specs? I don't like working with raster images, it's easier to do concepts with vectors.

I'm not sure what exact spec of shield is on Wikipedia, but it's probably the 1970 one that you mentioned.

it is '70.  I have all kinds of vectors... email me at jake@aaroads.com
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on August 31, 2010, 01:23:01 AM
Wikipedia's shields are made to the specs of the 2004 SHS, which is substantially the same as the 1970.

What sort of irks me about those Clearview interstate shields—if you're going to go through the trouble of changing the number font, why not change the INTERSTATE as well (and it would have to be mixed-case—which is what Clearview was designed to facilitate [I'm just going to go nuts here with the recursion of the parenthesis and dashes in this sentence—yep, that'll do it])?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Crazy Volvo Guy on September 03, 2010, 04:27:40 AM
...though, I still prefer good ol' FHWA Series E(M)!

E-modified is what got us into this mess in the first place.  When they did away with button copy, they should've gone to straight E.

I used to dislike Georgia's application of D on BGSs, but given the alternative (Clearview) I'll take the D, thanks.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on September 03, 2010, 08:54:15 PM
E only looks decent to me if it's tracked out to have the same intercharacter spacing as E(M). In that case, it comes out looking like a nice, clean, not-as-bulky version of Series E(M).
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Quillz on September 03, 2010, 09:05:11 PM
Florida toll road shield concept... Clearview + gold and brown color scheme...

(http://www.quillz.net/misc/florida_toll_road.png)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: realjd on September 04, 2010, 09:06:41 AM
Florida toll road shield concept... Clearview + gold and brown color scheme...

(http://www.quillz.net/misc/florida_toll_road.png)

Is UPS sponsoring the toll roads now?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Quillz on September 04, 2010, 01:27:38 PM
Florida toll road shield concept... Clearview + gold and brown color scheme...

(http://www.quillz.net/misc/florida_toll_road.png)

Is UPS sponsoring the toll roads now?
Nah, I've just been experimenting with various color schemes recently. Wanted to see how brown and gold worked out. Here's a couple more concepts, the Quebec provincial routes, using Clearview numerals and the Australian National Highway shield colors:

(http://www.quillz.net/misc/Q-99.png) (http://www.quillz.net/misc/Q-132.png)

I use Clearview 1-W for 3di and 2-W for 2di. Depending on the width of the shield, I'll then use anything from 3-W to 6-W for a single-digit number.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on September 04, 2010, 08:51:24 PM
I am going to hell for this.
(http://www.denexa.com/forum_img/signs/cv-int.png)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Quillz on September 04, 2010, 10:04:38 PM
That doesn't look bad at all.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: deathtopumpkins on September 04, 2010, 11:15:29 PM
Yes it does.

Scott, I hereby damn you to hell.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on September 04, 2010, 11:16:36 PM
Oh, damn.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: CL on September 05, 2010, 01:54:53 AM
Shield us (pun intended) from that hideous excuse for an Interstate shield please. I love Clearview, but not like that.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Quillz on September 05, 2010, 02:10:42 AM
Yes it does.

Scott, I hereby damn you to hell.
I'm just curious why so many people seem to hate it. Is it because you're used to the FHWA series, or is there an actual reason?

I mean, looking at an I-45 shield in Clearview doesn't really do much to me one way or the other. I don't love it, I don't hate it, I can certainly live with it. I think the problem with real life Clearview shields, though, is that the numerals were simply too large within the shield.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: myosh_tino on September 05, 2010, 03:41:14 AM
I don't like Clearview at all and that shield should be burnt (presumably in hell).

Also, the exchange between Scott, CL and deathtopumpkins brought back memories of the Dam Jokes thread.  A thread I was very fond of.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Eth on September 05, 2010, 08:52:33 AM
I'm just curious why so many people seem to hate it. Is it because you're used to the FHWA series, or is there an actual reason?

The thing that bugs me most about that Clearview Interstate shield is the use of mixed case.  Is there really a good reason for that?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Duke87 on September 05, 2010, 10:42:13 AM
It's simply following the standard. Clearview isn't supposed to be used in all caps.

The problem with the mixed case here is a problem that a lot of fonts (including Highway Gothic, actually) have: that the uppercase I lacks crossbars on the top and bottom, making it look like a lowercase L. The crown seems to want to say "LNTERSTATE". And yeah, it's hideous.

But hey, at least the shield is state-named. That's worth something, right?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on September 05, 2010, 11:12:08 AM
Supposedly, mixed case is easier to read. Clearview gets its legibility boost by increasing the x-height (which is the ratio of the height of the lowercase letter x to the uppercase letter X). If you use Clearview in all caps, it nullifies that boost. So you may as well be using FHWA Series at that point.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: joseph1723 on September 10, 2010, 12:43:35 AM
Here's a couple I saw last weekend in Cambridge, ON:

Clearview Turn Restriction:
(http://img697.imageshack.us/img697/1701/p9050641.jpg)

Clearview Warning Sign:
(http://img62.imageshack.us/img62/8958/p9050642.jpg)

Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Android on September 10, 2010, 01:40:55 AM
Oh Lord - did I miss something or did negative contrast get approved now?  Or are these signs "illegal"? 
Do I have to change my avatar to this now?   :banghead:  No way!
(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/RumbleBarsCVsmall.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on September 10, 2010, 01:49:19 AM
I'm just curious why so many people seem to hate it. Is it because you're used to the FHWA series, or is there an actual reason?

more than anything, the '70 spec crown height combined with the '57 spec numbers.  that's always looked goofy to me.  Make it up in '57 spec layout, with FHWA numbers, and it may be pretty decent.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: burgess87 on September 10, 2010, 08:59:45 AM
Oh Lord - did I miss something or did negative contrast get approved now?  Or are these signs "illegal"? 
Do I have to change my avatar to this now?   :banghead:  No way!
(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/RumbleBarsCVsmall.jpg)

Ontario's MTO may have approved negative contrast.  I know that NYSTA uses Clearview on those mileage signs at the U-turns, posted under the "No U-Turn" symbol sign.

I really, really hope CV doesn't make it to other signs.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Quillz on September 10, 2010, 11:52:10 AM
Oh Lord - did I miss something or did negative contrast get approved now?  Or are these signs "illegal"? 
Do I have to change my avatar to this now?   :banghead:  No way!
(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/RumbleBarsCVsmall.jpg)

Ontario's MTO may have approved negative contrast.  I know that NYSTA uses Clearview on those mileage signs at the U-turns, posted under the "No U-Turn" symbol sign.

I really, really hope CV doesn't make it to other signs.
Well, it probably will as time goes on.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: brownpelican on September 10, 2010, 01:19:39 PM
I am going to hell for this.
(http://www.denexa.com/forum_img/signs/cv-int.png)

You know what...that's not as bad as I imagined.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Quillz on September 10, 2010, 03:30:14 PM
I am going to hell for this.
(http://www.denexa.com/forum_img/signs/cv-int.png)

You know what...that's not as bad as I imagined.
It's really not that bad at all, although I think 2-W works better for double-digit numbers.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Crazy Volvo Guy on September 10, 2010, 04:39:17 PM
Clearview numerals are hideous.  I'm sorry.

I'd rather see Helvitica numerals used over Clearview numerals.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on September 10, 2010, 04:58:08 PM
I'd rather see Helvitica numerals used over Clearview numerals.

I don't think I'd quite go that far! 
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: national highway 1 on September 16, 2010, 03:25:05 AM
(http://www.aaroads.com/west/hawaii001/i-h001_wb_exit_003_02.jpg)
I'm asking for comments on this fractional distance sign, on H-1 W Exit 3 near North-South Road (Kualakai Pkwy)
I reckon that the froction should be smaller and not look like 'one or two miles'.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on September 16, 2010, 03:37:09 AM
It is a very common mistake and there are plenty of signs out there which use Series E or E Modified instead of Clearview which have it too.  I attribute it to bad art in MUTCD 2003.  It was otherwise pattern-accurate but those responsible for the illustrations took the lazy way out and used flat fractions instead of constructing proper fraction rectangles, thus leading uninformed practitioners to think that flat fractions are now acceptable on signs.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Alex on September 16, 2010, 10:52:00 AM

I'm asking for comments on this fractional distance sign, on H-1 W Exit 3 near North-South Road (Kualakai Pkwy)
I reckon that the froction should be smaller and not look like 'one or two miles'.

That also was probably a quick fix creation for the interchange that opened in February of this year. Eastbound has a similar temporary type sign (http://www.aaroads.com/west/hawaii001/i-h001_eb_exit_003_03.jpg). When formal signage goes up, the signage will likely display Kualaka'i Parkway and/or Kapolei. They plan some 12,000 homes out there and the four-lane road was built to accommodate the growth.

One thing I noticed with Hawaii's Clearview is that they sometimes used Clearview numbers in shields:
http://www.aaroads.com/west/hawaii001/i-h001_eb_exit_005_05.jpg
Also they have some end freeway signs (not pictured on the site) with black text on a yellow background in Clearview. I thought that was still not approved (dark Clearview text on a lighter background)?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Quillz on September 16, 2010, 01:34:10 PM
It hasn't been approved... Only light text against a dark background is approved, on an interim basis.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Brandon on September 16, 2010, 04:04:41 PM
It hasn't been approved... Only light text against a dark background is approved, on an interim basis.

It may not be approved, but I've seen it being used extensively.  Yes, ISTHA, I'm looking squarely at you.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: hbelkins on September 17, 2010, 12:07:26 AM
Kentucky uses some black on white, and Pennsylvania has black on yellow all over the place.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Quillz on September 17, 2010, 04:40:04 AM
It hasn't been approved... Only light text against a dark background is approved, on an interim basis.

It may not be approved, but I've seen it being used extensively.  Yes, ISTHA, I'm looking squarely at you.
Well there are many errors shields and signs all over the country. I believe Michigan uses Clearview highway shields quite extensively even though those aren't current approved.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: rawmustard on September 17, 2010, 11:47:26 AM
Well there are many errors shields and signs all over the country. I believe Michigan uses Clearview highway shields quite extensively even though those aren't current approved.

Used. The error shields came during the first year or so after MDOT started using Clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: realjd on September 19, 2010, 07:55:14 PM
Clearview still has only interim approval? I'm not familiar with the process; what does it take to get full approval? It sees like, at this point, rejecting Clearview would be very costly for the many states that use it on their signs.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on September 20, 2010, 02:30:07 AM
Clearview still has only interim approval? I'm not familiar with the process; what does it take to get full approval? It sees like, at this point, rejecting Clearview would be very costly for the many states that use it on their signs.

Yup, Clearview still has interim approval only.  To be fully approved it would have to be incorporated into the MUTCD and one chance for that has already come and gone.  As far as I can tell, FHWA has four options with regard to Clearview:

*  Continue the present interim approval indefinitely

*  Write the status quo into the MUTCD during the next revision cycle (FHWA alphabet series remain the defaults, while Clearview remains an option for white-on-dark legend)

*  Abolish Clearview

*  Abolish the FHWA alphabet series

I do not foresee a choice being made anytime soon (e.g., in the next decade), or without a significant amount of additional testing and validation to see how well Clearview's claims of advantage over Series E Modified have survived widespread use.

If FHWA decided to abolish one or the other type system, I would expect a phaseout period for the abolished type system to be set quite long--probably as long as the sheeting lifetime of existing signs which use it.  But, at this point, I don't think either of the abolition options is likely.  What I would personally like is guidance in the MUTCD which more or less aligns with the current interim approval, except that it makes it explicit that Clearview is unacceptable in route shields and in all dark-on-light situations.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: joseph1723 on September 21, 2010, 12:43:54 AM
Ontario's MTO may have approved negative contrast.  I know that NYSTA uses Clearview on those mileage signs at the U-turns, posted under the "No U-Turn" symbol sign.

I really, really hope CV doesn't make it to other signs.

If I'm reading what the MTO says about Clearview correctly it seems that Canada allows using Clearview even in negative contrast signs which is why CV warning and regulatory signs are showing up here
Quote from: MTO
TAC has amended the MUTCD for Canada to allow the use of ClearviewHwy fonts
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: TheStranger on September 21, 2010, 12:51:38 AM


If FHWA decided to abolish one or the other type system, I would expect a phaseout period for the abolished type system to be set quite long--probably as long as the sheeting lifetime of existing signs which use it.  But, at this point, I don't think either of the abolition options is likely.  What I would personally like is guidance in the MUTCD which more or less aligns with the current interim approval, except that it makes it explicit that Clearview is unacceptable in route shields and in all dark-on-light situations.

This actually makes me ask:

In the 1950s, when we had several different types of legend-font arrangements in place (all-caps Series E, mixed case Series E, mixed-case directionals (in general), Division of Highways mid-1950s D caps and E(M) letters, and the standard of mixed-case E(M)...did a similar testing process lead to the nationwide (except Georgia) adoption of E(M) for highway sign legends?

Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on September 21, 2010, 01:10:04 AM
Georgia had EM until recently.  certainly during the button copy era, they were buying EM letters and numbers from AGA, just like the other states.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on October 06, 2010, 07:04:57 AM
Quote from: MUTCD website
Further, the use of the Clearview alternative lettering style is subject to the terms of an Interim Approval, which was issued based on a modest legibility improvement under certain nighttime viewing conditions for mixed-case destination legends composed of Series 5-W of this alternative alphabet on signs using microprismatic retroreflective sheeting in a positive-contrast color orientation only.

Someone else quoted this in the thread on NY sign blades. Am I the only one who gets a chuckle out of the number of qualifications they had to put on that just so they could say it was a "modest" legibility improvement? Maybe FHWA isn't as confident about Clearview as we had thought.

They may as well have said "This new font is a modest legibility improvement between 9:59 PM and 10:33 PM on Saturdays in June while traveling westbound on an odd-numbered highway going between 57 and 66 MPH, in the southernmost 16 counties in Arkansas or Tennessee, when the moon is a waxing gibbous, the driver is between 5'3" and 5'6" and has exercised twice or more in the past three weeks, and driving a Ford or Hyundai manufactured no more that than 17.3 years ago."
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on October 06, 2010, 11:48:22 AM


They may as well have said "This new font is a modest legibility improvement between 9:59 PM and 10:33 PM on Saturdays in June while traveling westbound on an odd-numbered highway going between 57 and 66 MPH, in the southernmost 16 counties in Arkansas or Tennessee, when the moon is a waxing gibbous, the driver is between 5'3" and 5'6" and has exercised twice or more in the past three weeks, and driving a Ford or Hyundai manufactured no more that than 17.3 years ago."

but the improvement is only for the left eye.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: The Premier on October 06, 2010, 11:56:39 AM
Georgia had EM until recently.  certainly during the button copy era, they were buying EM letters and numbers from AGA, just like the other states.

What is AGA? :confused:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on October 06, 2010, 12:35:58 PM
AGA = American Gas Accumulator Co. = one of the earliest manufacturers of letter-frame button copy.  It was subsequently absorbed into Stimsonite.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on October 06, 2010, 01:34:19 PM
AGA = American Gas Accumulator Co. = one of the earliest manufacturers of letter-frame button copy.  It was subsequently absorbed into Stimsonite.

here I thought Stimsonite was just a brand name, as made by AGA, and it was Avery-Dennison that brought that line from AGA.  Or maybe A-D bought AGA entirely.  I am not sure if AGA is still around.  Avery-Dennison still makes Stimsonite, but alas only in 2" and greater sizes.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on October 06, 2010, 02:58:20 PM
Jake--I think you may be right about Stimsonite being the brand name for AGA's letter-frame button copy (I am going by memory here, and it's a bit hazy since it's been years since I've looked at button copy history in any detail).  The way I understand it, AGA's traffic-related product lines were taken over by Avery-Dennison, while the rest of AGA was absorbed into the Linde group.

http://www.us.lindegas.com/international/web/lg/us/likelgus30.nsf/docbyalias/nav_history#2

I am not sure how AGA got into traffic appliances in the first place.  Its parent company was Swedish and its first big product was a valve to prevent day-burning of acetylene gas (which was then very expensive) in lighthouses.

Edit:  These Wikipedia articles are also helpful:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustaf_Dal%C3%A9n

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AGA_AB

Especially in England, AGA is famous for a type of cooker, called the "Aga stove," which has given its name to the "Aga saga" genre of fiction, exemplified by Joanna Trollope's novels.  So that is your connection between demountable button copy and English upper-class country life in three easy steps.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on October 06, 2010, 03:25:42 PM
I believe the connection from acetylene lighthouse lamps to traffic control devices is this traffic signal, which, indeed, has an acetylene lamp inside:

(http://shields.aaroads.com/blog/photos/090683.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on October 13, 2010, 12:16:46 PM
New Clearview adopter:  Alaska DOT.  Currently advertised contracts 52095 and 52491 have pattern-accurate sign layout and sign summary sheets showing Clearview signs (Alaska DOT, it seems, does not do sign design sheets).

Edit:  I am a dolt:  I did not check the proposals books first.  Alaska DOT buries the sign designs there:  one design per page.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on October 13, 2010, 12:23:55 PM
I could've sworn I saw Clearview in Alaska in March.  Maybe I was just making that up?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on October 13, 2010, 12:30:55 PM
Alaska DOT maintenance forces could very well have been putting up Clearview signs for months.  This is, however, the first time I have seen them advertise pattern-accurate contract signing plans with Clearview.  I have actually not been keeping a close eye on Alaska DOT since their construction plans have tended not to interest me (they do a lot of 3R work with little signing), but now that I have found these two (and counted 19 sign design sheets in one job), I am going to try to go back in time and see what else I missed.

P.S.  These jobs are funded with IM money because the Glenn and Seward Highways count as Interstates:  90% federal, 10% state for non-freeways.  That's your tax dollars at work, folks.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on October 13, 2010, 03:40:41 PM
Specimens of Clearview in Alaska, as shown on sign design sheets taken from the proposal books:

*  Roundabout diagrammatic (for the Dowling Road teardrop roundabouts off the New Seward Highway)

(http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/wiki/images/e/e0/52491_52491_Specs_Page_0288.png)

*  Freeway exit direction sign (New Seward Highway)

(http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/wiki/images/5/5c/52491_52491_Specs_Page_0270.png)

*  Route confirmatory (distance) signs (one on the Glenn Highway, the other on the Seward Highway)

(http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/wiki/images/8/85/52491_52491_Specs_Page_0266.png)

(http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/wiki/images/c/cf/52095_52095_spec_Page_0254.png)

*  Touristic/recreational interest "pointy sign"

(http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/wiki/images/5/58/52095_52095_spec_Page_0270.png)

These sign drawings are fairly typical of GuidSIGN output.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on October 13, 2010, 06:44:02 PM
That roundabout sign leaves something to be desired. I find it somewhat difficult to pick out the blocks of legend.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jemacedo9 on October 17, 2010, 11:06:30 PM
...just a quick comment, there have been a good number of BGS sign replacements in the Rochester NY area (mainly NY 390 and I-390), and I-390 and I-86 in the Southern Tier, mainly summer of '09, with some this year.  in all cases, Clearview was NOT used.  Orig Highway fonts were used, and as a bonus, County Route shields were added where appropriate!
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Alex on October 22, 2010, 01:00:59 PM
(http://www.aaroads.com/forum_images/midwest/exit_071_2010-08-11.jpg)

Clearview numbers have appeared in Kansas. Jeff Royston pic.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on October 22, 2010, 01:02:19 PM
I have seen those elsewhere.  It was a distance sign with a little tiny shield.  The shield had a clearview number.  It may have been on the Turnpike.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on October 22, 2010, 09:53:19 PM
KTA seems to use Clearview on new signage now. KDOT does not. Of course, KDOT has always been the agency with better taste (they just posted a bunch of 1957 spec I-35 shields...)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on October 23, 2010, 04:10:23 AM
That Exit 71 sign makes me wonder where I left my shoulder-fired recoilless rifle.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on October 23, 2010, 05:02:24 AM
Upon closer inspection, the shields are 2-digit shields scaled to 3-digit width. The petals are distorted....
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: shadyjay on October 24, 2010, 12:00:04 AM
(http://www.aaroads.com/forum_images/midwest/exit_071_2010-08-11.jpg)

Clearview numbers have appeared in Kansas. Jeff Royston pic.

Is it me or is that sign quite a ways off the pavement, compared to the blue sign in the distance?

Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on October 24, 2010, 03:32:52 AM
I think they are the same distance from the back edge of the shoulder--both the advance guide sign and the services sign are in the unmowed portion of the right-of-way.  Neither sign has guardrail protection, so I think the KTA has gone for the standard rural Interstate belt-and-braces solution of using breakaway posts located well outside the clear zone (which for a 70 MPH design speed begins at the edge of the traveled way and runs for 30' to the side).

I am also 95% sure this sign was fabricated in KTA's own sign shop and installed by a KTA sign crew, rather than being designed by HNTB--which does all of KTA's contract plans for construction--and being installed by a contractor.  Years ago I visited the KTA's offices in Wichita in an attempt to get complete construction plans for Turnpike signing.  I was not successful, but I did learn that the KTA uses Flexisign for its in-house sign design work, as opposed to SignCAD (which HNTB uses for KTA work and which is also KDOT's standard sign design package) or GuidSIGN (SignCAD's principal competitor, which is the Oklahoma DOT standard).  Unlike SignCAD and GuidSIGN, Flexisign is a general sign design package which is not oriented specifically toward traffic sign design and is also used for business signs, etc.

I know that KTA stretches the two-digit Interstate shield for three-digit use.  As Scott notes, the same has been done to the two-digit Kansas route marker on this sign.  It wouldn't surprise me to discover that KTA also stretches the two-digit US route marker.  I think this happens because they don't have three-digit route markers in their Flexisign toolset and they just don't care enough to use the correct three-digit route markers.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Quillz on October 25, 2010, 05:06:15 PM
(http://www.aaroads.com/forum_images/midwest/exit_071_2010-08-11.jpg)

Clearview numbers have appeared in Kansas. Jeff Royston pic.
I really don't think the sign looks bad at all. But aren't these signs technically not allowed, as Clearview hasn't yet been approved for negative contrast signs (black text against non-white backgrounds?)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Quillz on November 29, 2010, 07:31:19 PM

A short video I found about Clearview, and how it will (supposedly) eventually replace all FHWA Series signs.

It seems to focus mostly on the letters, though. I don't think they even mention the numerals once, leading me to believe the research has shown the numerals aren't any more or less distinguishable than the old FHWA Series numerals.

EDIT: And here's a more technical one about Clearview, specifically regarding its use in the state of Arizona...

Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on November 30, 2010, 04:24:06 AM
Regarding Arizona, I think there is at least the possibility of a Clearview backlash unfolding on Arizona DOT infrastructure.  The plans I have seen for recent sign rehabilitations have called for Series E Modified digits to be substituted for Clearview digits in distance expressions on advance guide and interchange sequence signs, but not in exit numbers and not on post-interchange confirmation (distance) signs.  The governing principle appears to be that if the technical possibility exists that the expression might contain a fraction, the digits will appear in Series E Modified rather than Clearview.

Richard Moeur, a former MTR regular and Arizona DOT traffic engineer who manages many of their guide sign rehabilitations, has given a presentation on the difficulties of composing fraction rectangles correctly in SignCAD when Clearview is used.  By default (according to his presentation) SignCAD makes the fraction digits too small; the solution Moeur recommended was to develop SignCAD templates for fraction rectangles in Clearview, and in advance of that, to build the fraction rectangles manually rather than using the built-in shortcuts SignCAD offers for fraction rectangle assembly.  This was some time ago, however, and Arizona DOT has had plenty of time to develop and disseminate new fraction templates.  My guess (and at this point it is only a guess) is that the reversion to Series E Modified for distance expressions is deliberate and is based on a conclusion that Clearview digits are inherently less legible than Series E Modified digits, not just harder to make up at the correct sizes in SignCAD.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 30, 2010, 10:27:49 AM
Regarding Arizona, I think there is at least the possibility of a Clearview backlash unfolding on Arizona DOT infrastructure.  The plans I have seen for recent sign rehabilitations have called for Series E Modified digits to be substituted for Clearview digits in distance expressions on advance guide and interchange sequence signs, but not in exit numbers and not on post-interchange confirmation (distance) signs. 

I have seen such signs in the field.  We thought it was just an error, but apparently this is deliberate?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on November 30, 2010, 10:45:01 AM
Where exactly have you seen these signs?  (I ask because in Arizona I can no longer correlate sign installation with a construction contract award for sign rehabilitation.  For some reason which is not yet clear to me, ADOT has started carrying out sign replacement work through procurement contracts.)

The possibility that it might be an error did cross my mind, but I have seen multiple plan sets with this treatment and it is a pretty consistently followed rule that if a distance expression can have a fraction in it, it will appear in Series E Modified.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 30, 2010, 11:16:32 AM
Where exactly have you seen these signs?

I believe it was I-10 westbound between Tucson and Phoenix.  Close to Phoenix from what I recall.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on November 30, 2010, 11:21:07 AM
Hmm, this is interesting.  AFAIK, there haven't been any sign replacement jobs scheduled for I-10 between Tucson and Phoenix.  The closest I remember is 3rd St.-Ray Rd. (done by 2005).  Willcox-New Mexico state line was done as a procurement contract in 2007 or 2008, so I wonder if Tucson-Phoenix was done in a separate procurement contract between then and now.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Roadsign199qc on November 30, 2010, 12:36:43 PM
"Homer"? How about a "Simpson"? (laughs)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: deathtopumpkins on November 30, 2010, 04:07:42 PM
"Homer"? How about a "Simpson"? (laughs)

What?  :-|
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Roadsign199qc on December 01, 2010, 12:16:04 PM
In the sign at the top of the page.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on December 01, 2010, 01:02:30 PM
The line to which you are referring ("Homer 211") is one line in one of four sign design sheets posted one and a half months ago.  Can I kindly suggest that you quote what you are responding to in order to establish context?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Roadsign199qc on December 01, 2010, 01:03:18 PM
OK, I know, but I forgot.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: nyratk1 on December 03, 2010, 01:50:08 PM
Here's a picture of the new Town of Brookhaven, LI, NY street signage in my neighborhood  :-/

(http://img7.imageshack.us/img7/5665/img00014201012030948.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Android on December 03, 2010, 03:20:29 PM
Actually, I think those aren't that terribly bad.  The way they tightened up the kerning (spacing between letters) it kind of fools you into thinking it isn't Clearview.  Although I thought that the Clearview kerning was part of the design of that typeface.

Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Alps on December 03, 2010, 03:47:16 PM
Actually, I think those aren't that terribly bad.  The way they tightened up the kerning (spacing between letters) it kind of fools you into thinking it isn't Clearview.  Although I thought that the Clearview kerning was part of the design of that typeface.


You know, I think you're right, the wide kerning is something I never put my finger on but these definitely look better.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on December 03, 2010, 05:43:11 PM
They look too large and jumbled-together for my tastes.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Quillz on December 03, 2010, 06:49:58 PM
Anyone who has seen actual Clearview signs, is the 5-W-R weight supposed to be a E(M) replacement? It works out that way, as 5-W/5-B seems to be for replacing standard Series E. However, it seems that W-R (there is no B-R) seems to just shift everything to the right, rather than making the stroke a little thicker.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on December 04, 2010, 03:04:03 AM
No, 5-W-R is not a bolded version of 5-W; in fact the two have the same glyphs.  5-W-R has narrower intercharacter spacing ("R" for reduced spacing) so that words in 5-W-R will be the same width as the same words in Series E Modified.  Its main purpose is as a drop-in replacement for Series E Modified in situations where the overall sign panel size is not to change (e.g., when the intention is to reuse the same supports).
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Alps on December 04, 2010, 11:22:50 AM
No, 5-W-R is not a bolded version of 5-W; in fact the two have the same glyphs.  5-W-R has narrower intercharacter spacing ("R" for reduced spacing) so that words in 5-W-R will be the same width as the same words in Series E Modified.  Its main purpose is as a drop-in replacement for Series E Modified in situations where the overall sign panel size is not to change (e.g., when the intention is to reuse the same supports).
Makes me wonder if you'll find a sign in Highway Gothic that needs to be updated and ends up with a patch/greenout in Clearview.  I'm sure there are a few of these mixed-case examples.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Quillz on December 04, 2010, 11:58:33 AM
That's interesting to note. So, then, new guide signs that wholly use Clearview are using 5-W, then?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: 6a on December 04, 2010, 01:20:47 PM
Some of the new signs I've noticed around Columbus have been in Highway Gothic.  I wonder if they were already made, or if there's a move back to the old?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Quillz on December 04, 2010, 03:46:19 PM
Well, Clearview has only been approved for positive contrast uses on an interim basis, so there's not yet any requirement to use it. Was it a positive contrast sign (white characters on dark background?)

I also believe there were some usability tests that showed that under certain conditions, Series E(M) might actually be more legible than the equivalent Clearview weight, which I believe to be either 5-W or 5-W-B. (Note that all the x-B weights are somewhat thicker than the x-W weights.)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on December 04, 2010, 06:06:18 PM
That's interesting to note. So, then, new guide signs that wholly use Clearview are using 5-W, then?

Not necessarily.  In Texas the choice between 5-W and 5-W-R depends on the TxDOT district; some have picked 5-W while others have picked 5-W-R.  Arizona DOT and Michigan DOT use Clearview 5-W almost exclusively.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Michael on May 12, 2011, 02:02:13 PM
Wow, no posts in this thread since December?!

I had a dream last night that NYSDOT switched to Clearview.:banghead:  I wasn't happy.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Quillz on May 12, 2011, 05:59:25 PM
Well, there haven't too many more developments regarding the font since then, I suppose. Though a few new signs in Orange County are using it now.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vdeane on May 12, 2011, 06:16:58 PM
Wow, no posts in this thread since December?!

I had a dream last night that NYSDOT switched to Clearview.:banghead:  I wasn't happy.
You sure that wasn't a nightmare?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: architect77 on May 12, 2011, 08:11:41 PM
Thank goodness the NCDOT hasn't tarnished the state with Clearview.....yet....
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: hbelkins on May 13, 2011, 12:12:20 AM
Many of the signs along I-64 in southern Illinois between the Indiana line and Mt. Vernon have been replaced with Clearview. It appears that new sheeting was placed over top of the existing extruded sheet panels. There is some small black lettering in the white border of each sign, it appears to read "(unknown" 10 10) so I presume these signs were replaced last October.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: tdindy88 on May 13, 2011, 01:28:18 AM
I have noticed plenty of Clearview signs in the Chicago area when I was up there last December, in particular the Tri-State Tollway, Bishop Ford and Eisenhower Expressway and parts of the Dan Ryan near the Loop and I understand there are many more along the Illinois Tollway. And I was recently in Southwest Ohio where Dayton has some signs up along I-70 and I-75 around the southern part of the Dayton area, but I saw none around Cincinnati. Here in Indiana, all new signs have been Highway Gothic so it appears there is no push in the Hoosier State to move to Clearview despite being surrounded by all four states around us that now have Clearview in some of their signage.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Ian on May 15, 2011, 10:34:33 PM
After spending the weekend in eastern Ohio, I saw a few clearview signs on both I-70 and I-77. To be honest, they don't look that bad, at least compared to other states.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Quillz on May 16, 2011, 12:48:44 AM
After spending the weekend in eastern Ohio, I saw a few clearview signs on both I-70 and I-77. To be honest, they don't look that bad, at least compared to other states.
I really have no qualms with Clearview as long as it's used properly (i.e. it's designed to be mixed-case) and the signs it's used on are laid out well. Signs with poor layouts are going to look bad regardless of the font.

I have to say that I'm not as big a Clearview fan as I used to be (I've stopped doing conceptual shields with it), but that's because I learned that it really was not intended for 100% total sign replacement, at least not now. It seems it not being more optimal than Series E(M) on negative contrast signs is almost intentional.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: thenetwork on May 16, 2011, 10:16:55 AM
One of the first ones I ever remember seeing was in PA on I-90 WB past Erie about 7-8 years ago, and in MI at the rebuilt I-94/M-39 interchange.  I liked the PA sign as it was just a distance sign, but I hated the overhead BGSs in MI -- they just looked odd (perhaps clashing with the route number shields)?  Fortunately, CDOT in Colorado is still anti-Clearview as they are replacing older BGSs in my area with the same (but slightly smaller) fonts. 

And yes, CDOT is still anti-accurate when it comes to putting up correct format signs in Western Colorado.  For example, there is one big exit sign for Redlands Parkway (which is 2 miles off the Interstate), yet they do not direct drivers to it (nor mention it) once they exit.  I'll see what they do when they finish the BGS replacement project before I send them the list of errata.

Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: hbelkins on May 17, 2011, 07:52:40 PM
Spotted a Clearview services sign (white on blue) in Missouri on I-70 eastbound in Kansas City over the weekend. Got a photo but haven't checked to see how well it came out.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: iowahighways on May 17, 2011, 08:09:35 PM
I found Clearview -- in mixed case, at that -- on a diamond sign in Cedar Falls, IA, earlier this year...

Clearview warning sign photo (http://www.flickr.com/photos/iowahighways/5349802271)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: WolfGuy100 on May 17, 2011, 08:37:19 PM
I found Clearview -- in mixed case, at that -- on a diamond sign in Cedar Falls, IA, earlier this year...

Clearview warning sign photo (http://www.flickr.com/photos/iowahighways/5349802271)
*gasp* Look awful! I like it better if they were all caps or only on guide signs.

EDIT: I do like Clearview fonts and FHWA Fonts (somewhat.) but I still think Clearview should be strictly only for guide signs, not every other signs such as warning signs or regulatory signs. Do you have any idea how awful a stop sign look if it got clearview spelling Stop like that?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Quillz on May 18, 2011, 01:05:08 AM
I found Clearview -- in mixed case, at that -- on a diamond sign in Cedar Falls, IA, earlier this year...

Clearview warning sign photo (http://www.flickr.com/photos/iowahighways/5349802271)
*gasp* Look awful! I like it better if they were all caps or only on guide signs.

EDIT: I do like Clearview fonts and FHWA Fonts (somewhat.) but I still think Clearview should be strictly only for guide signs, not every other signs such as warning signs or regulatory signs. Do you have any idea how awful a stop sign look if it got clearview spelling Stop like that?
But the whole point of Clearview is it's specifically designed to be mixed-case. Having all caps Clearview defeats the purpose, you might as well stick with the FHWA Series.

However, the real issue with the sign isn't so much the font but rather the size and spacing: the font is way too big for the sign and there isn't enough yellow space. If the font was made smaller and the kerning reduced, it would look a lot better.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: roadfro on May 18, 2011, 04:25:38 AM
I found Clearview -- in mixed case, at that -- on a diamond sign in Cedar Falls, IA, earlier this year...

Clearview warning sign photo (http://www.flickr.com/photos/iowahighways/5349802271)

Perfect example of an application where Clearview should not be used, mainly because the negative contrast signing wasn't approved by FHWA...and well it just doesn't look right at all!
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: ftballfan on May 18, 2011, 09:18:09 AM
U-G-L-Y, you ain't go no alibi, you ugly, yeah, yeah, you ugly, whoo! - Referring to the Clearview warning sign. My mon did that cheer in high school and it describes that sign accurately.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on May 18, 2011, 10:33:01 AM
U-G-L-Y, you ain't go no alibi, you ugly, yeah, yeah, you ugly, whoo!

conveniently sidestepping the "you're" vs "your" distinction with a simple "you".  Very ... clever?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: english si on May 18, 2011, 12:25:56 PM
ftballfan, thanks for taking me back eleven years to Daphne and Celeste - I had a mental block on that song (and the other one, though a friend named her baby Celeste, which brought it back like yesterday's dinner, but I'd forgotten U.G.L.Y.).

Do a search on youtube for them, and the top video is them getting bottled the instant they come on stage at the Reading festival - a rock/metal/punk festival that has no truck with manufactured pop (or rap, as three years later 50 cent got bottled for being a rapper) so they were going to get it even if they were actually made good music - which wasn't the case. Add to them following Slipknot and the amount of bottles suggests that the crowd didn't have enough missiles to throw at them.

They both agree as to the deliberate lameness of their songs, but while Celeste sees Reading as a low-light, Daphne reckons it was the high point of their pop career.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on May 18, 2011, 05:13:31 PM
More Clearview news:  judging by construction plans sets, FDOT is still sticking stubbornly to Series E Modified, but OOCEA has succumbed to Clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: WolfGuy100 on May 18, 2011, 05:45:07 PM
More Clearview news:  judging by construction plans sets, FDOT is still sticking stubbornly to Series E Modified, but OOCEA has succumbed to Clearview.
I hate to be a noob here, but what does OOCEA stands for?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Alex on May 18, 2011, 05:48:22 PM
More Clearview news:  judging by construction plans sets, FDOT is still sticking stubbornly to Series E Modified, but OOCEA has succumbed to Clearview.
I hate to be a noob here, but what does OOCEA stands for?

Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority (http://www.expresswayauthority.com/)

OOCEA began using Clearview several years ago now.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on May 18, 2011, 07:01:46 PM
Doesn't surprise me--the plans set I received this afternoon was just the first one I had gotten recently with guide signing content.  The last OOCEA plans set with any signing content was about a month ago, but had just warning and regulatory signs (all in FHWA alphabet series).
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Michael on May 19, 2011, 12:54:36 AM
I found Clearview -- in mixed case, at that -- on a diamond sign in Cedar Falls, IA, earlier this year...

Clearview warning sign photo (http://www.flickr.com/photos/iowahighways/5349802271)

Earlier in this thread, someone mentioned that Clearview looked too "friendly".  This sign is a perfect example of that.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: realjd on May 19, 2011, 09:15:07 AM
Doesn't surprise me--the plans set I received this afternoon was just the first one I had gotten recently with guide signing content.  The last OOCEA plans set with any signing content was about a month ago, but had just warning and regulatory signs (all in FHWA alphabet series).

Are those available online somewhere?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on May 19, 2011, 11:32:11 AM
Are those available online somewhere?

Yes (at least for OOCEA project 408-113, which has the guide signing).

http://www.expresswayauthority.com/corporate/administration/contracting/Default.aspx

Go to "Register to view and download bid documents."
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vdeane on May 19, 2011, 12:49:52 PM
Earlier in this thread, someone mentioned that Clearview looked too "friendly".  This sign is a perfect example of that.
That reminds me of the uproar in my AP American class when the slide on Indian removal was made in Comic Sans.  The fond was "too happy".
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Dr Frankenstein on May 19, 2011, 10:28:35 PM
Earlier in this thread, someone mentioned that Clearview looked too "friendly".  This sign is a perfect example of that.
That reminds me of the uproar in my AP American class when the slide on Indian removal was made in Comic Sans.  The fond was "too happy".
http://www.comicsanscriminal.com/
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: ftballfan on May 21, 2011, 09:40:19 AM
Earlier in this thread, someone mentioned that Clearview looked too "friendly".  This sign is a perfect example of that.
That reminds me of the uproar in my AP American class when the slide on Indian removal was made in Comic Sans.  The fond was "too happy".
http://www.comicsanscriminal.com/
Good site.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on May 21, 2011, 03:13:06 PM
Another Clearview victim:  South Dakota DOT.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: roadfro on May 21, 2011, 03:58:09 PM
Possible additional Clearview victim: Nevada DOT.

On the US 395 northbound widening project in Reno, the first new sign installed with this project appears to have been done in Clearview. I didn't get a real good look as I wasn't expecting new signs...I'll have to go back at some point and see if I can get a picture.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on May 21, 2011, 06:43:52 PM
Possible additional Clearview victim: Nevada DOT.

On the US 395 northbound widening project in Reno, the first new sign installed with this project appears to have been done in Clearview. I didn't get a real good look as I wasn't expecting new signs...I'll have to go back at some point and see if I can get a picture.

oh Hell!  and here I thought that NDOT was getting things right - there is a guide sign coming off the Virginia City-Carson City route (NV-431?  I do not remember the number) which features a narrow 1961-spec guide sign US-395 shield (35x30 or something proportional) with Series C numbers.  that is the only 1961-spec sign I know of in Nevada: no more surface-level (black square) 1961-spec shields left ...
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Kniwt on June 04, 2011, 06:11:21 PM
On the US 395 northbound widening project in Reno, the first new sign installed with this project appears to have been done in Clearview.

A second sign is up now as well. Here they are:

(http://zoza.com/~kniwt/IMGP3190.JPG)
(http://zoza.com/~kniwt/IMGP3192.JPG)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: roadfro on June 04, 2011, 11:50:44 PM
^ Yup, those are the offenders. First installations of Clearview in Nevada, as far as I am aware.

That I-80 East sign is not designed well at all. The sign would have been much better if "Reno" had been left off of the control city legend. That would have allowed better spacing on the sign and appropriate centering of the "80 West" legend--"Downtown Reno" could be put on a supplemental sign, as was the case previously.  Besides, the long-distance traveler on US 395 has been in Reno for well over 11 miles prior to encountering this sign, so the usefulness of "Reno" is lost at this point.

It is nice to see "E. Second St" added at exit 67; it's been signed as "Glendale Ave" only for many years, despite the fact that the road is actually 2nd St where it crosses US 395 (2nd turns into Glendale upon entering Sparks about 1/2 mile east).
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: myosh_tino on June 05, 2011, 03:18:42 AM
Here are recreations of the new Nevada clearview signs posted by Kniwt with an edit on the I-80 sign (agreed with Roadfro... "Reno" should not be on the sign... you're already in Reno!)...
(http://www.markyville.com/aaroads/395_exit67_cv.png)
(http://www.markyville.com/aaroads/395_exit68B_cv.png)

A couple of things I noticed.  Although the legend is clearview, the numerals for the exit numbers and route shields are still FHWA Series E (for exit numbers) and Series D for the I-80 shield.  Also, the EXIT ONLY legend is still FHWA Series E which is to be expected since dark-on-light clearview isn't approved for use yet.

One main question I have is what typeface should I be using for the Clearview legend?  5W?  5WR? 4W?  On the signs above, I chose to use 5W to try to make it match the photos.

Finally, I was pretty shocked and surprised to see Nevada using Clearview.  Now, I'm wondering how much longer will it be before California converts to Clearview.  I'm hoping it never happens but, then again, I never thought Nevada would use it...  :-(
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: roadfro on June 05, 2011, 04:39:14 AM
A couple of things I noticed.  Although the legend is clearview, the numerals for the exit numbers and route shields are still FHWA Series E (for exit numbers) and Series D for the I-80 shield.  Also, the EXIT ONLY legend is still FHWA Series E which is to be expected since dark-on-light clearview isn't approved for use yet.

One main question I have is what typeface should I be using for the Clearview legend?  5W?  5WR? 4W?  On the signs above, I chose to use 5W to try to make it match the photos.

Finally, I was pretty shocked and surprised to see Nevada using Clearview.  Now, I'm wondering how much longer will it be before California converts to Clearview.  I'm hoping it never happens but, then again, I never thought Nevada would use it...  :-(

Are you sure the exit numbers are ClearviewFHWA? I'm no font guru, but it doesn't quite look the same to me...  Anyway, I think Clearview 5W is supposed to be the "equivalent" to FHWA E(M)...your sign recreations look pretty close to what's in the field now.

I am still shocked that Nevada has Clearview up. I am wondering whether this is a trial thing or if it's a design/contractor goof that wasn't caught. The MUTCD website doesn't have a list of what agencies have requested to use Clearview, so I don't know whether NDOT has sought permission formally or not.  In any event, given that its taken this long for Caltrans to add exit numbers and start doing away with button copy, I highly doubt California will be switching to Clearview anytime soon.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: myosh_tino on June 05, 2011, 11:38:33 AM
Are you sure the exit numbers are Clearview. I'm no font guru, but it doesn't quite look the same to me... 
I think you misunderstood what I said in my last post.  I said the numerals for the exit and route numbers are still FHWA Series E and D.  This I am 100% certain!
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Ian on June 05, 2011, 12:13:41 PM
Those Nevada signs have the PennDOT curse: exit tabs in FHWA gothic with the control cities in clearview. They don't look too horrible, plus I like that cantilever.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vdeane on June 05, 2011, 02:02:39 PM
I knew Thruway signs were ugly, but I had no idea it could get this bad:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-syx1hket474/TevCpyZ8TXI/AAAAAAAAIC4/clxWTLc1mew/s800/100_5431.JPG)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: huskeroadgeek on June 05, 2011, 03:32:47 PM
Earlier in this thread, someone mentioned that Clearview looked too "friendly".  This sign is a perfect example of that.
That reminds me of the uproar in my AP American class when the slide on Indian removal was made in Comic Sans.  The fond was "too happy".
http://www.comicsanscriminal.com/
Good site.
I think I just hit on the reason why I dislike Clearview so much. It just looks inappropriate in some way. Regardless of its supposed better legibility, it looks to me like something somebody did just to "pretty up" road signs. They just don't look real to me, and I'm not sure they ever will. Whenever I see a sign in Clearview, I always want to know what it looked like in FHWA. Fortunately, since a good number of the states that use Clearview have just switched over in the last few years, most signs in Google Street View photos outside of the earliest states to switch over are still in FHWA.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on June 05, 2011, 03:46:31 PM
I knew Thruway signs were ugly, but I had no idea it could get this bad:

very poor proportions there - tiny shields, huge text
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: cu2010 on June 05, 2011, 05:23:30 PM
I knew Thruway signs were ugly, but I had no idea it could get this bad:

You should see some of the new ones in Buffalo! The new ones WB for the US219 exit are particularly bad...not only do they have the new multiple-arrow signs, but the tiny US219 shield also has Clearview numbers! Yuck!
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: roadfro on June 05, 2011, 05:28:48 PM
Are you sure the exit numbers are Clearview. I'm no font guru, but it doesn't quite look the same to me... 
I think you misunderstood what I said in my last post.  I said the numerals for the exit and route numbers are still FHWA Series E and D.  This I am 100% certain!

Got my wires crossed while typing. That's what happens when I post while tired...

Those Nevada signs have the PennDOT curse: exit tabs in FHWA gothic with the control cities in clearview. They don't look too horrible, plus I like that cantilever.

So the word "EXIT" is in Clearview while the numbers are FHWA gothic? I'm wondering why they'd use FHWA numerals in the exit tab (other than the fact that most roadgeeks dislike the Clearview numbers more than anything)...
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Ian on June 05, 2011, 05:32:51 PM
So the word "EXIT" is in Clearview while the numbers are FHWA gothic? I'm wondering why they'd use FHWA numerals in the exit tab (other than the fact that most roadgeeks dislike the Clearview numbers more than anything)...

Is the word "EXIT" really in Clearview? I couldn't really tell to be honest. PennDOT is very odd with their clearview, they seem to only use it on the control cities and THAT'S IT. Even the distances are in FHWA gothic!
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on June 05, 2011, 05:54:17 PM
Is the word "EXIT" really in Clearview? I couldn't really tell to be honest.

I believe it is, though I can't exclude the possibility that "EXIT" is in Series D.  I can however guarantee that it is neither Series E nor Series E Modified.

Quote
PennDOT is very odd with their clearview, they seem to only use it on the control cities and THAT'S IT. Even the distances are in FHWA gothic!

It varies, but what you describe is the dominant approach ("control cities" = primary destination legend).  I have seen PennDOT signing plans with Clearview exit tabs and other signing plans with Clearview shield digits.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: The Premier on June 05, 2011, 07:58:40 PM
So the word "EXIT" is in Clearview while the numbers are FHWA gothic?

Yep, although it is difficult to see it IMO. :nod:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on June 06, 2011, 10:30:08 PM
In both of the Nevada signs, "EXIT" is in fact in Clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: myosh_tino on June 07, 2011, 02:20:56 AM
In both of the Nevada signs, "EXIT" is in fact in Clearview.
To me, it was very difficult to determine if the word "EXIT" was clearview or FHWA.  FWIW, on my sign drawings, the word "EXIT" is still FHWA Series E.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: InterstateNG on June 07, 2011, 11:05:21 AM
After spending the weekend in eastern Ohio, I saw a few clearview signs on both I-70 and I-77. To be honest, they don't look that bad, at least compared to other states.

I was in western/central Ohio last weekend and there's Clearview in those locations as well.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Crazy Volvo Guy on June 10, 2011, 12:50:46 AM
Those Nevada signs have the PennDOT curse: exit tabs in FHWA gothic with the control cities in clearview. They don't look too horrible, plus I like that cantilever.

The hell are you calling that a 'curse' for?  They're keeping the Clearview to a minimum.  That's about the only way I can tolerate its implementation.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: CL on June 10, 2011, 12:54:33 AM
Those Nevada signs have the PennDOT curse: exit tabs in FHWA gothic with the control cities in clearview. They don't look too horrible, plus I like that cantilever.

The hell are you calling that a 'curse' for?  They're keeping the Clearview to a minimum.  That's about the only way I can tolerate its implementation.

Without advocating one font over the other, you've gotta keep it consistent on signage. If you're going to go Clearview, make everything (route shields exempted) in the new typeface. A mix of the two looks ugly, in my opinion.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: myosh_tino on June 10, 2011, 01:15:31 AM
Those Nevada signs have the PennDOT curse: exit tabs in FHWA gothic with the control cities in clearview. They don't look too horrible, plus I like that cantilever.

The hell are you calling that a 'curse' for?  They're keeping the Clearview to a minimum.  That's about the only way I can tolerate its implementation.

Without advocating one font over the other, you've gotta keep it consistent on signage. If you're going to go Clearview, make everything (route shields exempted) in the new typeface. A mix of the two looks ugly, in my opinion.
I completely 100% disagree.  What's wrong with creating a hybrid alphabet with Clearview letters and FHWA numbers?  Like some others here, I can somewhat tolerate Clearview letters but I absolutely despise the numbers.  If a compromise has (and I stress HAS) to be made, then I'm willing to accept Clearview letters but keep the FHWA numbers.
(http://www.markyville.com/aaroads/3di_fhwaD.png) (http://www.markyville.com/aaroads/3di_cv4w.png)
Seriously, which one of these two shields looks better?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Crazy Volvo Guy on June 10, 2011, 01:18:46 AM
A mix of the two looks ugly, in my opinion.

But not nearly as ugly as Clearview numerals...or Clearview itself, but I guess at this point it's rather pointless to rant about that, since we appear to be stuck with it.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on June 10, 2011, 01:39:55 AM

(http://www.markyville.com/aaroads/3di_fhwaD.png) (http://www.markyville.com/aaroads/3di_cv4w.png)


the Clearview 369 has the "9" a thinner weight than the "36".  Also, I'd move the digits to the left so that they are centered more correctly.

Not that it would make it look anywhere near as good as the one on the left, but it would help.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: myosh_tino on June 10, 2011, 01:49:40 AM
the Clearview 369 has the "9" a thinner weight than the "36".  Also, I'd move the digits to the left so that they are centered more correctly.

Not that it would make it look anywhere near as good as the one on the left, but it would help.
I noticed that too.  It must be a quirk in the Roadgeek fonts for Series 4W because I didn't tweak anything except for the inter-character spacing (-50 for the Series D shield and -75 for the Series 4W shield).

Here's a better comparison of the FHWA vs Clearview Digits...
(http://www.markyville.com/aaroads/cv-fhwa-digits.png)
The biggest problem I have with the clearview digits are the 2, 6 and 9 and, to a lesser extend, the 4 and 5.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Quillz on June 10, 2011, 06:10:55 AM
The Roadgeek imitations of the Clearview fonts are off quite a bit. It was noted in another topic. If you would like the real Clearview fonts, contact me and I can send you a copy.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Ian on June 10, 2011, 06:31:44 AM
The hell are you calling that a 'curse' for?  They're keeping the Clearview to a minimum.  That's about the only way I can tolerate its implementation.

By 'curse,' I meant something that PennDOT has been known to do. I actually don't mind them mixing it up a bit...
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on June 10, 2011, 10:04:55 AM
I noticed that too.  It must be a quirk in the Roadgeek fonts for Series 4W because I didn't tweak anything except for the inter-character spacing (-50 for the Series D shield and -75 for the Series 4W shield).

[diagram omitted]

yeah, now that I look at it, I see what you are saying.  I have the Roadgeek Clearview set but never actually use them.  Hah.  looks like 0 is randomly thinner-stroke as well.

Quote
The biggest problem I have with the clearview digits are the 2, 6 and 9 and, to a lesser extend, the 4 and 5.

I really dislike the 5.  I am trying to figure out why I don't like the 6 and 9 because it is very similar to classic New York font, which I do like.

(http://shields.aaroads.com/img/NY/NY19600091i1.jpg)

I have no problem with the notched 4 as it looks fairly similar to old block-font 4.

(http://shields.aaroads.com/img/CO/CO19280402i1.jpg)

I also think the head on the 1 is way too exaggerated.  and for some reason don't like the 7.

3, 8, 0 are fine. 
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: CL on June 10, 2011, 01:41:14 PM
Those Nevada signs have the PennDOT curse: exit tabs in FHWA gothic with the control cities in clearview. They don't look too horrible, plus I like that cantilever.

The hell are you calling that a 'curse' for?  They're keeping the Clearview to a minimum.  That's about the only way I can tolerate its implementation.

Without advocating one font over the other, you've gotta keep it consistent on signage. If you're going to go Clearview, make everything (route shields exempted) in the new typeface. A mix of the two looks ugly, in my opinion.
I completely 100% disagree.  What's wrong with creating a hybrid alphabet with Clearview letters and FHWA numbers?  Like some others here, I can somewhat tolerate Clearview letters but I absolutely despise the numbers.  If a compromise has (and I stress HAS) to be made, then I'm willing to accept Clearview letters but keep the FHWA numbers.
(http://www.markyville.com/aaroads/3di_fhwaD.png) (http://www.markyville.com/aaroads/3di_cv4w.png)
Seriously, which one of these two shields looks better?

Right, which is why I say keep the route shields in Highway Gothic. I wholly, vehemently despise route shields with Clearview numerals. But... I'd rather keep the exit tab numerals Clearview, as well as any other numeral on the sign (e.g., the "25" on 25th St). Dunno, that's just personal preference (Utah, in its limited application of Clearview, does it that way and I don't mind).
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Quillz on June 10, 2011, 01:43:02 PM
Both of those posted shields don't look very good in the first place, though. I think a well-designed route shield (i.e. the numbers are sized in proper proportion to the rest of the shield, etc.) can look fine when using Clearview numerals.

Had Clearview been the standard for all these decades, I wonder what our reaction might be to the FHWA Series fonts, had they been brand new.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: CL on June 10, 2011, 01:48:13 PM
Both of those posted shields don't look very good in the first place, though.

The shield is in desperate need of series B or C numerals, if you ask me, a la (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/fd/I-215_%28big%29.svg/70px-I-215_%28big%29.svg.png). A pet peeve of mine has always been the three-digit shields whose numerals look like they're floating at the top.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: myosh_tino on June 10, 2011, 01:59:53 PM
Both of those posted shields don't look very good in the first place, though. I think a well-designed route shield (i.e. the numbers are sized in proper proportion to the rest of the shield, etc.) can look fine when using Clearview numerals.
Actually, the shields I posted are California-spec 3-digit Interstate shields for use on guide signs which differs significantly from the FHWA-spec shield.  The California-spec use 15" numerals on a 45x38 shield.

Edit: Here are three current California-spec 2-digit Interstate sheilds (essentially 1957-spec shields).  The first uses the normal FHWA fonts (Series C and D).  The second one uses all Clearview but keeps the all caps INTERSTATE and state name.  The third one uses mixed case for INTERSTATE and state name...
(http://www.markyville.com/aaroads/2di-caps_fhwa.png) (http://www.markyville.com/aaroads/2di-caps_cv.png) (http://www.markyville.com/aaroads/2di-mixed_cv.png)

I also made Clearview and FHWA versions of the California state route shield...
(http://www.markyville.com/aaroads/2d-ca_fhwa.png) (http://www.markyville.com/aaroads/2d-ca_cv.png)


The Interstate shields are all 36x36 with 12-inch numerals.  The California state route shields are 30x31.25 and also use 12-inch numerals.  These are all route marker shields and are not to be used on guide signs.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: hbelkins on June 11, 2011, 01:19:26 AM
The Roadgeek imitations of the Clearview fonts are off quite a bit. It was noted in another topic. If you would like the real Clearview fonts, contact me and I can send you a copy.

Sent you a private message with the e-mail address to use.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Quillz on June 11, 2011, 01:57:24 AM
Both of those posted shields don't look very good in the first place, though. I think a well-designed route shield (i.e. the numbers are sized in proper proportion to the rest of the shield, etc.) can look fine when using Clearview numerals.
Actually, the shields I posted are California-spec 3-digit Interstate shields for use on guide signs which differs significantly from the FHWA-spec shield.  The California-spec use 15" numerals on a 45x38 shield.

Edit: Here are three current California-spec 2-digit Interstate sheilds (essentially 1957-spec shields).  The first uses the normal FHWA fonts (Series C and D).  The second one uses all Clearview but keeps the all caps INTERSTATE and state name.  The third one uses mixed case for INTERSTATE and state name...
(http://www.markyville.com/aaroads/2di-caps_fhwa.png) (http://www.markyville.com/aaroads/2di-caps_cv.png) (http://www.markyville.com/aaroads/2di-mixed_cv.png)

I also made Clearview and FHWA versions of the California state route shield...
(http://www.markyville.com/aaroads/2d-ca_fhwa.png) (http://www.markyville.com/aaroads/2d-ca_cv.png)


The Interstate shields are all 36x36 with 12-inch numerals.  The California state route shields are 30x31.25 and also use 12-inch numerals.  These are all route marker shields and are not to be used on guide signs.
6 and 9 are my least favorite Clearview digits (I like the 1-x iteration best.) The 5 looks fine to me.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: mjb2002 on June 12, 2011, 02:37:16 AM
I made a FHWA, Helvetica and Clearview version of possible replacements for the current all caps street sign along the street where we live.

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-hrjAfXU3Hlc/TfRdLoBDCOI/AAAAAAAAAes/Htdothhv6EM/blue%252520Allendale%252520street%252520sign%252520-%252520Copy.jpg)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-MHTS6e1KP8s/TfRdMH2xwFI/AAAAAAAAAew/u4zkY3a5rRU/ALLENDALE%252520AV%252520Helvetica.jpg)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Mk_KAXs_TUs/TfRdMd3Um0I/AAAAAAAAAe0/B52z3Ri-ta4/s912/ALLENDALE%252520AV%252520Clearview.jpg)

The signs are one foot in height and of various lengths.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: mightyace on June 12, 2011, 04:54:25 AM
^^^

On the Clearview signs, I never noticed before this that the lower case "L" is taller than the upper case letters.  That, IMHO, is a major style violation!  :pan:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on June 12, 2011, 11:27:08 AM
On the Clearview signs, I never noticed before this that the lower case "L" is taller than the upper case letters.  That, IMHO, is a major style violation!  :pan:

I am not fussed about it personally, but it is a major reason it is so hard to design Clearview signs in accord with freeway guide sign design rules (the same rules apply to signs using Clearview and FHWA Series E Modified, except of course that Clearview does not have lowercase loop height equal to three-quarters capital letter height, so you just have to use three-quarters capital letter height measured from top to bottom of capital letters only for vertical spacing).  Lowercase i is even worse than lowercase l, which is actually the same height as other lowercase letters with ascenders, like d.  When I have to combine Clearview text blocks, I correct for the excess height of the lowercase letters with ascenders with separate scripts for l, d, etc. and for i.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: roadfro on June 12, 2011, 03:33:29 PM
On the Clearview signs, I never noticed before this that the lower case "L" is taller than the upper case letters.  That, IMHO, is a major style violation!  :pan:

IIRC, that is one of the "selling points" of Clearview. Several of the lowercase letters are taller than uppercase letter heights... I think this goes towards improved legibility at a distance.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: mightyace on June 13, 2011, 12:23:13 PM
^^^

That lends further support to my theory that many of the things that make Clearview ugly to most of us are done on purpose!

Because it is not normal, it stands out and draws the eye to it.

As the main goal is readability, it succeeds.

But, does it really have to be readability vs. aesthetics?  I think not.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on June 13, 2011, 01:26:54 PM
That lends further support to my theory that many of the things that make Clearview ugly to most of us are done on purpose!

Because it is not normal, it stands out and draws the eye to it.

As the main goal is readability, it succeeds.

But, does it really have to be readability vs. aesthetics?  I think not.

bear in mind, also, that Clearview tends to look a lot better in the field than in our photos and our diagrams that we discuss here.  The reason is mainly halation - some of the more odd stroke variations actually are designed to cancel out, given standards of reflectivity and intended reading distance.  

this is especially noticeable at night.  I've always disliked Clearview during the day, but at night it isn't nearly as bothersome.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: 1995hoo on June 14, 2011, 03:28:52 PM
I don't mind Clearview in general, but the signs shown in the pictures below are hideous. They're all relatively new Clearview signs found on VA-27 between the Pentagon and the interchange with US-50. The initial capital letters are simply way too big compared to all the others. When I see the US-50 sign shown in the third picture, my eye sees the "WFC" more than any of the other text. The signs in the fourth picture, while still ugly, are in my view the least offensive of this bunch because they have the fewest words per sign. That is, I think having multiple disproportionately large uppercase letters on multiple lines on a single sign draws too much attention to the uppercase letters at the expense of the rest of the sign.

In particular, compare "Clarendon" as seen here to the points made by mightyace and J N Winkler further up the thread about some of the lowercase letters being taller than the uppercase.



(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/eb3498f8.jpg)

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/4e098bcb.jpg)

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/87c18418.jpg)

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/ecb2cc34.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Alex on June 14, 2011, 04:40:16 PM
I don't mind Clearview in general, but the signs shown in the pictures below are hideous. They're all relatively new Clearview signs found on VA-27 between the Pentagon and the interchange with US-50. The initial capital letters are simply way too big compared to all the others. When I see the US-50 sign shown in the third picture, my eye sees the "WFC" more than any of the other text. The signs in the fourth picture, while still ugly, are in my view the least offensive of this bunch because they have the fewest words per sign. That is, I think having multiple disproportionately large uppercase letters on multiple lines on a single sign draws too much attention to the uppercase letters at the expense of the rest of the sign.

In particular, compare "Clarendon" as seen here to the points made by mightyace and J N Winkler further up the thread about some of the lowercase letters being taller than the uppercase.


All four of those examples look like garbage to me as well. Similar, but worse Clearview spacing (which I have mentioned before):

(http://www.aaroads.com/blog_images/northeast/i-079_nb_exit_180_01.jpg) (http://www.aaroads.com/blog_images/northeast/i-079_nb_exit_180_01.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: 1995hoo on June 14, 2011, 04:46:09 PM
^^^^

I don't like the way the lowercase letters aren't aligned with the bases of the uppercase letters on that sign. Or, put differently, if the bottom of the lowercase letters is the baseline (that is, where you'd put your letters if you were writing on lined paper), the uppercase letters seem to be straddling that baseline. Yuk. The numerators on the fractions are too close to the main numbers as well. I've seen at least one Clearview sign around here where they didn't use a fraction and instead made it the way we commonly type fractions, i.e., 1/2, but off the top of my head I can't remember which sign that was. I think the fractions on the signs I posted above look OK, but the ones on the sign you posted are hideous.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: formulanone on June 14, 2011, 09:57:44 PM
To me, Clearview isn't awful, but those "l"s remind me of why I can't stand it; it's just like the Windows font "Trebuchet": l  :-/
(Note: you probably won't see the difference unless you have the font on your device.)

They don't lead into the next letter, but they distract, in my opinion. The the finishing "stroke" of the "a" and the "d" aren't the same, which is also annoying. Otherwise, Clearview does look quite crisp when spaced properly; I see it outside of Florida, and sometimes it looks right, other times...not so much.

That said, I like my "traditional" highway fonts, like FHWA. Helvetica looks okay, but I think it doesn't work well for a large block of text, or when viewed at speed.

I tried to make it look cool in Texas, though...

(http://www.formulanone.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/TX121BulbExposure.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on June 14, 2011, 10:21:43 PM
Clearview is pretty bad, but it is worlds ahead of Helvetica/Arial/Univers/Grotesque*/etc.

*about the least grotesque font you can imagine.  no idea why they call it that.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Kacie Jane on June 14, 2011, 10:23:00 PM
I don't mind Clearview in general, but the signs shown in the pictures below are hideous. They're all relatively new Clearview signs found on VA-27 between the Pentagon and the interchange with US-50. The initial capital letters are simply way too big compared to all the others. When I see the US-50 sign shown in the third picture, my eye sees the "WFC" more than any of the other text. The signs in the fourth picture, while still ugly, are in my view the least offensive of this bunch because they have the fewest words per sign. That is, I think having multiple disproportionately large uppercase letters on multiple lines on a single sign draws too much attention to the uppercase letters at the expense of the rest of the sign.

In particular, compare "Clarendon" as seen here to the points made by mightyace and J N Winkler further up the thread about some of the lowercase letters being taller than the uppercase.

Are the capital letters also heavier in addition to being bigger, or is that just an illusion of them being taller?  My first instinct was to say that the capital letters were bolded rather than taller, but then I realized the L in Clarendon, and I was set straight.

Either way, they're ugly.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vdeane on June 15, 2011, 07:35:41 AM


*about the least grotesque font you can imagine.  no idea why they call it that.
Maybe it was the first?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: 1995hoo on June 15, 2011, 07:54:17 AM
I don't mind Clearview in general, but the signs shown in the pictures below are hideous. They're all relatively new Clearview signs found on VA-27 between the Pentagon and the interchange with US-50. The initial capital letters are simply way too big compared to all the others. When I see the US-50 sign shown in the third picture, my eye sees the "WFC" more than any of the other text. The signs in the fourth picture, while still ugly, are in my view the least offensive of this bunch because they have the fewest words per sign. That is, I think having multiple disproportionately large uppercase letters on multiple lines on a single sign draws too much attention to the uppercase letters at the expense of the rest of the sign.

In particular, compare "Clarendon" as seen here to the points made by mightyace and J N Winkler further up the thread about some of the lowercase letters being taller than the uppercase.

Are the capital letters also heavier in addition to being bigger, or is that just an illusion of them being taller?  My first instinct was to say that the capital letters were bolded rather than taller, but then I realized the L in Clarendon, and I was set straight.

Either way, they're ugly.

I thought the same thing—they look like boldface. I didn't mention it because I wanted to see if anyone else thought the same and I didn't want to plant the idea in anyone's mind. Those letters almost remind me of the "drop cap" style used in some books to start chapters (except that they don't drop below the baseline)—you know, the style where the chapter starts with one very big capital letter at the start of the first paragraph.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on June 15, 2011, 11:14:40 AM
Are the capital letters also heavier in addition to being bigger, or is that just an illusion of them being taller?  My first instinct was to say that the capital letters were bolded rather than taller, but then I realized the L in Clarendon, and I was set straight.

Either way, they're ugly.

Nope, the capital letters aren't bolded--they just look that way by comparison with the lowercase letters because they are taller and so have greater stroke width.

If the capital letters were sized in correct proportion to the lowercase letters, the l in "Clarendon" would be taller than the C.

This mismatch is not unique to Clearview.  There are a lot of poorly trained sign designers out there who misunderstand the MUTCD's references to different sizes for uppercase and lowercase letters and they make this mistake in Series E Modified as well as Clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: hbelkins on June 15, 2011, 11:19:48 AM
Clearview is pretty bad, but it is worlds ahead of Helvetica/Arial/Univers/Grotesque*/etc.

Why the dislike of Helvetica/Arial/Univers?

I much prefer sans serif fonts to serif fonts, especially in large size applications such as signs and newspaper headlines. Much cleaner and easier (for me, at least) to read than serif fonts.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on June 15, 2011, 11:32:46 AM
Why the dislike of Helvetica/Arial/Univers?


I just find it a generally unattractive font, and badly overused.  I actually don't think Helvetica is any better-looking than Arial; there's a few subtle differences here and there but for the most part it's identical. 

FHWA 1948 Series D is a significantly better-looking font than Helvetica, for a similar width.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on June 15, 2011, 08:15:18 PM
Helvetica and Arial can look fine in certain situations. Like in an office, having all of the door signs in Helvetica is appropriate. All of the incidental signage where I work (stuff like No Smoking signs, "This Window Closed", informational signs, section name signs, etc) are done in white on black with hollow stroke Arial (like you set the stroke to white in Inkscape but didn't set a fill). It actually looks pretty classy.

Put Arial or Helvetica on a road sign and it's just out of place. I think Helvetica looks best in black and white. It's all business It doesn't play as well with bright colors like you would see on a road sign.

And I'll agree that a big part of how good Clearview looks is what state is using it. Texas's Clearview implementation makes it look pretty good. Oklahoma is as hit or miss with it as they are with FHWA Series—mostly miss.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Ian on June 15, 2011, 08:51:54 PM
Good clearview usage:
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2375/5769211580_455264ed9b_z.jpg)

Okay clearview usage:
(http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5292/5540817035_01d0a4885c_z.jpg)

Horrible clearview usage:
(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-TPRFc8f4al8/TPQ8IvuWbJI/AAAAAAAAkck/D5GQFeU7mYk/s640/IMG_0713.JPG)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on June 16, 2011, 12:00:39 AM
My point is proven. The surefire way to make Clearview ugly is to use a too-large font size.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Kacie Jane on June 16, 2011, 12:12:55 AM
Normally I'd counter that comment with something about Highway Gothic looking awful when the font size is too large too, but you have a point. There appears to be something about Clearview that makes it easier to layout a sign poorly.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: 1995hoo on June 16, 2011, 08:13:58 AM
My point is proven. The surefire way to make Clearview ugly is to use a too-large font size.

Or to make the sign too small. The sign shown above for VA-236 is exactly the same size as the old sign, which was replaced solely (as far as I can determine) for the sake of using Clearview. I think if the signs had been made bigger, the font might not look so disproportionately large. But all the signs at that interchange look awful now, and on the northbound side there's one where they abbreviated "Turnpike" as "Trpk." Not sure what was going on there, although there are some street signs in Annandale that say "Trnpk," so maybe they just can't decide.

Virginia has some decent-looking Clearview signs on the Beltway as it's rebuilt, but I'm not sure who made the signs—VDOT or Fluor-TransUrban (the consortium building HOT lanes).
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: myosh_tino on June 16, 2011, 02:32:17 PM
Horrible clearview usage:
(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-TPRFc8f4al8/TPQ8IvuWbJI/AAAAAAAAkck/D5GQFeU7mYk/s640/IMG_0713.JPG)
It looks like the original signs using Highway Gothic weren't any better...
http://www.google.com/maps?ie=UTF8&ll=38.821471,-77.127864&spn=0.002014,0.003449&z=18&layer=c&cbll=38.821567,-77.127735&panoid=ukLUvb0nzn4AOZ_57Q05mQ&cbp=12,226.82,,1,-7
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Alex on June 16, 2011, 02:37:24 PM
Horrible clearview usage:
It looks like the original signs using Highway Gothic weren't any better...
http://www.google.com/maps?ie=UTF8&ll=38.821471,-77.127864&spn=0.002014,0.003449&z=18&layer=c&cbll=38.821567,-77.127735&panoid=ukLUvb0nzn4AOZ_57Q05mQ&cbp=12,226.82,,1,-7

Carbon copying for you...
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: codyg1985 on June 16, 2011, 02:41:16 PM
Horrible clearview usage:
It looks like the original signs using Highway Gothic weren't any better...
http://www.google.com/maps?ie=UTF8&ll=38.821471,-77.127864&spn=0.002014,0.003449&z=18&layer=c&cbll=38.821567,-77.127735&panoid=ukLUvb0nzn4AOZ_57Q05mQ&cbp=12,226.82,,1,-7

Carbon copying for you...

Alabama has been doing that on it's Clearview installations. A few signs on I-565 westbound have been replaced here in Huntsville with Clearview, and they are exactly the same as the old signs, even one sign that still omits the diagonal exit arrow right before the gore point.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: 1995hoo on June 16, 2011, 02:44:24 PM
BTW, in one of my earlier comments further up the thread I mentioned the use of fractions done as if they were on a typewriter instead of in the normal style. Those VA-236 signs on I-395 shown above are two examples of what I was saying there.

I rather prefer the old style of not putting a space in between the exit number and the suffix.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on June 16, 2011, 04:32:46 PM
BTW, in one of my earlier comments further up the thread I mentioned the use of fractions done as if they were on a typewriter instead of in the normal style. Those VA-236 signs on I-395 shown above are two examples of what I was saying there.

That style of writing fractions (which I call "inline fractions") is an old problem and isn't really anything to do with Clearview specifically--though Clearview has introduced its own problems with fractions (see below).  When the Millennium MUTCD came out, all the artwork was redone specially for it, was not pattern-accurate, and used inline fractions although the tabulated height values for numerator and denominator were unchanged.  When the 2003 MUTCD was released several years later, the artwork was done again and was pattern-accurate, but the fractions were still inline.

In the traffic engineering community it is common to accept MUTCD illustrations as indicative although, strictly speaking, the text and tables are authoritative.  In the wake of the Millennium and 2003 editions of the MUTCD it became very common to see sign design sheets showing inline fractions.  The artwork for the 2009 MUTCD, which is greatly changed from that of the 2003 edition, corrects this particular error and as a consequence, it is becoming rarer to see inline fractions on sign design sheets.

Clearview and fractions have led to a separate problem.  When Clearview was first rolled out around 2003, SignCAD was the only major signing CAD package which supported Clearview directly.  Unfortunately it was soon discovered that SignCAD's default fraction composition routine resulted in Clearview fractions with numerators and denominators which were so small they failed to comply with MUTCD specification.  Arizona DOT (and possibly some other SignCAD-using agencies) got around the problem by producing their own custom fractions, complying with MUTCD requirements, which were copied over into sign drawings as needed.  Other agencies (including quite a few TxDOT districts) simply used the wrongly sized fractions, or avoided the problem by using inline fractions instead of fraction rectangles.  The last I heard about this particular issue (several years ago), SignCAD was planning to get around the problem by overhauling fraction composition in a future version of SignCAD.  I do not know if this has happened.

As others have said upthread, the real problem with the I-95/Springfield signs is bad composition, but I frankly doubt that signs using Series E Modified would have looked much better if the same capital letter height were used.  Even if the street names were composed at a smaller font size--which they should have been and were in the original sign design sheets--the overall panel sizes are too small to permit normal interline spacing (which is the same for Clearview as it is for Series E Modified, except of course that all dimensions have to be referred to capital letters because Clearview ascenders "stick up").  My guess is that the message revisions were not just about changing Series E Modified to Clearview, but also about geeing up the size of the main legend, probably from 13.3" uppercase/10" lowercase to 16" uppercase.  If panel size is not changed (as is implied by the use of overlays), this results in a very cramped appearance.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: 1995hoo on June 16, 2011, 05:20:42 PM
We now have a couple of Clearview overhead street signs over in Springfield. The one shown below was erected this spring to replace a Gothic version that was damaged by wind over the Washington's Birthday weekend. This sign looks reasonably good to me, although it's interesting to see that this sign is white-on-green (as are others in that immediate area). If you go a short distance east of there, the overhead street signs of this sort are white-on-blue, which is Fairfax County's standard street sign color scheme (although the overhead signs like these are rather inconsistent on the whole). I don't know how responsibility for the pole-mounted street signs versus the overhead ones like these is determined or how they decide which color to use. I imagine froggie probably knows.

Sorry about the water in the picture. It was starting to drizzle a bit when I took the picture.

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/0cda10c3.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Michael on June 16, 2011, 11:56:29 PM
I knew Thruway signs were ugly, but I had no idea it could get this bad:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-syx1hket474/TevCpyZ8TXI/AAAAAAAAIC4/clxWTLc1mew/s800/100_5431.JPG)

Ew!!!  *shudders*

I also made Clearview and FHWA versions of the California state route shield...
(http://www.markyville.com/aaroads/2d-ca_fhwa.png) (http://www.markyville.com/aaroads/2d-ca_cv.png)

I never thought I'd ever say this, but I kind of like the Clearview CA-99 shield.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Quillz on June 17, 2011, 01:42:47 AM
I really have no issues with Clearview route shields as long as the legend maintains a good proportional size. Unfortunately, most real world Clearview shields use huge legend, so it just looks bad.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Dr Frankenstein on June 19, 2011, 09:35:00 PM
Parcs Québec (who maintains the national parks, wildlife reserves and other nature-oriented and historic areas) seems to be intensively working on replacing all their yellow-on-brown signs from wooden + Helvetica to aluminum + Clearview.

Even signs in their hiking trails are now Clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on June 20, 2011, 04:54:55 AM
We now have a couple of Clearview overhead street signs over in Springfield. The one shown below was erected this spring to replace a Gothic version that was damaged by wind over the Washington's Birthday weekend. This sign looks reasonably good to me, although it's interesting to see that this sign is white-on-green (as are others in that immediate area). If you go a short distance east of there, the overhead street signs of this sort are white-on-blue, which is Fairfax County's standard street sign color scheme (although the overhead signs like these are rather inconsistent on the whole). I don't know how responsibility for the pole-mounted street signs versus the overhead ones like these is determined or how they decide which color to use. I imagine froggie probably knows.

There's actually Clearview scattered all over the place in Fairfax County, and most of the BGSes on I-395 are Clearview now.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: roadfro on June 24, 2011, 10:45:55 PM
I am still shocked that Nevada has Clearview up. I am wondering whether this is a trial thing or if it's a design/contractor goof that wasn't caught.

Well, to reply to myself, it seems that the Clearview on US 395 in Reno isn't a goof. I drove by today and noticed two more sign gantries have been put up in the last week, each using Clearview. The sign for I-80 east is just as atrociously designed as the 80 west sign discussed on page 24 of the thread.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: 1995hoo on June 25, 2011, 08:11:59 AM
There's actually Clearview scattered all over the place in Fairfax County, and most of the BGSes on I-395 are Clearview now.

I know, I live in Fairfax County. I just haven't seen many Clearview street signs (as opposed to BGSs or other guide signs). There's even a yellow "right lane ends" overhead warning sign that uses Clearview on I-395 at the southbound lane drop at the VA-236 exit.

I'm in the Miami area as I type this and I don't think I've seen any Clearview anywhere in Florida so far. Seems weird not to see ANY once you get used to it!
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: realjd on June 25, 2011, 05:13:39 PM
There's actually Clearview scattered all over the place in Fairfax County, and most of the BGSes on I-395 are Clearview now.
I know, I live in Fairfax County. I just haven't seen many Clearview street signs (as opposed to BGSs or other guide signs). There's even a yellow "right lane ends" overhead warning sign that uses Clearview on I-395 at the southbound lane drop at the VA-236 exit.

I'm in the Miami area as I type this and I don't think I've seen any Clearview anywhere in Florida so far. Seems weird not to see ANY once you get used to it!

Florida's Clearview is limited to the Orlando area. OOCEA uses it extensively. I've never seen FDOT use it.

Be sure to try Cuban food while you're in Miami. Good stuff!

[Fixed mangled quote. -S.]
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: ftballfan on June 27, 2011, 10:51:32 PM
There's actually Clearview scattered all over the place in Fairfax County, and most of the BGSes on I-395 are Clearview now.

I know, I live in Fairfax County. I just haven't seen many Clearview street signs (as opposed to BGSs or other guide signs). There's even a yellow "right lane ends" overhead warning sign that uses Clearview on I-395 at the southbound lane drop at the VA-236 exit.

I'm in the Miami area as I type this and I don't think I've seen any Clearview anywhere in Florida so far. Seems weird not to see ANY once you get used to it!
Michigan has a lot of Clearview. I can think of one freeway that doesn't have a lot of Clearview on it (M-6), and that is because it was finished right before MDOT started using Clearview.

US-31 in Northern/Western Michigan is kind of weird when it comes to Clearview. Heading south out of Traverse City, the signs are in Clearview until you hit Scottville. Between Scottville and the US-31 freeway (only ~5 miles) there is little if any Clearview. As soon as the freeway picks up again, you start seeing Clearview again.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Android on July 02, 2011, 04:35:46 AM
This is a followup, one that I'd never have thought I'd make!
Below is part of a post I made a while back in this thread, regarding the Northbound Wyoming I-25 exit #25 gore sign. 

I had happened to have pictures of the previous gore signs and when the 2006 one got smashed into, I figured it would be replaced by a Clearview, and I was right.  (ugh!)

Well, I drove by there yesterday, and I totally didn't notice til I was almost past the sign there was yet ANOTHER new sign there, and this time... no Clearview!  I was shocked, because WYDOT has been putting up Clearview signs all over the place (interstates only) the last couple of years.   I had to turn around and go back there and verify what I'd seen - yep a little "11" in the corner for 2011, and it's Good Old Series E.  !

So anyway, here's part of my post about the "three little gores" followed by a picture taken yesterday of the latest.   




so..... Once Upon A Time there were Three Gores (signs), One was a Big
Gore, one was an Little Gore  and one was and Ugly Gore.....  Here's
photos of all three:
(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/Exit25Gore-BigSmallUgly.jpg)
(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/Exit25-2011-SeriesE.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: roadfro on July 02, 2011, 04:50:46 PM
^ Another question in relation to that sign: Why is Wyoming DOT using that ugly design for the exit gore sign?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Eth on July 02, 2011, 11:38:25 PM
^ Another question in relation to that sign: Why is Wyoming DOT using that ugly design for the exit gore sign?

If you're referring to the exit number being put on a separate line at the top, other states have done this, too.  Back when Georgia still had sequential exit numbers (the '90s), this was pretty common for three-digit exit numbers.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Android on July 03, 2011, 01:22:50 AM
In never thought those "compact" gore signs to be that ugly.  In fact, that first huge EXIT 25 sign always seemed to me to be "wrong" which was why I took a picture of it, not long after I got my first digital camera.  

I'm not sure what's up with the gore signs - WYDOT uses this style but sometimes you'll see Clearview and sometimes FHWA lately.  I speculated that maybe the Series E were "old stock" signs kicking around the warehouse, but that wouldn't explain why they changed that EXIT 25 one to a new Clearview then two years later, back to a new Series E.    :hmmm:

Mostly, I'm used to seeing things like this one - before/after:

(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/Exit16GoreCompare.jpg)

But then there's signs like these, another recent replacement in Series E
and older replacement in Series D and Clearview.

(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/Exit54-SerE-2011s.jpg)(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/EXIT158-CV.jpg)
(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/2009GoreSigns.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: 1995hoo on July 03, 2011, 09:57:57 AM
There's actually Clearview scattered all over the place in Fairfax County, and most of the BGSes on I-395 are Clearview now.
I know, I live in Fairfax County. I just haven't seen many Clearview street signs (as opposed to BGSs or other guide signs). There's even a yellow "right lane ends" overhead warning sign that uses Clearview on I-395 at the southbound lane drop at the VA-236 exit.

I'm in the Miami area as I type this and I don't think I've seen any Clearview anywhere in Florida so far. Seems weird not to see ANY once you get used to it!

Florida's Clearview is limited to the Orlando area. OOCEA uses it extensively. I've never seen FDOT use it.

Be sure to try Cuban food while you're in Miami. Good stuff!

[Fixed mangled quote. -S.]

Indeed this proved to be the case. Wednesday afternoon we drove from Viera to Disney World and saw the Clearview signs as soon as we turned onto the Bee Line. What was funny was when we left Disney on Friday evening to drive to Green Cove Springs. I-4 was at a standstill so I took FL-417 all the way around to Sanford (worked fine) and it was very amusing how the southern part of the road (south of the Bee Line) is 95% Clearview and the northern part of the road (which is run by the Turnpike) had no Clearview. While it's not so odd to see both on the same road, it's unusual in my experience to see such a stark demarcation of near-total Clearview on one part and NO Clearview on the other.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: roadfro on July 03, 2011, 02:45:11 PM
^ Another question in relation to that sign: Why is Wyoming DOT using that ugly design for the exit gore sign?

If you're referring to the exit number being put on a separate line at the top, other states have done this, too.  Back when Georgia still had sequential exit numbers (the '90s), this was pretty common for three-digit exit numbers.

They probably modeled it after the MUTCD example of a exit number plaque being added to the top of a non-numbered exit gore sign, but that was designed for situations where the exit number is applied later. The 2009 MUTCD has a narrow version of the exit gore sign (E5-1c) designed for narrow lateral offsets, but it's actually not pictured in there or SHS--in any case, there's one in Reno designed with "EXIT" on top, the number below, then an arrow below that (Google Street View (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=reno,+nv&hl=en&ll=39.534357,-119.774709&spn=0.006115,0.011362&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=50.956929,93.076172&z=17&layer=c&cbll=39.534367,-119.774842&panoid=wrAyujRe7xJgPTAKdNRkLg&cbp=12,289.62,,0,-0.34)), which makes better sense from a design perspective.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: myosh_tino on July 04, 2011, 01:38:27 AM
They probably modeled it after the MUTCD example of a exit number plaque being added to the top of a non-numbered exit gore sign, but that was designed for situations where the exit number is applied later. The 2009 MUTCD has a narrow version of the exit gore sign (E5-1c) designed for narrow lateral offsets, but it's actually not pictured in there or SHS--in any case, there's one in Reno designed with "EXIT" on top, the number below, then an arrow below that (Google Street View (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=reno,+nv&hl=en&ll=39.534357,-119.774709&spn=0.006115,0.011362&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=50.956929,93.076172&z=17&layer=c&cbll=39.534367,-119.774842&panoid=wrAyujRe7xJgPTAKdNRkLg&cbp=12,289.62,,0,-0.34)), which makes better sense from a design perspective.
The exit gore sign in the Street View image kind of looks like California's 3 and 4 digit exit gore signs including the use of the shorter shaft arrow...
(http://www.markyville.com/aaroads/G84-3.png)

FWIW, I created a new topic (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=4883.0) on exit gore signs with some comments on what Caltrans' District 6 has been up to in the Fresno area (using FHWA-style gore signs instead of California's narrower signs).
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: codyg1985 on July 11, 2011, 03:49:12 PM
While driving through St. Petersburg on I-275 I noticed a couple of blue service signs that appeared to use all-caps Clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: 1995hoo on July 11, 2011, 04:00:29 PM
BTW, it's not really Clearview-related, but a thread on fonts seemed to be the right place to ask—what is the font that Georgia uses on most of its BGSs? It's not Clearview and it doesn't look like any of the Gothic fonts. The only other place where I can recall seeing the same font used in Georgia was on the Outer Loop of the Beltway in Virginia between I-66 and US-50 where one of the signs for US-50 was in that "Georgia font." (The sign has been removed as part of the HOT construction project and the new signs going up all use Clearview.) I find the "Georgia font" to be easier on the eyes in terms of its appearance than either Clearview or Gothic, but I find Clearview the easiest to read at a distance.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on July 11, 2011, 05:07:25 PM
what is the font that Georgia uses on most of its BGSs?

I seem to recall them using mixed-case Series C or D... can you provide a photo and if so I may be able to identify the font.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: 1995hoo on July 11, 2011, 05:35:38 PM
what is the font that Georgia uses on most of its BGSs?

I seem to recall them using mixed-case Series C or D... can you provide a photo and if so I may be able to identify the font.

I don't have any pictures I've taken, but here's an unfortunately-grainy image from Google Street View from NB I-95 at I-16. It doesn't look quite like Series C or Series D to me.

http://maps.google.com/?ll=32.069884,-81.248059&spn=0.027929,0.066047&z=15&layer=c&cbll=32.069966,-81.248019&panoid=tgudlPnXjr5vaW6mru4TAw&cbp=12,42.22,,0,-24.44
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on July 11, 2011, 05:37:45 PM
It is mixed-case Series D (as indicated on the very few pattern-accurate sign design sheets GDOT produced before they reformed and resumed using Series E Modified and started drawing up plans in SignCAD).
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on July 11, 2011, 05:40:00 PM
the uppercase letters are D.  the lowercase I believe are very close to D as well.

the FHWA lowercase alphabets were not standardized until the early 2000s; each state seems to have come up with a very slightly different interpretation, though most states seemed to use the alphabets which (I believe) Kansas developed by the 60s, with some minor variations here and there.  I know Florida made up their own and that looks noticeably different, as does Washington's (or is that City of Seattle?  either way - there's some interesting 1960s and 70s mixed case signs in that area)... but what you see there on the Georgia sign is close enough to what FHWA settled on by 2002 to just be called FHWA 2002.

this is something JN Winkler mentioned a few months (years?) ago in some thread somewhere; maybe he could recall more accurately than I just did.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: myosh_tino on July 11, 2011, 07:08:04 PM
I don't have any pictures I've taken, but here's an unfortunately-grainy image from Google Street View from NB I-95 at I-16. It doesn't look quite like Series C or Series D to me.

http://maps.google.com/?ll=32.069884,-81.248059&spn=0.027929,0.066047&z=15&layer=c&cbll=32.069966,-81.248019&panoid=tgudlPnXjr5vaW6mru4TAw&cbp=12,42.22,,0,-24.44
Here's a picture of that same sign bridge from the AARoads' Gallery...
(http://www.southeastroads.com/georgia050/i-095_nb_exit_099a_04.jpg)

Here's my recreation of the signs in the photo above using the Roadgeek Series D fonts...
(http://www.markyville.com/aaroads/95-16_Ga.png)
I'd say I got it pretty close although I did have to tinker with the inter-character spacing a little bit.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on July 11, 2011, 07:11:16 PM
the Georgia signs definitely use a thinner stroke ... and also, some glyphs are narrower.  the "n" is especially narrow on the photo compared to the mockup.

I do not know whether this means Georgia deviates from FHWA standard, or if Roadgeek does.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Android on September 07, 2011, 07:15:25 PM
Here's another Wyoming Clearview replacement - one that I'd been expecting ever since I saw it had gotten damaged some time ago.  The previous sign was one of those that WYDOT put up in 2001 with some stretched mixed-case letters. 

Before:
(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/DouglasCasperOddballTypeface.jpg)
Now:
(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/DouglasCasperClearview.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Quillz on September 07, 2011, 07:23:40 PM
That looks much better. The old sign had way too much spacing between the letters, and the type was too thin. This is an example of how Clearview can improve old signage, under certain circumstances.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Brandon on September 07, 2011, 07:31:27 PM
That looks much better. The old sign had way too much spacing between the letters, and the type was too thin. This is an example of how Clearview can improve old signage, under certain circumstances.

Not so sure it's the font so much as the kerning.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Quillz on September 07, 2011, 07:40:10 PM
If the kerning was left alone, then the sign probably could have fit Series D on there. When using a thin font like B or C, the kerning shouldn't be that wide, it makes the sign hard to read.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Android on September 12, 2011, 11:00:17 PM
And here's yet another Wyoming Clearview replacement.  There's tons of examples I could come up with, I'm only posting ones that show something I think is notable or unexpected.   Earlier on I mentioned how the gore sign for NB Exit 25 (I-25) had been replaced a few times and turned in to Clearview, only to get changed back to Series E.  I still don't know why, that exit does not see much traffic at all.   Well, it's not the only one, I spotted this fresh 2011 sign earlier today for the MUCH busier NB Exit 7 in Cheyenne.  I got a photo of it, then I looked to see if I had any pics in my archives of the what it looked like after they resigned that whole stretch a few years back in CV, and I did.  

I'd like to know how the sign shop for WYDOT functions.  There's just no rhyme or reason when it comes to how they are signing the Interstates.

(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/EXIT7-Cheyenne-ClearviewThenHG.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: roadfro on September 13, 2011, 04:36:33 AM
^ I'd like to know who designs these signs for WyDOT... I think I've mentioned this before, but the design of those exit signs is hideous--horrible layout and wrong arrow.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: hbelkins on September 13, 2011, 11:31:49 AM
What's wrong with the arrow?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on September 13, 2011, 11:48:26 AM
What's wrong with the arrow?

my guess is "too big".  seems like it's squeezed into all the available space.  making it 80% as big as it is now would, I think, aid recognition from a distance of both the arrow and the word EXIT.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on September 13, 2011, 11:58:56 AM
No, it's that it should be a Type A arrow—tapered shaft. The straight-shaft arrow is usually intended for things like being stuck next to one-line destinations on conventional road signage, where the tapered shaft arrow wouldn't work. (And usually doesn't have a shaft that long in those instances.)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Android on September 13, 2011, 12:32:51 PM
I'm so used to them that I don't even notice the arrows.  Looking through my photos though I found this one a few miles up was the only one like it I've seen... mini-arrow.

(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/EXIT11-CV.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on September 13, 2011, 01:04:21 PM
Wyoming DOT doesn't do all of its signing in-house (i.e., at a departmental sign shop)--some of it is contracted out.  However, signing plans are developed in-house.  In the latest Wyoming DOT pure sign replacement contract, I804254 (advertised August 2011 and covering I-80 between Exits 187 and 290), a mixture of Clearview and Series E Modified is used even on new installations.  The one thing that is consistent is that arrows with untapered shafts are always used even in contexts where Type A arrows would be preferred, such as gore signs, exit direction signs, conventional-road guide signs where the arrow is on its own line, etc.

In general, Wyoming DOT signing plans are pattern-accurate but consist just of sign layout sheets--no sign design sheets.  I presume that sign shop drawings are generated prior to fabrication and in principle this affords an opportunity for last-minute changes, but it sounds like conditions in the field match the contract plans fairly closely as regards typeface and arrow usage.

This is a typical Wyoming DOT sign layout sheet.

(http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/wiki/images/f/f9/11x17_august.i804254_Page_0077.png)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: roadfro on September 14, 2011, 06:51:19 AM
What's wrong with the arrow?

Scott nailed it. Instead of using a Type A arrow (tapered shaft arrow typical for exit direction signs and exit gore signs) or even a Type B arrow (shorter tapered shaft arrow suggested for certain exit direction sign usages), they've used an oversized Type D arrow (meant for conventional roads).

The use of a particular type of arrow in the MUTCD is guidance, not standard (except for certain restrictions on the down and angle arrows). So it's not technically wrong...but it looks wrong to me...
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on September 16, 2011, 12:22:58 AM
I just got glasses for the first time ever. I can see signs in any font perfectly clearly now, which makes me wonder really why we're bothering with Clearview when better glasses would probably fix the problem for most people.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: 1995hoo on September 16, 2011, 07:48:02 AM
I just got glasses for the first time ever. I can see signs in any font perfectly clearly now, which makes me wonder really why we're bothering with Clearview when better glasses would probably fix the problem for most people.

I got glasses two years ago (made me feel old!) but I find the Clearview signs are still easier to read at a distance than the old ones. The characters seem better-defined. But some Clearview signs are definitely ugly, no doubt about it.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jdb1234 on September 16, 2011, 04:35:22 PM
Here's one from Alabama:

(http://s761.photobucket.com/albums/xx260/jdbarnes1234/100_0421.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: txstateends on September 17, 2011, 08:52:32 AM
In that AL sign, is the spacing between the 2 green control points all right, or should they be separated slightly (vertically spaced, I mean)?  Just to the first glance, they look a bit close; but otherwise overall the sign looks all right.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vtk on September 17, 2011, 01:28:54 PM
In that AL sign, is the spacing between the 2 green control points all right, or should they be separated slightly (vertically spaced, I mean)?  Just to the first glance, they look a bit close; but otherwise overall the sign looks all right.

I think there should probably be a little more space (maybe an inch more? not sure how big the sign actually is) between the bottom two lines, but the error is not of great magnitude.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: CentralCAroadgeek on March 24, 2012, 04:04:51 PM
Sorry to be reviving, but I'd like to share some Clearview street signage from my area.

In Salinas:
(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7226/6865712426_67797b44ea_c.jpg)

In Monterey:
(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7088/6865714614_28c3d1bcd5_c.jpg)

I particularly like the Monterey example better, because the "Ave." part of the sign is in a smaller font than the street name, which I really like.

In my opinion, I actually like Clearview. I actually enjoy seeing Clearview out there.

EDIT: There was also this "Your Speed" sign in my neighborhood that wasn't up for long, and it's also in Clearview.
(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7135/7011845273_6a74635417_c.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: 1995hoo on July 27, 2012, 04:48:03 PM
Reviving this thread because I thought it more appropriate than starting a new one. Don't know why I've never noticed this before, but it sure looks to me as though the font used by our DirecTV DVRs is some version of Clearview—with the exception of the "1" because Clearview doesn't have the horizontal bottom on that number—or else something extremely similar. In this picture I find it noticeable primarily in the word "Dallas."

Compare to the font samples here. (http://clearviewhwy.com/TypefaceDisplay/index.php) Clearview 6-W strikes me as being very close to what DirecTV's using.

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/bccbac01.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: kphoger on July 27, 2012, 05:36:30 PM
That looks similiar to the Trebuchet font, but not exactly.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: KEVIN_224 on July 27, 2012, 07:31:59 PM
Speaking of other fonts on roadway signs, both BGS signs on gantries and LGS signs on the shoulders: What would the font be on the Merritt Parkway (CT Route 15), between Greenwich and Stratford, CT? Signs with this type of lettering do not appear in the rest of the state. Here's an example:

http://goo.gl/maps/IG9z

This is the first overhead gantry along CT Route 15 in Stratford, just after the Merritt Parkway started on the Sikorsky Bridge behind the camera.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Central Avenue on July 27, 2012, 07:55:34 PM
Speaking of other fonts on roadway signs, both BGS signs on gantries and LGS signs on the shoulders: What would the font be on the Merritt Parkway (CT Route 15), between Greenwich and Stratford, CT? Signs with this type of lettering do not appear in the rest of the state. Here's an example:

http://goo.gl/maps/IG9z

That would be ITC Stone Sans (http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/itc/stone-sans/), I believe.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Anonymity Lane on July 27, 2012, 08:02:59 PM
I looked at the other versions of full-width Clearview (ClearviewText and ClearviewADA) and they weren't exact matches; it's possible that it's custom-made for DirecTV. (I tried running it through WhatTheFont: http://www.myfonts.com/WhatTheFont/ (http://www.myfonts.com/WhatTheFont/), but that didn't help. Maybe I could try the forum aspect of it.)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: BigMattFromTexas on July 29, 2012, 07:42:37 PM
Holy piss.  :-o I can't believe two things.. 1) My illiteracy when this was first posted.... 2) That I liked Clearview!? Maybe the more I saw it, and more I saw Highway Gothic, I came to my senses. Now I can't stand the sight of Clearview..
 BigMatt
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Central Avenue on July 29, 2012, 10:31:00 PM
I still like Clearview. Not quite as much as the FHWA Series, but I don't have the contempt for it that many here seem to.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Takumi on July 29, 2012, 10:34:45 PM
^ I saw a sign with your namesake on the Capital Beltway yesterday that looked like it was in Clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 30, 2012, 12:03:29 PM
I saw a sign with your namesake on the Capital Beltway yesterday that looked like it was in Clearview.

Md. 214 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maryland_Route_214) (and Md. 332 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maryland_Route_332), directly east of the D.C. border). 

Central Avenue starts in the District of Columbia and heads almost straight east across Prince George's County and Anne Arundel County, and ends at the Chesapeake Bay.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: doorknob60 on August 27, 2012, 09:40:20 PM
A lot of the street sign labels on traffic lights in Nampa are now in Clearview (not sure when they changed them, I just moved here for school, but Google's images have old non-Clearview signs). Unfortunately I don't yet have pictures, but I could get some soon. I think they look pretty good though, better than the old ones even :)

EDIT: Got a pic, it was from out the window of a moving school bus, but good enough haha.
(http://i.imgur.com/QmJN2.jpg)

I've also seen some in other places in the area, such as Eagle, ID. I don't think there's any on the interstates though, I think they are all put up by local governments so far, none by ITD (as far as I've seen)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Michael on December 02, 2012, 12:23:41 PM
I was reading the Wikipedia article on RIROs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-in/right-out) last night, and one of the pictures (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:2007_09_14_-_MD355_@_NIH_Visitor_Access_2.JPG) was geotagged, so I opened it in Google Maps.  After going into Street View, I noticed this sign for the National Institutes of Health (http://maps.google.com/?ll=38.997697,-77.096654&spn=0.001432,0.00284&t=h&layer=c&cbll=38.997922,-77.096824&panoid=CYoFGvl43NC1H1TbFkRfTg&cbp=12,205.79,,1,1.64&z=19) at the intersection.  To see the intersection itself, zoom out from the sign, then turn the view 90º to the right.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Alps on December 02, 2012, 01:15:46 PM
I was reading the Wikipedia article on RIROs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-in/right-out) last night, and one of the pictures (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:2007_09_14_-_MD355_@_NIH_Visitor_Access_2.JPG) was geotagged, so I opened it in Google Maps.  After going into Street View, I noticed this sign for the National Institutes of Health (http://maps.google.com/?ll=38.997697,-77.096654&spn=0.001432,0.00284&t=h&layer=c&cbll=38.997922,-77.096824&panoid=CYoFGvl43NC1H1TbFkRfTg&cbp=12,205.79,,1,1.64&z=19) at the intersection.  To see the intersection itself, zoom out from the sign, then turn the view 90º to the right.
Now THAT is good looking Clearview. Maybe because it's not on a highway sign.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: brownpelican on December 02, 2012, 05:10:16 PM
LaDOTD is doing a sign replacement project on I-10 in New Orleans proper over this weekend. My suspicion? Clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on December 02, 2012, 11:05:18 PM
I was reading the Wikipedia article on RIROs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-in/right-out) last night, and one of the pictures (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:2007_09_14_-_MD355_@_NIH_Visitor_Access_2.JPG) was geotagged, so I opened it in Google Maps.  After going into Street View, I noticed this sign for the National Institutes of Health (http://maps.google.com/?ll=38.997697,-77.096654&spn=0.001432,0.00284&t=h&layer=c&cbll=38.997922,-77.096824&panoid=CYoFGvl43NC1H1TbFkRfTg&cbp=12,205.79,,1,1.64&z=19) at the intersection.  To see the intersection itself, zoom out from the sign, then turn the view 90º to the right.
Now THAT is good looking Clearview. Maybe because it's not on a highway sign.

No, it's just a particularly well-done application of Clearview. Properly spaced and not too large. I am still not comfortable with the different Clearview widths but I want to say that's Series 5W, which is probably the least offensive of the Clearview variants.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: brownpelican on December 04, 2012, 11:55:06 PM
Confirmed: the new signs put up on I-10 in New Orleans proper are in Clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: JMoses24 on December 17, 2012, 03:23:56 AM
I wonder if there was some road signs tested with Comic Sans MS?  :poke:

There are construction signs stating, "Slow down my daddy works here" in that horrible font. It's messy, little-kid scrawl, and reminds me of high school.

Apologies for bringing this particular one back up... but, the fact that it's "little-kid scrawl" is the point of that particular sign. It's designed to make you think that some kid's dad does work in that area, and that you should want them to be able to see their children.

That said, I otherwise do not endorse the Comic Sans font.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Central Avenue on December 17, 2012, 07:48:19 AM
Apologies for bringing this particular one back up... but, the fact that it's "little-kid scrawl" is the point of that particular sign. It's designed to make you think that some kid's dad does work in that area, and that you should want them to be able to see their children.
We worked that out, thanks. Still doesn't make it acceptable.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: kphoger on December 17, 2012, 09:52:16 AM
I'm a little surprised at how much people on here loathe Clearview and swoon over the FHWA fonts.  From the studies people have cited, neither one stands head-and-shoulders above the other in terms of legibility—even when improperly used (wrong contrast, caps, numerals...).  Most people's opinions just seem to boil down to "it's not aesthetically pleasing to me, therefore I don't think it belongs on a road sign".  That doesn't seem like a roadgeek's response to me.  One font may do marginally better than the other in one situation, and the other better in another situation, but they're both pretty much on par with each other from a practical standpoint, so I have no problem with either one.

/me steps down off the soap box.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on December 17, 2012, 10:24:12 AM
Most people's opinions just seem to boil down to "it's not aesthetically pleasing to me, therefore I don't think it belongs on a road sign".  That doesn't seem like a roadgeek's response to me.

Actually, it is a perfectly valid roadgeek's response.  What it is not is a valid engineer's response.  Roadgeeks are free to have aesthetic preferences; engineers are expected to rely on objective criteria in formulating a design policy with regard to choice of typefaces on signs.  This is why most engineers on here who have commented on Clearview have tended to focus on findings showing that Clearview does not have the promised advantages over the FHWA series (at least under situations typically encountered on the highway system), or that the advantages it does have do not justify the cost of changing all signs over to Clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: kphoger on December 17, 2012, 10:31:07 AM
Most people's opinions just seem to boil down to "it's not aesthetically pleasing to me, therefore I don't think it belongs on a road sign".  That doesn't seem like a roadgeek's response to me.

Actually, it is a perfectly valid roadgeek's response.  What it is not is a valid engineer's response.  Roadgeeks are free to have aesthetic preferences; engineers are expected to rely on objective criteria in formulating a design policy with regard to choice of typefaces on signs.  This is why most engineers on here who have commented on Clearview have tended to focus on findings showing that Clearview does not have the promised advantages over the FHWA series (at least under situations typically encountered on the highway system), or that the advantages it does have do not justify the cost of changing all signs over to Clearview.

Perfectly valid.  So why the knee-jerk reaction to brand-new signs (or ones that would have been replaced anyway) featuring Clearview legend, even when improperly used?  Maybe I just don't know who is an engineer and who is not, and all the knee-jerk reactions are not from engineers.  At any rate, my feathers get much more ruffled when the actual information on the sign is vague or misleading than I do by what font is used.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on December 17, 2012, 10:52:55 AM
I have multiple reasons for not liking Clearview, beyond the aesthetic:

Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on December 17, 2012, 11:59:29 AM
  • The methodology used in the studies saying Clearview is better seem to me to be tilted in favor of Clearview by giving it advantages not afforded to the FHWA Series application it is being tested against. I seem to recall reading that in the test, the Clearview sample was X% bigger than the FHWA Series sample. How can we state for sure that the difference is not due to the font size?

Actually, the studies try to compare Clearview on an equal basis with FHWA:  same capital letter height and so on.  "Clearview sample so much bigger than FHWA" tends to refer to comparisons between FHWA Series E Modified and Clearview 5-W rather than Clearview 5-W-R.  The rule of thumb is that Clearview 5-W-R fits into the same footprint as Series E Modified, while the same message in 5-W is 11% wider.  The stylized comparison is that the additional 11% width buys reading distance 21% greater, while the contribution of 5-W to an increase in overall sign panel size is diluted somewhat by spacing requirements.

A more serious problem with the earlier Clearview studies is that they are based on draft versions of Clearview, so it is unclear whether the results reported in the studies are valid for the versions of Clearview that are commercially available.  The FHWA Clearview FAQ contains information on the comparative performance of Clearview and the FHWA series which I have not seen reported elsewhere in the research literature, so I think there is a significant amount of research and testing that has not been published.

Quote
  • Clearview is copyrighted. FHWA Series is public domain. You have to pay a font license to use Clearview. This line item doesn't matter much to state DOTs, and gets amortized to nothing fairly rapidly, but for local governments, the cost is a greater percentage of the budget and applied to fewer signs. Cost per sign goes up.

AIUI, copyright over Clearview had to be waived in order for FHWA to approve it for use on traffic signs, so the real problem with Clearview from this perspective is not that the font has to be bought, but rather that it can be bought from only one source.

Quote
  • To use Clearview "correctly" according to the federal guidelines, you are restricted to using it to basically "road and location names with no numerals in mixed case on dark backgrounds" since that is the only situation in which Clearview is considered more legible than its competitor. If this is the only thing you are using it for, why bother? It is something of an aesthetic argument, but mixing fonts together willy-nilly like this is considered a general design flaw outside of road contexts.

This is use of a different font in a structured way, so it isn't "willy-nilly"--it is more like using a different typeface for section headings in an academic book.  In fact, it is using only one font family (like Computer Modern) for all style elements in a book that is considered a design fault in some quarters.

A more fundamental argument, from a design perspective, is that Clearview is not fail-safe.  It is much easier to make basic errors in alignment and spacing with Clearview because there is much more variation in ratio of letter height to capital letter height with Clearview than there is with any of the FHWA series.  My personal view--and it is just that, not as an engineer (albeit with some scientific training)--is that an agency should not use Clearview unless it has the quality controls in place to ensure that it is used correctly on signs.[/list][/list][/list]
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: kphoger on December 17, 2012, 01:34:23 PM
I guess my point is that, even when Clearview is not used correctly, and even if its perfect-application legibility (given the study corrections you put forth) is somewhat less than its comparable FHWA font—the negative reactions to it I read on this forum far outweigh the real-world disadvantages to its use.  That is, Clearview from an engineering perspective might be slightly worse than FHWA fonts, but the negative reactions to it are far from slight.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on December 17, 2012, 01:47:41 PM
I guess my point is that, even when Clearview is not used correctly, and even if its perfect-application legibility (given the study corrections you put forth) is somewhat less than its comparable FHWA font—the negative reactions to it I read on this forum far outweigh the real-world disadvantages to its use.  That is, Clearview from an engineering perspective might be slightly worse than FHWA fonts, but the negative reactions to it are far from slight.

I think that's just how the internet works.

THIS OBJECT, PROGRAM, AND/OR SUGGESTION IS 0.36% MORE INFERIOR TO WHAT I'M USED TO!  HOW COULD YOU!!  CATS WITH CAPTIONS!!!238!!!
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on December 17, 2012, 03:10:34 PM
In addition to Jake's observation about Internet discussion tending to magnify small contrasts, roadgeeks are to the ordinary driving population as bibliophiles are to ordinary consumers of print media.  Clearview is a large change in visual appearance for a legibility gain that is, at the margin, quite small for many age groups.  The population of this forum is also strongly skewed toward the young compared to the population at large, and young eyes benefit from Clearview to a much lesser degree than older eyes.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Dr Frankenstein on December 17, 2012, 04:34:33 PM
Regarding copyright, I think a detail has to be underlined here:

Typeface designs are not protected by copyright under the United States law. However, the ClearviewHwy font files are protected by copyright because they are computer programs.

This means that if someone makes their own implementation of Clearview by copying or tracing over renders, specs or pictures (like Mike did for the Roadgeek font set), they are not violating the copyright law.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on December 17, 2012, 08:24:46 PM
Regarding copyright, I think a detail has to be underlined here:

Typeface designs are not protected by copyright under the United States law. However, the ClearviewHwy font files are protected by copyright because they are computer programs.

This means that if someone makes their own implementation of Clearview by copying or tracing over renders, specs or pictures (like Mike did for the Roadgeek font set), they are not violating the copyright law.

All of this is true, but I don't think it adds up to a full picture of the legal position with regard to intellectual property in Clearview.  My understanding is that since the designers are not asserting copyright in the glyphs (which in any case does not exist in the US), it would be legally possible for a third party to create a full set of Clearview fonts by drawing them from the specs.  However, published specs do not exist for Clearview, unlike for the FHWA alphabet series.  So Clearview effectively has trade secret protection, which is obtained simply by refraining from publishing technical specs, not through an operation of law such as copyright or the granting of a patent.  I believe this is what allows Terminal Design to retain a monopoly on Clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on December 18, 2012, 12:22:48 AM
Keep in mind, kphoger, these are the rational arguments for which there is some attempt being made to be logical about it. These might be combined with a more intense emotional or aesthetic response.

Personally, my mind interprets the larger counter spaces on Clearview to be more "happy" and "inviting", which makes it seem dissonant on road signs, which are frequently telling you to not do X action. It's like seeing Comic Sans on your 401(k) statement.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Takumi on January 01, 2013, 04:09:22 PM
This was the first time I'd seen a Clearview mixed-case distance sign. Aside from the numbers, it looks surprisingly decent.
(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-XUq9Zp9G-6c/UM8__CT0gcI/AAAAAAAAE28/JBxabd-in50/s640/IMG_0607.JPG)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Kacie Jane on January 01, 2013, 11:10:42 PM
Keep in mind, kphoger, these are the rational arguments for which there is some attempt being made to be logical about it. These might be combined with a more intense emotional or aesthetic response.

Personally, my mind interprets the larger counter spaces on Clearview to be more "happy" and "inviting", which makes it seem dissonant on road signs, which are frequently telling you to not do X action. It's like seeing Comic Sans on your 401(k) statement.

It may be worth pointing out that the approved use of Clearview -- positive contrast -- is (perhaps coincidentally) typically not the type of sign telling you not to do X action.  I don't have a problem interpreting the above sign as "happily inviting" motorists to Hopewell, Seven Pines, or Mechanicsville.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: DaBigE on January 02, 2013, 02:19:04 AM
This was the first time I'd seen a Clearview mixed-case distance sign. Aside from the numbers, it looks surprisingly decent.
(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-XUq9Zp9G-6c/UM8__CT0gcI/AAAAAAAAE28/JBxabd-in50/s640/IMG_0607.JPG)

Not to get too far off-topic, but I am really surprised to see that much sign area on just one post (what appears to be 2" square tube). :wow:  That assembly must see some nice 'helicoptering' in higher winds.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: hbelkins on January 02, 2013, 09:23:20 AM
This was the first time I'd seen a Clearview mixed-case distance sign. Aside from the numbers, it looks surprisingly decent.
(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-XUq9Zp9G-6c/UM8__CT0gcI/AAAAAAAAE28/JBxabd-in50/s640/IMG_0607.JPG)

You don't see that in Virginia very often with non-Clearview fonts. Offhand, I can't recall seeing a "mileage board" that wasn't in all caps.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on January 02, 2013, 11:24:41 AM
You don't see that in Virginia very often with non-Clearview fonts. Offhand, I can't recall seeing a "mileage board" that wasn't in all caps.

VDOT is slowly pulling up its socks with regard to Clearview.  The first round of Clearview D-series small-guide-sign replacements called for mileage signs in all-uppercase Clearview (ugh) as drop-in replacements for existing mileage signs which used all-uppercase Series C or D.  Later replacement contracts now use mixed-case.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: tdindy88 on January 02, 2013, 12:27:56 PM
I recall mileage signs like that on US 31 in Northern Michigan, from about Scottsville to Traverse City, last year. For that matter, I'm pretty sure that all white-on-green signs on that stretch were both in mixed-case and Clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on January 02, 2013, 06:25:46 PM
Yup--that's the current Michigan DOT standard for D-series signs that use Clearview.  I have been following Michigan DOT construction plans since 2006 and I don't think I have ever seen a plans set (or sign sketches in a proposal book) that uses all-uppercase Clearview in this context.

Michigan DOT has an unusual letter sizing policy:  7" caps instead of 6" (MUTCD requirement) or 8" (TxDOT standard--TxDOT also uses mixed-case Clearview on D-series signs).
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Ian on January 02, 2013, 09:52:26 PM
I saw these signs during my trip up to Albany this past week. I'm assuming these are only Albany County installed, as NYSDOT hasn't switched to Clearview as far as I know. I hope I'm right.
(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8504/8340758640_c1779ca04c_z.jpg)

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8504/8339698313_875c2caa0f_z.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Takumi on January 02, 2013, 10:22:27 PM
Hey, at least those don't have numbers. Clearview numbers should never ever be used on anything under any circumstances. Ever.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on January 03, 2013, 01:29:29 AM
Oklahoma DOT is also transitioning to mixed-case guide signs, although which font is being used on them is kind of hit-or-miss. Out in Beckham County, SH-152 has some mixed case Series D signs, but mixed-case Clearview has popped up on SH-19 in Garvin County. (The latter sign also included a shield graphic, instead of the "JCT SH-59" format that's normally used.)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vdeane on January 03, 2013, 11:29:29 AM
Hey, at least those don't have numbers. Clearview numbers should never ever be used on anything under any circumstances. Ever.
I've never understood the hate for clearview numbers.  They don't seem to have any issues the letters don't have.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: DaBigE on January 03, 2013, 12:32:34 PM
Hey, at least those don't have numbers. Clearview numbers should never ever be used on anything under any circumstances. Ever.
I've never understood the hate for clearview numbers.  They don't seem to have any issues the letters don't have.

Part of the reason, I think, is because there was never really a documented problem with the FHWA numbers to begin with (nor all uppercase letters), therefore, changing them is a waste of time in a scientific sense. The reason for the Clearview font were due in part to problems with halation/confusion with the lowercase letters a,e, and o.

From a typographical sense, it looks awkward/less eye-pleasing to have two different fonts in the same line. It's also much easier(/lazier?) for the person laying out the sign to keep the same font all the way through.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on January 03, 2013, 12:40:45 PM
there was never really a documented problem with the FHWA numbers to begin with (nor all uppercase letters),

I have trouble with FHWA Series EM "6" and "4".

once got a ticket that way!

(in my defense, the sign was knocked down and the setting sun was bouncing off of it, so I should be glad that I recognized that it was a sign in the first place... but I didn't feel like paying $400 for airfare to beat a $135 ticket)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vtk on January 16, 2013, 11:51:16 PM
Went to Bobby Layman Chevrolet today. Noticed wayfinding signage all around (more necessary than usual due to showroom rebuild).  Reflective, blue on white with inset border, standard arrows, and all-caps legend in Clearview, differing widths as necessary.  I think the dealership probably commissioned Franklin County Engineer's Office for the signs.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 17, 2013, 02:13:17 AM
This was the first time I'd seen a Clearview mixed-case distance sign. Aside from the numbers, it looks surprisingly decent.
(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-XUq9Zp9G-6c/UM8__CT0gcI/AAAAAAAAE28/JBxabd-in50/s640/IMG_0607.JPG)

You don't see that in Virginia very often with non-Clearview fonts. Offhand, I can't recall seeing a "mileage board" that wasn't in all caps.

I know there are varying opinions out there regarding Clearview, but this is (IMO) a nice update to a very traditional Virginia sign, and I think it looks better than the "original" all caps version.  I have never seen one like this with my own eyes.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: hbelkins on January 17, 2013, 02:39:48 PM
There's something I've noticed about Clearview mileage signs (BGS-type on the interstates) that looked a little odd to me, and I was never able to put my finger on what it was. This sign has clarified it for me.

Always before, on regular FHWA typeface signs, numbers for the mileage were the height of the capital letters.

On this CV sign, and also the newer interstate mileage signs that have gone up in Kentucky, the numbers are the height of the lower case letters.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on January 17, 2013, 03:00:23 PM
On this CV sign, and also the newer interstate mileage signs that have gone up in Kentucky, the numbers are the height of the lower case letters.

you have a valid observation, but I do not believe it is completely correct.  I think the "oddness" is a result of two things:

1) numbers being slightly shorter than capital letters (or maybe the same height?  tough to tell in the small photo)

and more importantly:

2) extra-tall ascenders on lowercase letters like "h", "l", etc resulting in those glyphs being significantly taller than capital letters.

I definitely can tell that the "i" in "Pines" sticks out well above the "P", but that is about the only glyph pair on which I can make accurate sizing determinations, as - again - it's a pretty low-resolution photo.

can anyone corroborate these observations?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Takumi on January 17, 2013, 03:36:18 PM
I can go get a better photo of it if you want. It's only about 10 miles away from me.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Kacie Jane on January 17, 2013, 05:29:29 PM
can anyone corroborate these observations?

Corroborate, no.  But I was thinking exactly what you were, but it's hard to tell with the photo given.  It looks to me that there are three heights: (A) lowercase letters, (B) uppercase letters and numbers, and (C) tall lowercase letters; and my hunch is that hbelkins is thrown off because A is a much higher percentage of B than we're used to, and C is also a fair bit taller than we're used to.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on January 17, 2013, 06:08:47 PM
Corroborate, no.  But I was thinking exactly what you were, but it's hard to tell with the photo given.  It looks to me that there are three heights: (A) lowercase letters, (B) uppercase letters and numbers, and (C) tall lowercase letters; and my hunch is that hbelkins is thrown off because A is a much higher percentage of B than we're used to, and C is also a fair bit taller than we're used to.

I basically agree with this; I think the numbers are at capital letter height, as is usual on mileage signs.  (I have, however, collected designs for mileage signs in which the numbers were noticeably smaller than the capital letters, though only for signs using Series E Modified.)

Ignoring the very slight height variation that is permitted for letters that have curves in them, there are basically four heights above baseline that apply to Clearview.  In ascending order, these are as follows:

x-height (basically, the height of a lowercase letter without ascenders)

*  Capital letter height (applies not just to capital letters but also to digits and certain lowercase letters with ascenders, such as t)

*  Height of certain lowercase letters with ascenders (f, h, l, and others)

*  Height of lowercase i

I have bidding plans for most if not all of the signing work VDOT has done by contract in the last few years, and I can assure you that VDOT has been very consistent about using the same height for capital letters and digits on mileage signs.  I am not sure I have the sign panel detail sheet for this particular sign, however (not all VDOT signing is done by contract--some of it is done by state forces and there have been a few on-call signing contracts in the mix).
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on January 17, 2013, 06:42:37 PM
*  Height of certain lowercase letters with ascenders (f, h, l, and others)

is this height, as given in the Clearview specification, unusually tall compared to Highway Gothic? i.e. what HB would be used to seeing?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on January 17, 2013, 11:06:58 PM
*  Height of certain lowercase letters with ascenders (f, h, l, and others)

is this height, as given in the Clearview specification, unusually tall compared to Highway Gothic? i.e. what HB would be used to seeing?

The ascenders for this height group stick up about 6.6% of capital letter height above the tops of the capital letters.  I don't know if this is "unusual," but it is a characteristic completely absent from the FHWA alphabet series, where ascenders never stick up above the tops of the capital letters.  Lowercase i protrudes about 10% of capital letter height above the tops of the capital letters; in the FHWA series the dot of i never protrudes above the capital letters.

This behavior of Clearview ascenders is why I can't use my standard positioning scripts on Clearview legend blocks without using adjuster scripts to compensate for ascenders in any lines of legend that have them.  I could do without the adjusters, but considering that omitting them adds an error to line spacing equal to 1/10 or 1/7 the correct line spacing, the results look subtly but noticeably wrong.

(FHWA says that the standard line spacing of 75% capital letter height for Series E Modified legend is wrong for Clearview, and that 84% capital letter height should be used instead, that being apparently the ratio of Clearview x-height to capital letter height.  I am sorry, but on this point I think FHWA is wrong, so I stick with 75%.  Most Clearview-using state DOTs agree with me.)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on January 18, 2013, 01:28:45 PM
Comparison of real sign and mockup using de facto Virginia DOT standards for conventional-road mileage signs (Clearview 3-W):

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-XUq9Zp9G-6c/UM8__CT0gcI/AAAAAAAAE28/JBxabd-in50/s640/IMG_0607.JPG)

(http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/wiki/images/f/f8/Virginia-dot-conventional-road-mileage-sign.png)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Takumi on January 18, 2013, 10:36:33 PM
Here's another example of VDOT's transition to proper Clearview. This is on US 60 eastbound in New Kent County. This was taken in November, but an FHWA style sign in all caps was here until July.
(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-YcjOcu30pME/UPmvYsd9CpI/AAAAAAAAFWw/SxuQYljtw2w/s640/IMG_0316.JPG)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vdeane on July 08, 2013, 08:28:58 PM
Yates County, NY appears to have adopted  clearview.  I noticed clearview county and town line signs.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on July 08, 2013, 11:14:25 PM
Here's another example of VDOT's transition to proper Clearview. This is on US 60 eastbound in New Kent County. This was taken in November, but an FHWA style sign in all caps was here until July.
(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-YcjOcu30pME/UPmvYsd9CpI/AAAAAAAAFWw/SxuQYljtw2w/s640/IMG_0316.JPG)

VDOT seems to have gotten its act together. This looks pretty decent too.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: cu2010 on July 09, 2013, 05:09:39 AM
Yates County, NY appears to have adopted  clearview.  I noticed clearview county and town line signs.

NYSDOT signs, or local ones?

I've seen a few Clearview NYSDOT signs around...one that comes to mind is US9 southbound at the northern terminus of NY9D in Wappingers Falls. I've seen a Clearview sign on NY104 as well.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vdeane on July 09, 2013, 09:32:31 PM
Good question; I assumed county, since I had only seen them there (NY 14 south entering from Ontario County, and NY 54 entering Penn Yan).  Not that I'd be surprised if NYSDOT adopted clearview, given that they often adopt whatever signing thing the Thruway does after a few years (such as the rounded exit tabs).
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: upstatenyroads on July 15, 2013, 09:21:44 PM
I saw these signs during my trip up to Albany this past week. I'm assuming these are only Albany County installed, as NYSDOT hasn't switched to Clearview as far as I know. I hope I'm right.
(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8504/8340758640_c1779ca04c_z.jpg)

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8504/8339698313_875c2caa0f_z.jpg)

They are NYSDOT installs. NYSDOT has not switched to Clearview, however, not because NYSDOT has switched to Clearview but because one of the contractors thought they had to and just started producing everything in Clearview.  I believe the misunderstanding has since been corrected.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: deathtopumpkins on August 11, 2013, 12:30:45 AM
Dunno if it's been mentioned before, but it appears Maine may have jumped on the Clearview bandwagon. In Brewer today I spotted a Clearview "downtown" patch on a sign for I-395. Only Clearview I've seen in the state though.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: yakra on August 12, 2013, 06:07:26 PM
Oh dear Lord...
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Ian on August 12, 2013, 08:38:47 PM
Dunno if it's been mentioned before, but it appears Maine may have jumped on the Clearview bandwagon. In Brewer today I spotted a Clearview "downtown" patch on a sign for I-395. Only Clearview I've seen in the state though.

Was it this?

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8225/8598846314_7f4b747eab_z.jpg)

Please tell me it was this, because it isn't Clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: deathtopumpkins on August 12, 2013, 08:46:38 PM
I believe it was that.

From the angle of your picture it looks pretty similar to Clearview but more like a generic computer typeface. When I drove through there it was at sunset so I couldn't really get too close of a look.

What is it?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Ian on August 12, 2013, 08:52:38 PM
I believe it was that.

From the angle of your picture it looks pretty similar to Clearview but more like a generic computer typeface. When I drove through there it was at sunset so I couldn't really get too close of a look.

What is it?

I'm no font expert, but I think it's Helvetica. If this is what you saw, then I guess MaineDOT isn't using Clearview (phew)! IIRC, this sign's been here for several years.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: PHLBOS on August 13, 2013, 08:59:18 AM
I'm no font expert, but I think it's Helvetica. If this is what you saw, then I guess MaineDOT isn't using Clearview (phew)! IIRC, this sign's been here for several years.
The font on that US 1A Downtown BGS is clearly Helvetica; not too different from what I've seen on DRPA-spec'd signage.  I'd be curious to know what was under that Helvetica Downtown sheeting?

Is Maine still using state-named I-shields on their BGS'?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Android on August 30, 2013, 03:15:34 AM
I've talked a fair amount about Dimvi...err...Clearview in this thread over the last few years in regards to what I've seen in Wyoming.  I've not changed my opinion, I think Clearview letters work as intended, but it looks like ass. The numbers are another story...   

Here, I've gathered a handful of recent before & after images:

I've posted a few examples of WY DOT putting up some Highway Gothic signs even after Clearview was in place.   One of which was a exit/gore sign at Exit 54... well here's three versions - a "patched" HG sign from 2008, HG from 2011 and now, Clearview in 2013.   I think Clearview letters work OK, but the numbers are really hideous - and I really wish WYDOT would not use the numbers.  Gack!

(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/Exit54Gore-BeforeAndAfter.jpg)

Speaking of that exit, in 2010, they put up a new sign, the main sign was in Clearview but the Exit Tab was in Series D! 
Sadly, I noticed just recently that the Series D tab had been changed to Clearview (didn't have my camera ready for a shot of the new sign though)

(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/ChugwaterCV-EXIT54SeriesD.jpg)

EDIT:  I got a shot of it today.  I hadn't noticed that that both signs were replaced, so I'm guessing something wiped that assembly out and required both to be replaced. 

(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/Exit54ChugwaterClearview2.jpg)


Next up, a Wheatland exit BGS.  The Clearview one is definitely more legible. 

(... and I have no idea why they decided to drop the Green Loop shield)

(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/Exit78Wheatland2-Before.jpg)
(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/Exit78Wheatland2-After.jpg)

Another similar comparison from a few miles south, again, I think the number 39 is easier to read in HG-E than CV.  Otherwise the CV sign works better in a fugly sort of way. 

(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/Exit39LlittleBear-Before.jpg)
(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/Exit39LlittleBear-After.jpg)


And that brings to one of the laments I have about WY DOT's changing out signs.  In the early 2000s, they were experimenting with a couple of different typefaces.  One was a variant of Highway Gothic D/E, you might say.  The other was a really bold typeface, you might call it Series F Modified (or Bold)  And there are/were a number of these signs between Douglas (where I live) and Cheyenne.  These signs are now disappearing, which I think is a shame, for one they were unique, and for two, the replacements are Clearview. 

First example isn't much, as there are only 4 letters.  The Lusk exit.  This was the funky D/E typeface and the Clearview replacement:

(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/Exit126-Lusk-Before.jpg)
(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/Exit126-Lusk-After.jpg)


Now, I really happened to like that F-bold typeface.  Here's a recent replacement:

(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/ElRancho1Mile-Before.jpg)
(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/ElRancho1Mile-After.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on August 30, 2013, 05:01:44 AM
Both of those are distortions of the real FHWA Series fonts, not a new typeface. I doubt it was even intentional on WYDOT's part, just someone who designs signs badly. It's actually kind of better for them to be replaced.

The provisional approval for Clearview still mandates use of FHWA Series digits, so WYDOT actually was following correct practice but isn't now.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Android on August 30, 2013, 06:44:28 AM
Well, I can see your point... but I have no problems with that "bold-F" style at all.  I'll be sad when it's all gone...   I did say "variant" and not that it was some kind of new typeface.  And I will NEVER like Clearview numerals.   
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on August 30, 2013, 11:34:57 AM
also note the different shield shape for 18/20.  '57 spec (used for California-style cutout) replaced with '70 spec bloaters.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vtk on September 09, 2013, 02:18:09 PM
In case someone hasn't noticed, Ohio DOT has been doing things like this from time to time:

(http://vidthekid.info/imghost/badsign-cvreg.jpg)

(I-270 EB approaching OH 315 and US 23)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: seicer on September 09, 2013, 02:46:41 PM
The Wyoming examples showed that the DOT really didn't understand kerning and other typography principles, and the proper usage of fonts. I think that the Clearview examples stand out so nicely only because the 'prior' examples provided showcased some of the worse FHWA Series used.

@VTK: That sign is due to the heavy weaving from OH 315 and US 23 traffic. Those interchanges are going to be reconstructed at some point in the short term.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vtk on September 09, 2013, 03:00:42 PM
That sign is due to the heavy weaving from OH 315 and US 23 traffic. Those interchanges are going to be reconstructed at some point in the short term.

I knew that.  But I'm pretty sure this sign isn't supposed to be in Clearview.  And I'm not sure why the old one was replaced, though I suppose it might have been severely damaged by a wayward vehicle…

And I'm not sure how accurate "short term" is.  I don't think the weaving is scheduled to be corrected in the next couple of years, and beyond that is totally questionable considering the Kasich administration keeps reshuffling road money at least twice a year.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: seicer on September 09, 2013, 03:16:34 PM
Is there a restriction on where Clearview can be use in Ohio or elsewhere? I wasn't aware of that. ODOT has been using Clearview on all new signage - and doing a good job at it (in comparison to other states, like Pennsylvania).
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vtk on September 09, 2013, 03:22:28 PM
As far as I was aware, the interim approval of Clearview nationally was for the xW fonts in positive contrast only (not xB fonts in negative contrast).  Am I wrong about that?  There's a buttload of old posts to read in this thread…
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Central Avenue on September 09, 2013, 05:07:22 PM
You're correct. From the interim approval memo (http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/res-ia_clearview_font.htm) itself (emphasis mine):

Quote
Conditions of Interim Approval: Spacing of Clearview font shall follow the spacing tables for Clearview, and not SHS E-modified. This includes the use of the Clearview 5-W(R) spacing tables for overhead conditions that may not accommodate a Clearview 5-W legend in replacement of existing E-modified legends. Action word messages and cardinal directions shall remain in all upper case letters and the first upper case letter of a cardinal direction shall be 10 percent greater in height for conventional road guide signs as per Table 2E.1 through Table 2E.4 of the 2003 MUTCD for expressway/freeway guide signs. The Clearview font should not be used on negative contrast signs until research demonstrates the effectiveness.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Android on September 09, 2013, 08:59:58 PM
The Wyoming examples showed that the DOT really didn't understand kerning and other typography principles, and the proper usage of fonts. I think that the Clearview examples stand out so nicely only because the 'prior' examples provided showcased some of the worse FHWA Series used.

The "previous" signs on two of my WY examples, Exit 78 and 39, were, at last to my eyes, pretty standard-fare Highway Gothic signs.  Now, maybe I'm wrong about that, as people nitpick little stuff in this thread that I probably would never notice!... (and I thought I was "anal" about that sort of thing!!).. but those two examples looked pretty 'normal' to me... 

-Andy
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on September 12, 2013, 05:43:50 AM
The Wyoming examples showed that the DOT really didn't understand kerning and other typography principles, and the proper usage of fonts. I think that the Clearview examples stand out so nicely only because the 'prior' examples provided showcased some of the worse FHWA Series used.

The "previous" signs on two of my WY examples, Exit 78 and 39, were, at last to my eyes, pretty standard-fare Highway Gothic signs.  Now, maybe I'm wrong about that, as people nitpick little stuff in this thread that I probably would never notice!... (and I thought I was "anal" about that sort of thing!!).. but those two examples looked pretty 'normal' to me... 

-Andy

Those are fine. It is 'Lusk' (and the 'EAST' on that sign) and 'El Rancho Road' that were badly done.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: PHLBOS on September 18, 2013, 11:43:35 AM
You're correct. From the interim approval memo (http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/res-ia_clearview_font.htm) itself (emphasis mine):

Quote
Conditions of Interim Approval: Spacing of Clearview font shall follow the spacing tables for Clearview, and not SHS E-modified. This includes the use of the Clearview 5-W(R) spacing tables for overhead conditions that may not accommodate a Clearview 5-W legend in replacement of existing E-modified legends. Action word messages and cardinal directions shall remain in all upper case letters and the first upper case letter of a cardinal direction shall be 10 percent greater in height for conventional road guide signs as per Table 2E.1 through Table 2E.4 of the 2003 MUTCD for expressway/freeway guide signs. The Clearview font should not be used on negative contrast signs until research demonstrates the effectiveness.

That certainly hasn't stopped PennDOT nor PTC from doing the above on many of their signs.  They've since gotten a little better w/such in recent years but there's still some non-conforming negative contrast signs w/Clearview being fabricated and erected out there.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Crazy Volvo Guy on September 20, 2013, 03:44:04 PM
In case someone hasn't noticed, Ohio DOT has been doing things like this from time to time:

(http://vidthekid.info/imghost/badsign-cvreg.jpg)

(I-270 EB approaching OH 315 and US 23)

Funny, I drove past there the other day and said out loud "Oh, look! Improper use of Clearview!" (Of course, I think use of Clearview period is improper, but that's all I'm going to say about that.)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Pete from Boston on September 23, 2013, 08:00:39 PM
Unpremeditated experience -- I was in Vermont Friday night and had an uncharacteristically difficult time reading the signs (to be fair, it was a rental with a different headlight profile that that to which I'm accustomed).

Sure enough, the whole state seems to have gone Clearview.

Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: agentsteel53 on September 23, 2013, 08:04:52 PM
Unpremeditated experience -- I was in Vermont Friday night and had an uncharacteristically difficult time reading the signs (to be fair, it was a rental with a different headlight profile that that to which I'm accustomed).

Sure enough, the whole state seems to have gone Clearview.

as much as I love old button copy and dislike Clearview... I'd be hard-pressed to say it isn't an improvement.  some of the 1980s button copy on 91 was pathologically ratty - in inclement weather, it was literally impossible to read: no contrast whatsoever.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Central Avenue on September 26, 2013, 05:13:49 PM
I feel the same way. ODOT's been replacing a lot of signage in my area lately, and as much as I'm sad to see the button copy go, as someone who does a lot of nighttime driving, I definitely appreciate the readability improvement from the new retroreflective signs. Makes me feel somewhat conflicted...
Title: Just my take on Clearview
Post by: Billy F 1988 on October 13, 2013, 04:42:29 PM
It seems that people seem to have a petty problem with Clearview and where it is going. I want to clear the air here and tell you that I personally do not any major issues with the application of Clearview in highway settings. However, one of the nuances that has held back its application is the fact the FHWA didn't find any feasibility in Clearview due to a variety of factors such as readability, visibility from 1,500 feet, and the structure of every glyph just to name a few. Another nuance is the potential for design issues in sequential one-mile interval signs. The next nuance is the numbers 0-9. They're not as pretty as the Highway Gothic digits that have been with us since 1948. Another is its application in exit tabs. Kearning could be a factor in how it is designed. Road markers like Interstates, US Highways, state routes and secondary roads also play a factor in Clearview. It just doesn't look as good theoretically speaking. I can't see the use of Clearview on an Interstate shield. It's just ugly. Address labels on mailboxes? Mmmm, yeah. Maybe. Street blades? Nah. Not really. Maybe text, but not numbers on blades. Besides these nuances that are holding back Clearview from being applied to highway settings, despite the fact that several eastern states like Virginia, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, and Texas are already applying Clearview, Highway Gothic will still be in service and won't be completely outserved by Clearview. So, the gist of my take on Clearview in closing is simply that it's going to take time. Let the Clearview haters be Clearview haters. That is all.
Title: Re: Just my take on Clearview
Post by: Takumi on October 13, 2013, 06:32:24 PM
(http://cdn.meme.li/instances/300x300/42113275.jpg)
Title: Re: Just my take on Clearview
Post by: hbelkins on October 13, 2013, 06:37:23 PM
I can't see the use of Clearview on an Interstate shield. It's just ugly.

(http://www.millenniumhwy.net/2008_Michigan_Day_2/Images/65.jpg)
Title: Re: Just my take on Clearview
Post by: Thing 342 on October 13, 2013, 06:52:29 PM
Someone in another thread mentioned that Clearview was a lot like New Coke. It may have tested better than Highway Gothic, but it faced a negative reaction by the public (in this case the forum) due to nostalgia.


Title: Re: Just my take on Clearview
Post by: mukade on October 13, 2013, 08:25:41 PM
...despite the fact that several eastern states like Virginia, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, and Texas are already applying Clearview, Highway Gothic will still be in service and won't be completely outserved by Clearview...

Indiana does not use Clearview.
Title: Re: Just my take on Clearview
Post by: mukade on October 13, 2013, 08:31:08 PM
Someone in another thread mentioned that Clearview was a lot like New Coke. It may have tested better than Highway Gothic, but it faced a negative reaction by the public (in this case the forum) due to nostalgia.

Nexus 7 now Free (http://'http://tapatalk.com/m?id=10')

It is less about nostalgia and more about:
1) Overblown claims of benefits
2) Immense waste by some states to replace a large number of perfectly good signs
3) It seemed to be a solution in search of a problem
Title: Re: Just my take on Clearview
Post by: Big John on October 13, 2013, 09:00:26 PM
...despite the fact that several eastern states like Virginia, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, and Texas are already applying Clearview, Highway Gothic will still be in service and won't be completely outserved by Clearview...

Indiana does not use Clearview.
He may have meany Illinois or Kentucky.
Title: Re: Just my take on Clearview
Post by: corco on October 13, 2013, 09:33:27 PM
Quote
3) It seemed to be a solution in search of a problem

That's my problem with it- progress is inevitable, and people who don't accept that are going to live miserable lives, but there's no reason to change things just for the sake of change, and that's what Clearview wreaks of.
Title: Re: Just my take on Clearview
Post by: getemngo on October 13, 2013, 09:54:38 PM
Hey, here's an idea! How about we just let the most legible font for each application be used for that application, regardless of how "ugly" it is?

2) Immense waste by some states to replace a large number of perfectly good signs

But yeah, let's put a stop to this. Looking at you, Michigan.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: PurdueBill on October 13, 2013, 11:09:10 PM
...despite the fact that several eastern states like Virginia, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, and Texas are already applying Clearview, Highway Gothic will still be in service and won't be completely outserved by Clearview...

Indiana does not use Clearview.

There is some Clearview on the Indiana Toll Road, near Chicago.  INDOT doesn't use it in general though.

I have wondered; does the Clearview FAQ (http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/clearviewdesignfaqs/index.htm) carry any weight; are the things it says in policy somewhere?  It would be nice if at least some of the things that recent PA signage has (like all-caps and numerals in FHWA lettering with only destinations in Clearview) could be adopted everywhere....Ohio's Clearview signs all have everything in Clearview but the shield numerals--including sometimes negative contrast words and sometimes not.

And indeed, there have been many places I've seen perfectly good signage replaced in order to make it Clearview; Michigan did a lot of this especially.  I am glad that two states I have lived in (Massachusetts and Indiana) have declined to use it; I wish Ohio would knock it off. 
Title: Re: Just my take on Clearview
Post by: Billy F 1988 on October 14, 2013, 12:59:07 AM
...despite the fact that several eastern states like Virginia, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, and Texas are already applying Clearview, Highway Gothic will still be in service and won't be completely outserved by Clearview...

Indiana does not use Clearview.

Wait, what? I swore I thought they used it. I probably had mistaken Indiana for Illinois then.

And as for this:
(http://www.millenniumhwy.net/2008_Michigan_Day_2/Images/65.jpg)

Bleh! That's exactly what I mentioned about the Clearview numbers. GACK! :P Well, now that I've seen this photo of an Interstate shield with Clearview applied to it, this proves my point of just how ugly it looks. Something like a Maine-styled font face would work in conjunction with Clearview, but then again, I highly doubt it.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vtk on October 14, 2013, 03:09:31 AM
And indeed, there have been many places I've seen perfectly good signage replaced in order to make it Clearview; Michigan did a lot of this especially.  I am glad that two states I have lived in (Massachusetts and Indiana) have declined to use it; I wish Ohio would knock it off. 

I don't think Ohio is replacing signs just for the sake of switching to Clearview.  I think they're attempting to replace signs that are old, not reflective enough, or otherwise deficient.  The new signs are Clearview because that's the policy for new signs in most districts, but this is not the reason the replacement is happening.  The main problem is ODOT seems to be terrible at identifying and prioritizing the deficient signs, so relatively new signs get replaced needlessly while very old signs that are faded or falling apart remain in service.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: hbelkins on October 14, 2013, 09:55:56 AM
I've seen some street signs in Indiana in Clearview, but none on state highways.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: PurdueBill on October 14, 2013, 10:00:40 AM
And indeed, there have been many places I've seen perfectly good signage replaced in order to make it Clearview; Michigan did a lot of this especially.  I am glad that two states I have lived in (Massachusetts and Indiana) have declined to use it; I wish Ohio would knock it off. 

I don't think Ohio is replacing signs just for the sake of switching to Clearview.  I think they're attempting to replace signs that are old, not reflective enough, or otherwise deficient.  The new signs are Clearview because that's the policy for new signs in most districts, but this is not the reason the replacement is happening.  The main problem is ODOT seems to be terrible at identifying and prioritizing the deficient signs, so relatively new signs get replaced needlessly while very old signs that are faded or falling apart remain in service.

My comment in the second sentence wasn't really tied to the first, but I didn't want to start a whole new paragraph--I just wish Ohio would knock it off with the Clearview totally--not just for the sake of replacing signs that don't need it.  :D

You are totally correct about the main problem in Ohio--I know of signs that have gone through 2 or 3 replacements while ones in much worse shape still stand.  (315 north of Columbus is a major offender--I love the old signs for their button copy and resilience, but they are in TERRIBLE shape and worthless at night.  Meanwhile the 2001-ish button copy installed on I-70 west of downtown was replaced only a couple years later with reflective (not Clearview at least) signs while the button copy there could have at least served 15 years probably.  (The first two photos on this page (http://www.roadfan.com/670signs.html) show some of the ones I'm talking about--the 670 ones never even had the orange panel removed to reveal "Airport" before they were replaced!
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: TCN7JM on October 14, 2013, 10:13:55 AM
It seems Clearview is coming to the Dakotas in small increments. Most, if not all of the perfectly good BGSs on southbound Interstate 29 in North Dakota were replaced with Clearview ones within the past couple months. Luckily, I haven't seen much of it in South Dakota. Even though I easily prefer Highway Gothic, I don't honestly mind Clearview. My problem with it is that they took the time to replace signs that had no business being replaced.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: TEG24601 on October 14, 2013, 12:36:46 PM
Having spent a lot of time driving, I happen to like Clearview, for one simple reason... I can read the sign at 70+ MPH, without struggling and can read it at greater distances.  While I know usually where I'm going (been reading maps since I was 2) I have always struggled to read Highway Gothic road signs at any speed over 55.  I do believe that both can serve a useful purpose, I just don't understand the continual bashing of something that may actually make life easier for a majority of drivers.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: hbelkins on October 14, 2013, 01:19:22 PM
Am I the only one who DOESN'T notice a legibility improvement with Clearview?

Not that Highway Gothic is all that great. I wouldn't have a problem with legibility of Arial or Helvetica on guide signs.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: DaBigE on October 14, 2013, 01:38:25 PM
Am I the only one who DOESN'T notice a legibility improvement with Clearview?

Not that Highway Gothic is all that great. I wouldn't have a problem with legibility of Arial or Helvetica on guide signs.

No, you're not alone. I find Clearview to be harder to read at night, as I can't seem to read the sign from as far away. The stroke is seems a bit too thin. During the day, it's okay, but not enough to be worth the effort of doing a wholesale switch of fonts IMO.
Title: Re: Just my take on Clearview
Post by: Molandfreak on October 14, 2013, 01:50:10 PM
And as for this:
(http://www.millenniumhwy.net/2008_Michigan_Day_2/Images/65.jpg)

Bleh! That's exactly what I mentioned about the Clearview numbers. GACK! :P Well, now that I've seen this photo of an Interstate shield with Clearview applied to it, this proves my point of just how ugly it looks. Something like a Maine-styled font face would work in conjunction with Clearview, but then again, I highly doubt it.
Clearview numerals aren't half as bad as it gets...

(http://www.formulanone.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Int99entranceFromUS220Bus.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Brandon on October 14, 2013, 02:16:31 PM
Am I the only one who DOESN'T notice a legibility improvement with Clearview?

Not that Highway Gothic is all that great. I wouldn't have a problem with legibility of Arial or Helvetica on guide signs.

No, you are not alone.  I find Clearview and Highway Gothic to be pretty much equal when the sign reflectivity is the same.  IMHO, we should go from using E(M) to just plain E.  E(M) was for the buttons on button copy.  Plain old E would be just as legible as Clearview when all other conditions are the same (font height, reflectivity, etc).
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Brandon on October 14, 2013, 02:17:36 PM
(http://www.formulanone.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Int99entranceFromUS220Bus.jpg)

What the Series F?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Molandfreak on October 14, 2013, 02:20:05 PM
(http://www.formulanone.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Int99entranceFromUS220Bus.jpg)

What the Series F?
Yes. It's ten times worse than clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Brandon on October 14, 2013, 02:21:55 PM
Yes. It's ten times worse than clearview.

Not really.  The problem would be the same if the numerals were Clearview or Series F.  They take up too much fricking space in the shield and look crowded.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vdeane on October 14, 2013, 03:35:37 PM
Yeah, the problem with that Clearview shield posted isn't the Clearview, its that the numbers are just way too big!  Clearview looks just fine when properly proportioned (which is rarely).
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vdeane on October 15, 2013, 09:04:44 PM
Yates County, NY appears to have adopted  clearview.  I noticed clearview county and town line signs.

NYSDOT signs, or local ones?

I've seen a few Clearview NYSDOT signs around...one that comes to mind is US9 southbound at the northern terminus of NY9D in Wappingers Falls. I've seen a Clearview sign on NY104 as well.
Finally got a picture of one:
(http://www.nysroads.com/images/gallery/NY/ny14a/100_8554.JPG)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: ctrabs74 on June 29, 2014, 05:24:07 PM
And as for this:
(http://www.millenniumhwy.net/2008_Michigan_Day_2/Images/65.jpg)

Bleh! That's exactly what I mentioned about the Clearview numbers. GACK! :P Well, now that I've seen this photo of an Interstate shield with Clearview applied to it, this proves my point of just how ugly it looks. Something like a Maine-styled font face would work in conjunction with Clearview, but then again, I highly doubt it.
Clearview numerals aren't half as bad as it gets...

(http://www.formulanone.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Int99entranceFromUS220Bus.jpg)

That's nothing compared to the old signs along New Hampshire's US 3/Everett Turnpike.  The green assurance signs had an absolutely hideous font for the "3" in the U.S. shield.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Billy F 1988 on June 29, 2014, 07:56:34 PM
Uh, try harder, because the ugly "3" isn't the only thing that looks like shit. Check out the craptastic I-99 shield with the wrong FHWA type. And the "15" on the Blue Knob State Park sign is craptastic as well. The ugly "3" is simply the least of the other two shitpiece signs.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Android on June 30, 2014, 02:21:20 AM
Yeah, I wouldn't have even seen that...  I'd have been too busy gagging on the I-99 and Blue Knob 15 signs.  ("I'll show YOU a 'blue knob'!!)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: formulanone on July 08, 2014, 12:10:14 PM
Clearview numerals aren't half as bad as it gets...

(http://www.formulanone.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Int99entranceFromUS220Bus.jpg)

If there's one thing I know how to do well, it's take photos of terrible signs.

(http://www.formulanone.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Int75nAASign-SeriesFtall.jpg)

...and now, back to Clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Takumi on July 08, 2014, 03:32:14 PM
...which for some reason is no longer being discussed in this thread.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: on_wisconsin on July 08, 2014, 05:24:29 PM
It is less about nostalgia and more about:
1) Overblown claims of benefits
2) Immense waste by some states to replace a large number of perfectly good signs
3) It seemed to be a solution in search of a problem

Come on now this is AAroads where a very significant number of members believe if it doesn't look like something from 1963 then it is automatically shit. Outside of this forum, however, I agree with the quoted post. (Even though I like Clearview aesthetically.)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Ian on July 09, 2014, 04:09:03 PM
It is less about nostalgia and more about:
1) Overblown claims of benefits
2) Immense waste by some states to replace a large number of perfectly good signs
3) It seemed to be a solution in search of a problem

Come on now this is AAroads where a very significant number of members believe if it doesn't look like something from 1963 then it is automatically shit. Outside of this forum, however, I agree with the quoted post. (Even though I like Clearview aesthetically.)

I don't like Clearview, but I don't rip on people for liking it, because I really don't give two shits...
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: freebrickproductions on July 19, 2014, 11:59:29 PM
I can't tell the difference between Clearview and other fonts very well, if at all. I see some minor differences, but they don't affect me much, unless it's like the interstate signs a few posts up. :thumbdown:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: 1995hoo on August 10, 2014, 11:13:30 AM
This is on the front page of today's Washington Post. First thing I thought of when I saw it was the Clearview.

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/4B4F860F-436E-46E7-BF6B-A4F8399ECE57_zpsa5qeasgv.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Molandfreak on August 10, 2014, 07:12:51 PM
First thing I thought of when I saw it was "no shit, do people really not fucking know that?"
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: SSOWorld on August 10, 2014, 07:17:59 PM
First thing I thought of when I saw it was "no shit, do people really not fucking know that?"
Ther's a lot of those "O RLY?" signs all over the U.S.  (but that's for another board topic...)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jakeroot on August 11, 2014, 01:48:32 AM
First thing I thought of when I saw it was "no shit, do people really not fucking know that?"

There's a lot of those "O RLY?" signs all over the U.S.  (but that's for another board topic...)

Is there in fact another board topic for that? Because I have a few things to say about those signs.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on August 11, 2014, 10:14:43 AM
Is there in fact another board topic for that? Because I have a few things to say about those signs.

Not that I know of, although we have had an extended discussion of bridge icing signs and whether they are really necessary.

It would be worth starting a thread to deal with signs that state the bleeding obvious, possibly with this (spoof) one:

(http://www.onstarconnections.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Wacky_Water_FB.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: 1995hoo on August 11, 2014, 12:37:09 PM
Is there in fact another board topic for that? Because I have a few things to say about those signs.

Not that I know of, although we have had an extended discussion of bridge icing signs and whether they are really necessary.

It would be worth starting a thread to deal with signs that state the bleeding obvious, possibly with this (spoof) one:

(http://www.onstarconnections.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Wacky_Water_FB.jpg)

Some of those might appropriately go in the "Humorous Signs" thread. I know I posted this one in that thread, though it would surely qualify for a "bleeding obvious" thread as well. Picture taken in Granby, Colorado, on the day before Labor Day in 2007, and I only found it because I'd made a wrong turn somewhere (had I gone the way I'd intended, we'd never have come anywhere near Granby):

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/6e2ccb70.jpg)



BTW, to try to get back on topic, the Clearview "SMUGGLING" sign I posted above is so grainy because it's an iPhone picture of the front page of yesterday's newspaper. I didn't feel like trying to find the sign online using an iPhone or iPad, so it was easier just to take a picture and upload it using the Photobucket app.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Android on August 17, 2014, 08:52:21 AM
Is there in fact another board topic for that? Because I have a few things to say about those signs.

Not that I know of, although we have had an extended discussion of bridge icing signs and whether they are really necessary.

It would be worth starting a thread to deal with signs that state the bleeding obvious, possibly with this (spoof) one:

(http://www.onstarconnections.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Wacky_Water_FB.jpg)

Hnnnhaah!  Yeah, except I have two real world examples of just that sort of thing!

(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/HighWaterWhenFlooded.jpg)

(http://members.trainorders.com/android/misc/WaterMayExistOnRoad.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: PurdueBill on August 17, 2014, 12:18:59 PM
This is on the front page of today's Washington Post. First thing I thought of when I saw it was the Clearview.

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/4B4F860F-436E-46E7-BF6B-A4F8399ECE57_zpsa5qeasgv.jpg)

Is it just me, or would that look a lot better if SMUGGLING were the same size text as the rest of the words?  As is, it looks like a header or something. 
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on August 17, 2014, 01:29:11 PM
Is it just me, or would that look a lot better if SMUGGLING were the same size text as the rest of the words?  As is, it looks like a header or something.

The legend also needs to be black on white because it isn't really a guide-sign message.  I don't object so much to the larger size because on this sign it functions as a keyword rather than as a header, but the layout looks visually unbalanced since the third line is so much shorter than the others.  If the words were regrouped vertically (one word per line except "IS A,"), it might be possible to accommodate the message on a standard-sized blank such as that used for speed limits.
Title: Highway Gothic vs Clearview?
Post by: logan230 on October 10, 2014, 06:16:39 PM
 :hmmm: Just curious.

When I first saw Clearview I wanted to throw up. But over a long period of time I've grown to tolerate it, especially if your whole area's signs were replaced, even though I still stick with Highway Gothic (or FHWA, whatever you wanna call it).
Title: Re: Highway Gothic vs Clearview?
Post by: Zeffy on October 10, 2014, 06:32:24 PM
Clearview is fine on mixed-case positive contrast backgrounds. The problem is it's almost never used like that, so then you have all caps (which looks ugly), Clearview on negative contrast (hard to read), and the worst offender of them all: Clearview numerals. Yiiiiiiiiick! If the numerals weren't so poo I would maybe like Clearview more, but those things are HIDEOUS to look at.
Title: Re: Highway Gothic vs Clearview?
Post by: jakeroot on October 10, 2014, 07:04:09 PM
Logan230, you're asking for trouble starting a new thread regarding the Clearview v Highway Gothic war. But, I won't stop you, because it can be very enjoyable to read.

That said, I like Clearview because it looks modern, but dislike it for its numerals (like Zeffy above). They're okay, but not my favorite.

I don't mind Highway Gothic, but it's seriously out of date and in need of updating. It worked better when sign design was done more by hand, but in the digital era, it's less than desirable.

So, in the end, I'm impartial. If a state/province wants to use Clearview, be my guest. If a state/province prefers the old FHWA fonts, that's also fine. Both are very functional and easy to read, so I give both a thumbs up.

PS...I don't believe this is road-related illustrations material we are discussing. Perhaps General Highway Talk is best.
Title: Re: Highway Gothic vs Clearview?
Post by: hbelkins on October 10, 2014, 11:59:25 PM
all caps (which looks ugly), Clearview on negative contrast (hard to read)

Neither of those bother me, and I don't find negative contrast Clearview hard to read at all.
Title: Re: Highway Gothic vs Clearview?
Post by: adventurernumber1 on October 11, 2014, 12:21:00 AM
Tbh I have to agree with hbelkins. I don't hate Clearview, and I don't hate Highway Gothic. I'm fine with both.
Title: Re: Highway Gothic vs Clearview?
Post by: freebrickproductions on October 11, 2014, 12:25:27 AM
Tbh I have to agree with hbelkins. I don't hate Clearview, and I don't hate Highway Gothic. I'm fine with both.
I agree with you.
Title: Re: Highway Gothic vs Clearview?
Post by: riiga on October 11, 2014, 09:28:05 AM
I'm fine with both, but prefer Highway Gothic.
Title: Re: Highway Gothic vs Clearview?
Post by: KG909 on October 11, 2014, 10:54:34 AM
I completely hate clearview. I hope whoever made it dies a slow and painful death.
Title: Re: Highway Gothic vs Clearview?
Post by: Zeffy on October 11, 2014, 10:57:20 AM
and I don't find negative contrast Clearview hard to read at all.

Manville has black-on-white street blades with mixed case Clearview 1/2-B on them. I physically can not read them during the day going 35+. At night, it's virtually impossible as well. I can clearly remember reading the FHWA versions when they still had them.
Title: Re: Highway Gothic vs Clearview?
Post by: JoePCool14 on October 11, 2014, 11:49:19 AM
Its hard to give your opinion on Clearview when your local DOTs screw it up and make it look like total shit. (I'm talking to you IDOT and ISTHA).

That said, if Clearview is used properly I do not think it looks that bad. It really is over-used in Illinois and is extremely frustrating.

However, on a side note, some of ISTHA's more recent signage has been improving excluding their occasional skip of an Exit tab or funky pull-through arrows.
Title: Re: Highway Gothic vs Clearview?
Post by: Billy F 1988 on October 11, 2014, 03:00:28 PM
I completely hate clearview. I hope whoever made it dies a slow and painful death.

That's a bit much. It's one thing to say that you have an issue with Clearview and whatnot, but to throw in a death curse along with that is just flat overkill. I mean, I have concerns for Clearview myself, but I'm not that stupid to wish death on whoever made Clearview because it's not just one person we're talking about. We're talking a whole group of DoT officials, FHWA, and more.

Please use better judgement next time.
Title: Re: Highway Gothic vs Clearview?
Post by: KG909 on October 11, 2014, 03:06:48 PM
I completely hate clearview. I hope whoever made it dies a slow and painful death.

That's a bit much. It's one thing to say that you have an issue with Clearview and whatnot, but to throw in a death curse along with that is just flat overkill. I mean, I have concerns for Clearview myself, but I'm not that stupid to wish death on whoever made Clearview because it's not just one person we're talking about. We're talking a whole group of DoT officials, FHWA, and more.

Please use better judgement next time.
Okay I was joking with the second part but the first sentence is 100% true.
Title: Re: Highway Gothic vs Clearview?
Post by: SignGeek101 on October 11, 2014, 11:37:37 PM
I don't mind either. No font is perfect (hence why Clearview was created in the first place)! I design signs in both fonts. What really gets me is when Clearview is used in negative-contrast applications (black on white, yellow) and Clearview in the route shield. I've said this on another thread that my city uses negative-contrast Clearview on its speed limit signs and route shields. It bugs me every time.

Near Toronto Pearson Int'l (Airport signage most likely, but still). One of the few Ontario Clearview signs.

(http://i.imgur.com/LTcHwRG.jpg)

 :ded: :banghead:

Other than that, Clearview is a great font that has potential if some of its issues were fixed. But since the FHWA is cancelling its interim approval of Clearview, I guess we'll never see improvements.

It doesn't matter who does the signage in whatever font, if it's done right (ie. to the current standards set out in the MUTCD) it looks decent IMO.

MUTCD on Clearview:http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/clearviewdesignfaqs/ (http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/clearviewdesignfaqs/)

GMSV: http://goo.gl/maps/bYI8e
Title: Re: Highway Gothic vs Clearview?
Post by: spmkam on October 12, 2014, 12:43:15 AM
Curious why French is above the English, it seems odd for the English speaking part of Canada.
Title: Re: Highway Gothic vs Clearview?
Post by: VCB02FromRoblox on October 12, 2014, 12:47:50 AM
The only thing I don't like about Clearview is the numerals. That being said, I'm okay with both typefaces.
Title: Re: Highway Gothic vs Clearview?
Post by: CtrlAltDel on October 12, 2014, 01:02:51 AM
Curious why French is above the English, it seems odd for the English speaking part of Canada.

In French, the name of the airport is “Aéroport international Pearson,” and in English, it’s “Pearson International Airport.” Putting the French on top avoids having to repeat the “Pearson” part. This sort of combining is common in multilingual areas. For example in Brussels, the street signs mix Flemish and French, leading to things like “rue du Lombard Straat,” and so on.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jakeroot on October 22, 2014, 01:09:30 AM
Reviving this thread because of something that just (incorrectly?) occurred to me:

The FHWA has no problem allowing some states to have basically unreadable-from-a-distance shields (Louisiana), but they feel the need to ban Clearview on route shields because legibility is apparently a hair too poor ... if they are so concerned about legibility, why do they allow states with completely insane shields with tiny numbers? Seniority?

If someone is going to respond with "Louisiana's shields are very visible", are you propounding that the shields, with Clearview numerals applied, have suddenly become out-of-focus hieroglyphics? Personally, I find that to be absolutely asinine (the numbers are still plenty readable), so what's the issue? If a state wants to use completely custom (unproven) colors, why can't they use (mostly proven) Clearview?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on October 23, 2014, 04:50:38 PM
There is no cut and dried answer here:

1) Clearview is being held to a higher standard because it was allowed under an interim approval and not added to the MUTCD. An interim approval letter looks like this:
(http://i.imgur.com/Qfc8xvj.png)
which refers to the Interim Approval for Use of Clearview Font for Positive Contrast Legends on Guide Signs (http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/res-ia_clearview_font.htm). Note that neither of these say anything about how Clearview is to be used other than that Clearview is to be used only in positive contract situations and that cardinal directions must use the small-caps treatment. The Clearview circular, officially titled Design and Use Policy for Clearview Alphabet (http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/clearviewdesignfaqs/index.htm), appears to be more of an advisory document and may not have any binding power. That being said, states get away with directly contradicting the interim approval by installing negative-contrast signage (which Oklahoma does all the time) and by not doing the small-caps thing (which Texas does all the time).

2) As far as I know the strongest thing that has been done against states for failure to comply with the interim approval is to shame Maryland by putting photos of its signs in the Clearview circular and captioning them NOT ACCEPTABLE. This is because the FHWA doesn't have any real power to tell a state DOT what to do. They can refuse to fund the installation of traffic control devices which do not comply with the MUTCD—this is what got Florida on the colored US shields—but this appears to be done sparingly. Oklahoma, for example, is full of signs which don't meet MUTCD standards for interline spacing and margin width, but FHWA has, to my knowledge, never actually raised any objections. It's possible that FHWA only wishes to act when a large quantity of standard signs (i.e. not custom signs like freeway guide signs) is involved, which are blatantly not compliant to the MUTCD. Quibbling over things like margin width may be seen as so 'inside baseball' that if a flap over them occurred, and coverage went mainstream, the result would accomplish little but to embarrass FHWA in the court of public opinion. With Clearview in particular, the situation is complicated by the fact that an Interim Approval is involved, not the true MUTCD, so there could be a concern that if funds were withheld due to a non-compliant sign and the state involved fought it in court, that the FHWA might lose because the document involved is not as "bulletproof" as the MUTCD.

3) FHWA has a branch office in each state. Like any establishment with multiple sub-units, culture and best practices will vary from unit to unit (you can clearly see this in certain chain stores). Some FHWA offices are stricter than others. I believe there is some policy of rotating the management from office to office to prevent them from forming too strong of a bond with the folks at the state DOTs, but some degree of that doubtlessly happens anyway, especially if the junior staff is not similarly rotated. Regional culture may also come into play. Forum regular H.B. Elkins of Kentucky has argued several times that the MUTCD shouldn't regulate typeface at all, because he believes the federal government should have no power to dictate the design of traffic control devices to the individual states. I am not well-versed in Kentucky politics, but from what I do know I would imagine he's not the only person in Kentucky that would take that stance if the issue came up. The Kentucky FHWA office, then, would most likely be quite a bit more lax than, say, the New York one, simply because New Yorkers are much more tolerant of federal government involvement in local affairs than Kentuckians are. There's little desire to gin up a political fight over something so trivial as a road sign typeface.

4) The MUTCD does establish a minimum digit size for route markers. (If I remember correctly, it is 12" on a 24"×24" shield, or half the height of the shield.) The LA highway shield appears to not meet this criteria. It's possible that LaDOTD successfully convinced the Louisiana FHWA office that a smaller standard digit size was necessary to post some of their highway designations, which can theoretically contain up to five digits with hyphen, like "1363-5". Either that, or the Louisiana FHWA office simply doesn't care enough to raise a stink about it (see above with regards to inside baseball, although there's clearly a public interest in ensuring text is large enough to be legible).
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: hbelkins on October 23, 2014, 07:38:45 PM
3) FHWA has a branch office in each state. Like any establishment with multiple sub-units, culture and best practices will vary from unit to unit (you can clearly see this in certain chain stores). Some FHWA offices are stricter than others. I believe there is some policy of rotating the management from office to office to prevent them from forming too strong of a bond with the folks at the state DOTs, but some degree of that doubtlessly happens anyway, especially if the junior staff is not similarly rotated. Regional culture may also come into play. Forum regular H.B. Elkins of Kentucky has argued several times that the MUTCD shouldn't regulate typeface at all, because he believes the federal government should have no power to dictate the design of traffic control devices to the individual states. I am not well-versed in Kentucky politics, but from what I do know I would imagine he's not the only person in Kentucky that would take that stance if the issue came up. The Kentucky FHWA office, then, would most likely be quite a bit more lax than, say, the New York one, simply because New Yorkers are much more tolerant of federal government involvement in local affairs than Kentuckians are. There's little desire to gin up a political fight over something so trivial as a road sign typeface.

Wanted to address the above paragraph from two separate standpoints.

Concerning FHWA staffing, a gentleman by the name of Jose Sepulveda has been Kentucky's FHWA director for at least 10 years. He's retiring this year, from what I understand. And if you ever listened to him speak, that experience (coupled with the mere reading of his name) would tell you that he's not a Kentucky native. :-P However, he has been here for a long time and I don't know of any wholesale shuffling of the Kentucky regional office staff. Jose is well-liked.

And concerning my stand on the MUTCD, I don't necessarily think it's a bad thing to have uniform traffic control devices. I think it's good that a "merging traffic" sign (W4-1 for those of you scoring at home) will look the same in Vermont as it will in New Mexico. I just don't think the feds need to get so specific as to dictate the use of certain fonts.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: national highway 1 on October 24, 2014, 01:55:12 AM
These trailblazers are also shocking...   :ded:
(http://www.formulanone.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Int99entranceFromUS220Bus.jpg)
(http://www.formulanone.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Int75nAASign-SeriesFtall.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on October 24, 2014, 03:41:00 AM
And that's why we don't put Series E on route markers!
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jakeroot on October 24, 2014, 03:50:51 AM
And that's why we don't put Series E on route markers!

It's not too bad if done properly, but it certainly doesn't get my vote:

(http://i.imgur.com/X5AxgQW.png)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on October 24, 2014, 03:54:23 AM
Yeah, it even manages to work well on the CO route marker, but that marker has a space set aside for the digits that Series E fills better than any other series.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Alex on October 24, 2014, 09:40:47 AM
These trailblazers are also shocking...   :ded:

No shocked shields pertains to Series C font used for a 2-digit route.  :nod:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vdeane on October 24, 2014, 12:48:08 PM
3) FHWA has a branch office in each state. Like any establishment with multiple sub-units, culture and best practices will vary from unit to unit (you can clearly see this in certain chain stores). Some FHWA offices are stricter than others. I believe there is some policy of rotating the management from office to office to prevent them from forming too strong of a bond with the folks at the state DOTs, but some degree of that doubtlessly happens anyway, especially if the junior staff is not similarly rotated. Regional culture may also come into play. Forum regular H.B. Elkins of Kentucky has argued several times that the MUTCD shouldn't regulate typeface at all, because he believes the federal government should have no power to dictate the design of traffic control devices to the individual states. I am not well-versed in Kentucky politics, but from what I do know I would imagine he's not the only person in Kentucky that would take that stance if the issue came up. The Kentucky FHWA office, then, would most likely be quite a bit more lax than, say, the New York one, simply because New Yorkers are much more tolerant of federal government involvement in local affairs than Kentuckians are. There's little desire to gin up a political fight over something so trivial as a road sign typeface.
That might explain the NY welcome sign situation.  The FHWA's version of events is "thou shalt not use URLs on road signs you must remove them at once" and NYSDOT's is "but other states have URLs on signs and you don't care about those".
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: CentralCAroadgeek on October 26, 2014, 10:53:52 AM
I remember about two weekends or so ago where I saw construction warning signs in Clearview, along the construction zones on CA-1 in Santa Cruz. As much as I don't dislike Clearview, it just looks really ugly on anything that's not BGS. It's just too thin to be effective on warning signs or whatnot.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Zeffy on October 26, 2014, 10:56:37 AM
I remember about two weekends or so ago where I saw construction warning signs in Clearview, along the construction zones on CA-1 in Santa Cruz. As much as I don't dislike Clearview, it just looks really ugly on anything that's not BGS. It's just too thin to be effective on warning signs or whatnot.

Well, I'll say that many of the street signs in Somerset County that use Clearview that aren't negative contrast are very legible from a distance. However, some of the street sign blades tend to look disproportionate because the legend takes up more than 85% of the total sign height.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jakeroot on October 26, 2014, 07:07:34 PM
I remember about two weekends or so ago where I saw construction warning signs in Clearview, along the construction zones on CA-1 in Santa Cruz. As much as I don't dislike Clearview, it just looks really ugly on anything that's not BGS. It's just too thin to be effective on warning signs or whatnot.

Well, I'll say that many of the street signs in Somerset County that use Clearview that aren't negative contrast are very legible from a distance. However, some of the street sign blades tend to look disproportionate because the legend takes up more than 85% of the total sign height.

At a reader meetup yesterday (25th of October, 2014), Alps, Kacie Jane, and I met and drove around Seattle. We spotted these Clearview warning signs near the Port of Seattle. None of us could tell that they were Clearview until we were right up close. I suppose that means they're working, right?

(http://i.imgur.com/BLMrIUe.png)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: SignGeek101 on October 27, 2014, 12:44:46 AM
I remember about two weekends or so ago where I saw construction warning signs in Clearview, along the construction zones on CA-1 in Santa Cruz. As much as I don't dislike Clearview, it just looks really ugly on anything that's not BGS. It's just too thin to be effective on warning signs or whatnot.

Well, I'll say that many of the street signs in Somerset County that use Clearview that aren't negative contrast are very legible from a distance. However, some of the street sign blades tend to look disproportionate because the legend takes up more than 85% of the total sign height.

At a reader meetup yesterday (25th of October, 2014), Alps, Kacie Jane, and I met and drove around Seattle. We spotted these Clearview warning signs near the Port of Seattle. None of us could tell that they were Clearview until we were right up close. I suppose that means they're working, right?

(http://i.imgur.com/BLMrIUe.png)

Those signs do look like they're doing the job. Not sure what width that is (3B?) I'm not an expert on Clearview widths. Still not a fan though. Here's one from my area:

(http://i.imgur.com/pOnF3Wa.jpg)
Title: Re: Highway Gothic vs Clearview?
Post by: mjb2002 on October 31, 2014, 09:21:15 PM
Highway Gothic, hands down. Just looks better on signs, on paper, in advertisements, on weblogs and sites, in memes, etc.
Title: Re: Highway Gothic vs Clearview?
Post by: sammi on October 31, 2014, 10:25:49 PM
In French, the name of the airport is “Aéroport international Pearson,” and in English, it’s “Pearson International Airport.” Putting the French on top avoids having to repeat the “Pearson” part.

Downsview Park (which is within 10 minutes of here) is called "Parc Downsview Park", for the same reason as above. One time my history teacher said "Downsview Parc Downsview". :)

I also see this on signs outside government buildings. Near campus there's a "Édifice Whitney Block", and farther north there's a "5900, rue Yonge Street".
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: SignGeek101 on November 01, 2014, 11:14:25 PM
A first for Quebec (at least from what I've seen). Look at the left shield. (NOT my pic)
(http://srquebec.net/photos/a25skm0-a20ekm90-s1.JPG)

  :-o :ded:

GMSV: http://goo.gl/maps/JDP9f
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Fugazi on November 01, 2014, 11:51:48 PM
A first for Quebec (at least from what I've seen). Look at the left shield. (NOT my pic)
Well... it doesn't actually look too bad (*ducks tomatoes*) but to me the Clearview shield isn't as instantly decipherable as the regular shields next to it. Something to do with the shape of the '2' maybe...

I've seen a few Quebec provincial route shields on BGS done in Clearview too, but they're few and far between and most likely production errors.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Thing 342 on November 02, 2014, 07:22:13 AM
A first for Quebec (at least from what I've seen). Look at the left shield. (NOT my pic)
Well... it doesn't actually look too bad (*ducks tomatoes*) but to me the Clearview shield isn't as instantly decipherable as the regular shields next to it. Something to do with the shape of the '2' maybe...

I've seen a few Quebec provincial route shields on BGS done in Clearview too, but they're few and far between and most likely production errors.
IMO, this stems more from problems with the Autoroute shield than with font choice. They are far too busy.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: JoePCool14 on November 09, 2014, 10:08:27 PM
I remember about two weekends or so ago where I saw construction warning signs in Clearview, along the construction zones on CA-1 in Santa Cruz. As much as I don't dislike Clearview, it just looks really ugly on anything that's not BGS. It's just too thin to be effective on warning signs or whatnot.

Well, I'll say that many of the street signs in Somerset County that use Clearview that aren't negative contrast are very legible from a distance. However, some of the street sign blades tend to look disproportionate because the legend takes up more than 85% of the total sign height.

At a reader meetup yesterday (25th of October, 2014), Alps, Kacie Jane, and I met and drove around Seattle. We spotted these Clearview warning signs near the Port of Seattle. None of us could tell that they were Clearview until we were right up close. I suppose that means they're working, right?

(http://i.imgur.com/BLMrIUe.png)

Holy shit that is ugly. Kill it with fire, please... I used to use Clearview in my videos just because I thought it could work, but I stopped because its even too ugly for non-road purposes. No joke.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jakeroot on November 28, 2014, 06:31:58 PM
I thought I'd just leave this here:

http://goo.gl/QzoAnx (page 17)

(http://i.imgur.com/J19fSAB.png)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: SignGeek101 on November 28, 2014, 07:25:23 PM
I don't know if I like this or not. It doesn't look too bad; looks better than helvetica. I'm okay with it. What's the width on the letters, 3W?

I see that some of the signs in the document still use FHWA fonts. Is this still the case in BC with those signs, or are those just older drawings?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: seicer on November 29, 2014, 07:35:38 PM
The first bad installation I've seen in a while for Kentucky: https://goo.gl/maps/8RCG4
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: SignGeek101 on November 29, 2014, 09:08:51 PM
The first bad installation I've seen in a while for Kentucky: https://goo.gl/maps/8RCG4

Looks like a candidate for the redesign this thread.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vtk on November 29, 2014, 11:17:18 PM
Today I noticed shiny new Clearview BGS on KY 8 where it runs into I-75 in Covington.  I don't think they were there the last time I had passed through.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: misterjimmy on November 30, 2014, 09:38:06 AM
Virginia Beach uses some strange font on most of its speed limit signs (most notably on Shore Drive for the quick drop from 45 MPH to 25 MPH).

Hopewell...um, don't get me started with them.

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3006/2969966023_10079e3796.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/coredesatchikai/2969966023/)

Proof that this monstrosity really exists (http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=37.296622,-77.278776&spn=0,359.98071&z=16&layer=c&cbll=37.296453,-77.278872&panoid=50wxRJOis6r0efxSE06fTw&cbp=12,48.07,,1,-1.65)

It was still there when I was in Hopewell last weekend.

That is the most disgusting number "10" I've ever seen on a road sign!! How did they get away with that one? Where's the picture of the outraged roadgeeks protesting on the opposite corner?!?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Zeffy on December 01, 2014, 10:24:11 AM
The first bad installation I've seen in a while for Kentucky: https://goo.gl/maps/8RCG4

Looks like a candidate for the redesign this thread.

Agreed: http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=9539.msg2024199
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: codyg1985 on December 02, 2014, 10:36:03 AM
I'm not sure if this has been mentioned before, but I have seen a couple of these attraction signs in Clearview in Mississippi. I've seen it in different counties, so I doubt it is a local installation. This sign is on US 98 between Hattiesburg and McComb.

(http://i.imgur.com/vSQqtMa.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jakeroot on December 14, 2014, 10:05:59 PM
Wanting to answer this because I left you hanging:

I don't know if I like this or not. It doesn't look too bad; looks better than helvetica. I'm okay with it. What's the width on the letters, 3W?

The letters are Clearview 1W, the narrowest of the Clearview versions.

I see that some of the signs in the document still use FHWA fonts. Is this still the case in BC with those signs, or are those just older drawings?

As far as I can tell, they just haven't updated them. I have seen most of the signs in the manual in Clearview at some point or another.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: mefailenglish on December 20, 2014, 12:18:28 PM
Noticed this at a service plaza on Florida's Turnpike.

(http://i244.photobucket.com/albums/gg36/jcm9572/IMG_4617_zpsfa931920.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: sammi on December 20, 2014, 01:50:11 PM
(http://i244.photobucket.com/albums/gg36/jcm9572/IMG_4617_zpsfa931920.jpg)

I actually like it off a road sign. :spin:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Pink Jazz on January 13, 2015, 08:51:35 PM
This was posted about a month ago, but it looks like Virginia is now becoming more strict on its use of Clearview, allowing them only for mixed case legends on positive contrast signs:
http://www.virginiadot.org/business/resources/traffic_engineering/memos/TE-337_Clearview_Highway_Font.pdf

That means no more Clearview exit gore signs, logo signs, cardinal directions, or worded directional signs in Virginia.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jakeroot on January 13, 2015, 11:03:17 PM
This was posted about a month ago, but it looks like Virginia is now becoming more strict on its use of Clearview, allowing them only for mixed case legends on positive contrast signs:
http://www.virginiadot.org/business/resources/traffic_engineering/memos/TE-337_Clearview_Highway_Font.pdf

That means no more Clearview exit gore signs, logo signs, cardinal directions, or worded directional signs in Virginia.

What was their previous policy (besides their in-the-field informal practice)?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: cl94 on January 13, 2015, 11:06:26 PM
I didn't tell you this, but from what I heard at a conference, the folks at FHWA aren't too happy when they see something that doesn't use the Standard Alphabets. The FHWA engineers are far worse than everyone else I've ever heard when it comes to hating on Clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jakeroot on January 13, 2015, 11:11:02 PM
I didn't tell you this, but from what I heard at a conference, the folks at FHWA aren't too happy when they see something that doesn't use the Standard Alphabets. The FHWA engineers are far worse than everyone else I've ever heard when it comes to hating on Clearview.

Just a thought, but do they feel like they might be responsible for creating a mess? I mean, Clearview had potential, it was just horribly rolled out.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: cl94 on January 13, 2015, 11:20:39 PM
I didn't tell you this, but from what I heard at a conference, the folks at FHWA aren't too happy when they see something that doesn't use the Standard Alphabets. The FHWA engineers are far worse than everyone else I've ever heard when it comes to hating on Clearview.

Just a thought, but do they feel like they might be responsible for creating a mess? I mean, Clearview had potential, it was just horribly rolled out.

Studies have shown that, if letter size, spacing, and retroreflectivity are equal, the standard alphabet is equally or more legible as/than Clearview. Remember- even with the initial studies, Clearview was only better for mixed-case positive-contrast signage Clearview would have had potential if it was used only as allowed and intended. Clearview was only allowed for mixed-case positive-contrast signs and it was greatly abused, being utilized in ways that actually decreased legibility.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Zeffy on January 13, 2015, 11:23:41 PM
I don't think it's FHWAs fault too much based on the fact that when Clearview was rolled out in the Interim Approval, there were very strict guidelines on where it should be used. Now, apparently, that memo was not received too well, because in states like Pennsylvania and Texas (which have gotten much better with Clearview usage nowadays if I do say so myself) there were a lot of signs that violated that Interim Approval rules for Clearview. But what could FHWA do to states that continued to use it incorrectly? Besides, a lot of contractors picked up the typefaces anyway - just look at New Jersey's new (UGLY) Clearview signs on I-195 and I-295 near Trenton, whereas NJDOT themselves do not use Clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Pink Jazz on January 13, 2015, 11:35:03 PM

What was their previous policy (besides their in-the-field informal practice)?

Not sure, but I can definitely say I have seen some Clearview logo signs in the Hampton Roads area.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jakeroot on January 14, 2015, 12:41:20 AM
You won't find I bigger proponent of Clearview than I. I'm a huge fan of it. That's why I hold the FHWA completely responsible for botching the roll-out.

Even if the studies found Clearview to be less legible in some cases, it was also found to be more legible in other areas. What they should have done was completely use Clearview, or not adopt it at all. We both know that Clearview was found to be more legible (in some cases), and in other cases, less legible. The FHWA choosing to no longer adopt Clearview tells me that they are not as interested in readability as they lead on, given that they are falling back on the (in some cases) slightly less legible font. By piecemeal-ing the roll-out, they were setting themselves up for failure. They know full well that some states already don't exactly follow guidelines set forth by the FHWA. What made them think they'd follow these guidelines any better?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: PHLBOS on January 14, 2015, 09:17:16 AM
This was posted about a month ago, but it looks like Virginia is now becoming more strict on its use of Clearview, allowing them only for mixed case legends on positive contrast signs:
http://www.virginiadot.org/business/resources/traffic_engineering/memos/TE-337_Clearview_Highway_Font.pdf

That means no more Clearview exit gore signs, logo signs, cardinal directions, or worded directional signs in Virginia.
If one reads further down the memorandum, there still will be some new VDOT signs erected containing more (than allowed) Clearview only because the design documents & shop drawings predate this memo.

Quote
Future contracts: These standards should be implemented on all projects for which the sign fabrication layout details have not yet been completed. Projects issued for advertisement on or after July 15, 2015 shall be in full compliance.

Interesting tid-bit on how to handle lettering for numbered streets:
Quote
**except when the numerals are a part of a destination name, e.g. “91st Ave”
Along I-83 near Harrisburg, PA; I've seen BGS' for 2nd St. in both all-Clearview (http://goo.gl/maps/6gGWE) and mixed FHWA/Clearview (http://goo.gl/maps/rgBef) for the 2ND St. lettering.  Of course, the ND & ST listings are in all-caps (vs. lower-case); which makes a more cohesive/logical use of mixed fonts for the same line.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on January 14, 2015, 11:08:34 AM
What was their previous policy (besides their in-the-field informal practice)?

The memo Pink Jazz linked to is TE-337.1, a revised version of TE-337.0, which used to live at the same URL and so is no longer on the current Web because it has been overwritten on the server.  However, the Web Archive has it:

https://web.archive.org/web/20100616080616/http://virginiadot.org/business/resources/traffic_engineering/memos/TE-337_Clearview_Highway_Font.pdf

It is essentially a carbon copy of the original Interim Approval memorandum for Clearview, in much the same way the current version is a carbon copy of the Clearview FAQ.

As for current practice, VDOT has issued some contract signing plans that restrict Clearview to mixed-case legend since at least the autumn of 2013.  I have seen contract signing plans for Northern Virginia that use Clearview for everything, and others for Hampton Roads and the mountain districts that use it only for mixed-case text, but I haven't searched for a clear pattern with regard to contract date or district.  I suspect the current version of VDOT's Clearview memo is designed to harmonize practices that previously varied from designer to designer.

I don't think it's FHWAs fault too much based on the fact that when Clearview was rolled out in the Interim Approval, there were very strict guidelines on where it should be used.

The guidelines contained in the original IA are nowhere near as strict as what FHWA is trying to push as "best practice" in the Clearview FAQ.  In 2004 FHWA required just that Clearview be used in positive contrast on guide signs only, with its own spacing tables.  Now FHWA (as of October 2013, the apparent issue date for the Clearview FAQ) wants practitioners to use Clearview 5-W or 5-W-R only, and only for mixed-case legend on guide signs, with different rules for interline spacing (which nearly all Clearview-using agencies and I disagree with, BTW).

Quote
Now, apparently, that memo was not received too well, because in states like Pennsylvania and Texas (which have gotten much better with Clearview usage nowadays if I do say so myself) there were a lot of signs that violated that Interim Approval rules for Clearview.

I have been following the Clearview story in real time since before the IA was issued.  Texas' Clearview signing has actually been quite clean from the beginning.  Sure, there have been isolated examples of Clearview in negative contrast or in route marker digits, but these comprise a very small fraction of the contract signing TxDOT has done in the same period.  (To give an idea of scale, my current collection of pattern-accurate sign panel detail sheets extracted from TxDOT construction plans sets has more than 15,000 sheets from 1998 to the present.)  The main issue with TxDOT's Clearview signing has actually been the size of fraction numerals, an issue that was noted early on but never systematically addressed by state DOTs and which FHWA is trying to cure by encouraging the use of Series E or E Modified for all numerals.

The real reprobates are agencies like Oklahoma DOT and PennDOT that routinely do things that were never allowed by the original IA, such as negative-contrast Clearview.  The former has even inserted negative-contrast Clearview into plans for federal-aid projects, which are nominally subject to FHWA review.  PennDOT's contract signing plans are fairly clean (though not up to TxDOT standards), but the negative-contrast stuff that attracts ire from folk on here tends to be made in its district sign shops and installed by state forces, so it bypasses the project development process for contract work.

Studies have shown that, if letter size, spacing, and retroreflectivity are equal, the standard alphabet is equally or more legible as/than Clearview. Remember- even with the initial studies, Clearview was only better for mixed-case positive-contrast signage Clearview would have had potential if it was used only as allowed and intended. Clearview was only allowed for mixed-case positive-contrast signs and it was greatly abused, being utilized in ways that actually decreased legibility.

The original IA cited the early Clearview research, but it never actually required that the use of Clearview be restricted only to the specific cases where a clear benefit over the FHWA series had been demonstrated.  It also laid out typeface equivalencies (Clearview 1-W as a substitute for Series B, etc.) for Clearview faces whose advantages over the equivalent FHWA series had never been demonstrated in published research.

You won't find I bigger proponent of Clearview than I. I'm a huge fan of it. That's why I hold the FHWA completely responsible for botching the roll-out.

I don't.  I remember the original correspondence between PennDOT, TxDOT, and FHWA back in the early noughties, when both agencies were pushing hard for Clearview to be approved and FHWA HOTO was dragging its feet.  The ATSSA database included at least two letters from Art Breneman (now long retired, but at the time PennDOT's chief signing engineer) asking for Clearview approval.  Meanwhile, TxDOT had been specifying "Expressway Clearview" (by plan sheet note only; the actual sign designs showed Series E Modified) since the late summer of 2002, and had also advertised its first contract explicitly showing Clearview in pattern-accurate sign panel detail sheets (an El Paso district job in June 2003) more than a full year before the FHWA IA was released.  There were plenty of experimental installations in both Texas and Pennsylvania.

At the time it was pretty easy to predict most of the design disasters that would happen if Clearview were entrusted to inexperienced or careless practitioners (negative contrast, route marker digits, signing half in one system and half in the other, etc.), though some others (such as the fraction problem) became evident only later.  But FHWA had to get out in front of this, from their perspective, unwanted development, because their institutional inclination has always been to use federal-aid funding as a tool for persuasion rather than as a club to ensure that every MUTCD standard is followed down to the letter.  It was in no one's interest at FHWA HQ to have Congressmen asking pointed questions about why the agency was standing in the way of innovation.

To the extent that FHWA can be said to "hate" Clearview--and I don't know if that is true for the agency as a whole, since there has always been a plurality of opinion and there are reputed to be one or two Clearview enthusiasts at FHWA--I suspect a lot of that sentiment comes from resentment at having their hands forced before the implications of national rollout of Clearview could be worked through.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: TrevorB on March 08, 2015, 01:32:30 PM
Spotted this in Hernando, Mississippi. One of the very few Clearview signs in the state.

https://www.google.com/maps/@34.755363,-89.990152,3a,15y,214.5h,86.44t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sZ22988sFqUMSlIL8afCDBQ!2e0

(http://i.imgur.com/crpWrgF.png)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on March 08, 2015, 02:53:44 PM
[...]The FHWA choosing to no longer adopt Clearview tells me that they are not as interested in readability as they lead on, given that they are falling back on the (in some cases) slightly less legible font. By piecemeal-ing the roll-out, they were setting themselves up for failure. They know full well that some states already don't exactly follow guidelines set forth by the FHWA. What made them think they'd follow these guidelines any better?

I think that's pretty unfair to FHWA, especially when you take into account that they made the switch to mixed-case text on most guide signs mandatory in the 2009 MUTCD. That is a huge change, and many cities have had to completely redesign their standard signage to compensate for it (case in point: Oklahoma City's mixed-case sign blades are an entirely different design from their most recent all-caps signs). Also, recent studies have indicated to them that Enhanced E(M)—that is, Series E with E(M) spacing tables—is king when it comes to legibility, so one can't fault them for backing off on Clearview.

As for the Clearview IA and FAQ...perhaps in the future before releasing any engineering document, be it an IA or a new MUTCD, FHWA should take the time to ask itself "What will be the result of this ending up at Oklahoma DOT?" (FHWA should probably keep it simple and use single-syllable words...)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: PurdueBill on March 08, 2015, 06:52:10 PM
The interim approval including equivalencies between FHWA typefaces and Clearview typefaces was just asking for trouble.  The IA shows that table and probably doesn't in retrospect emphasize enough that ONLY 5-W and 5-W-R are approved for use at all.  The table in the IA saying that 3-W is essentially equivalent to Series D was just asking for trouble with people using it when they shouldn't.  The result was predictably signage with all sorts of too-narrow Clearview, in all-caps even.  Ohio's design manual makes use of all different series of Clearview for certain signs with destination legend, with the only info about Clearview buried in an appendix which in turn refers the reader to the IA online.  Nothing in the manual about using 5-W/5-W-R _only_ or anything like that.  The result? Crap like this.  All caps and numerals, Series B and D.....NOTHING that should involve Clearview.  Why is it even listed as an option????  (And again, Appendix D simply refers people to the IA online.)

(http://gozips.uakron.edu/~wdonova/ODOTbadClearview.jpg)

These have popped up like wildfire as well around cities; again, the narrow Clearview both looks bad and is not supposed to be there.  The IA enabled this by even including 2-W and 3-W in the equivalency table.
(http://gozips.uakron.edu/~wdonova/ODOTbadClearview1.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on March 08, 2015, 07:16:55 PM
The interim approval including equivalencies between FHWA typefaces and Clearview typefaces was just asking for trouble.  The IA shows that table and probably doesn't in retrospect emphasize enough that ONLY 5-W and 5-W-R are approved for use at all.

It does not actually exclude the other Clearview typefaces from the approval.  The attempt to deprecate them came only much later, with the Clearview FAQ.

Quote
The table in the IA saying that 3-W is essentially equivalent to Series D was just asking for trouble with people using it when they shouldn't.  The result was predictably signage with all sorts of too-narrow Clearview, in all-caps even.  Ohio's design manual makes use of all different series of Clearview for certain signs with destination legend, with the only info about Clearview buried in an appendix which in turn refers the reader to the IA online.  Nothing in the manual about using 5-W/5-W-R _only_ or anything like that.

As written, the IA allows the use of any typeface in the Clearview family, in any capitalization mode currently permitted by the MUTCD.  If FHWA wanted to forbid the use of the narrower Clearview typefaces, it would have had to say so expressly in the IA, which it did not do.  Many state DOTs initially failed to understand the rationale for using Clearview (which really makes sense only when the legend is mixed-case) and simply started using Clearview on all of their positive-contrast guide and general informatory signing, including ones (such as D-series signs in many states) that by default use all-uppercase legend.  Not many state DOTs did as TxDOT did, which was to overhaul its conventional-road guide signing to take advantage of Clearview.  (As an example, TxDOT county line signs used to be in all-uppercase with the county name in larger type, but with Clearview the county name was put in mixed-case while all-uppercase was retained for the "small words" that are useful for identifying the type of sign but are not really read.)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: PurdueBill on March 08, 2015, 07:33:10 PM
There is no reason for sign design sheets dated 2013 and 2014 to be using the narrower series.  The date on the sheets for both signs above is July 18, 2014.  There is NO reason that any Clearview belongs on a spec sheet less than a year old for a sign with all caps and numerals that isn't designable.  The FAQ has been around long enough, with anyone who cares able to see it (and those designing signs probably should be aware of it), that it's obvious that the Clearview doesn't belong on either sign.   If the IA wasn't clear, more recent FHWA guidance has been clear.  A 2014 design sheet has no business ignoring the guidance and using anything but what is called for.

Virginia was smart enough to come out with something to straighten out the problems.  Ohio seems to not have gotten the memo--seeing stuff like those Safety Patrol signs day in and day out which never were intended to be Clearview in the first place drives you crazy when you know that the rollout was botched and butchered needlessly.  The only thing worse is seeing those black-on-yellow Clearview signs in PA for things like "Fasten Seat Belts Next Million Miles"....
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vtk on March 08, 2015, 07:51:20 PM
What's the point of those Safety Patrol signs, besides creating an opportunity for ODOT to take in ad revenue from State Farm?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: PurdueBill on March 08, 2015, 07:52:15 PM
Beats me.  I know that I once had mechanical issues on I-77 just outside Akron and never saw the Safety Patrol for the hours I was with the vehicle.  And I have State Farm!!
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on March 08, 2015, 08:37:58 PM
There is no reason for sign design sheets dated 2013 and 2014 to be using the narrower series.  The date on the sheets for both signs above is July 18, 2014.  There is NO reason that any Clearview belongs on a spec sheet less than a year old for a sign with all caps and numerals that isn't designable.  The FAQ has been around long enough, with anyone who cares able to see it (and those designing signs probably should be aware of it), that it's obvious that the Clearview doesn't belong on either sign.   If the IA wasn't clear, more recent FHWA guidance has been clear.  A 2014 design sheet has no business ignoring the guidance and using anything but what is called for.

The FAQ is not regulatory.  Not all of its advice is good either--for example, it calls for interline spacing set equal to the lowercase loop height of Clearview, which is a good deal higher than that of the FHWA series of the same uppercase letter height.  Almost nobody follows this particular bit of advice (thankfully).

It is up to an individual state DOT to decide what elements of the FAQ it wants to make into standard requirements and to circularize its staff and consultant designers accordingly.

As for the IA, it cannot be "clear" on something not being allowed when it is, in fact, allowed.

Quote
Virginia was smart enough to come out with something to straighten out the problems.  Ohio seems to not have gotten the memo--seeing stuff like those Safety Patrol signs day in and day out which never were intended to be Clearview in the first place drives you crazy when you know that the rollout was botched and butchered needlessly.

VDOT had some initial missteps.  Instead of redesigning their conventional-road guide signs from the get-go, like TxDOT did, they tried to use Clearview as a drop-in replacement.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: PurdueBill on March 08, 2015, 08:47:58 PM
Words like "Acceptable" vs. "NOT Acceptable" on the FAQ page titled "Design and Use Policy for Clearview Alphabet" with the word "Policy" may not be regulatory, but it sure sounds damned close to saying Do this, not that.  Bad usage back in 2004 is understandable.  Bad usage today, not understandable. 
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Zeffy on March 09, 2015, 05:12:59 PM
It seems like the CFEA has utilized those new super-hi-tech VMS to... display text in Clearview???

(http://i.imgur.com/PyX2hSZ.png)
Photo by Alex Nitzman

Compare the 4 in the I-4 shield to the 4 in the 1/4 text - you'll notice it's different. I can guarantee with certainty that it's Clearview, and  I'm sure the EAST/WEST is also Clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: cl94 on March 09, 2015, 05:20:50 PM
It seems like the CFEA has utilized those new super-hi-tech VMS to... display text in Clearview???

[img snipped]


Compare the 4 in the I-4 shield to the 4 in the 1/4 text - you'll notice it's different. I can guarantee with certainty that it's Clearview, and  I'm sure the EAST/WEST is also Clearview.

That looks like something NYSTA would do. Recently, all of their cardinal directions have been Clearview, even on reassurance markers.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: 6a on March 09, 2015, 07:37:41 PM

What's the point of those Safety Patrol signs, besides creating an opportunity for ODOT to take in ad revenue from State Farm?

That is exactly why. State Farm threw money at the state for the rights to wrap the safety patrol trucks with their logos.

Beats me.  I know that I once had mechanical issues on I-77 just outside Akron and never saw the Safety Patrol for the hours I was with the vehicle.  And I have State Farm!!

Last summer I got a call that one of our trucks was broken down "on I-71 by Polaris" which really doesn't narrow things down. I'm headed north on 71, turns out they're stopped right under the Polaris bridge. By the time I got there the patrol was there, helping to fix a coolant hose. Since the truck barfed coolant, the guy called in another patrol truck that had a coolant pump on it. They said the camera guys saw the truck stopped and called them in.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on March 09, 2015, 09:04:37 PM
Bad usage back in 2004 is understandable.  Bad usage today, not understandable.

Agreed.

Quote
Words like "Acceptable" vs. "NOT Acceptable" on the FAQ page titled "Design and Use Policy for Clearview Alphabet" with the word "Policy" may not be regulatory, but it sure sounds damned close to saying Do this, not that.

This is true.  The title and link use the word "Policy" and the prescriptions are expressed in categorical language.  However, the document does not specify an enforcement mechanism, nor does it make a claim for its own legal authority.  FHWA has the right of review for construction plans for federal-aid projects, so in principle a state FHWA office can ask that a set of Clearview signing plans be revised in accord with the FAQ guidelines.  However, the state DOT is usually very close while Washington is very far away, and HOTO (which handles the MUTCD and related issues) is just a small part of HQ.  From FHWA's perspective the path of least resistance is for the state FHWA office to conduct a high-level dialogue with the senior traffic engineers at the state DOT, obtain their buy-in to the FAQ guidelines (expressed through a memo the DOT circulates), and hope that the state DOT's staff and consultants follow this lead.  I don't think state FHWA offices are really resourced well enough to police typeface usage on signs, even if they considered it a high priority, which I doubt they do.

In contradistinction, the IA memo has regulatory value because it lays out approved experimentation as provided for by a certain section of the MUTCD, which itself is a regulatory document since it is included in the CFR by reference and the Secretary of Transportation is authorized by an act of Congress to make rules (including adoption of a given edition of the MUTCD as the national traffic manual) that are codified in the CFR.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jakeroot on March 18, 2015, 01:37:31 AM
Nice close-up of a Vancouver BC street blade. Funny how big they are in real life.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CAWRu6VWUAAIoxc.png:large)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Brandon on March 18, 2015, 10:53:08 AM
^^ That's a sign you'll never see in Illinois.  He got his ass bounced out of the governor's office last November.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jakeroot on March 18, 2015, 05:50:20 PM
^^ That's a sign you'll never see in Illinois.  He got his ass bounced out of the governor's office last November.

Evidently, there's a few more Pat Quinn's than I thought (five more, to be exact, according to Wikipedia).
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Brandon on March 18, 2015, 05:51:39 PM
^^ That's a sign you'll never see in Illinois.  He got his ass bounced out of the governor's office last November.

Evidently, there's a few more Pat Quinn's than I thought (five more, to be exact, according to Wikipedia).

Yeah, I noticed that too, when I saw the sign.  :-D
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vtk on March 18, 2015, 06:56:11 PM
^^ That's a sign you'll never see in Illinois.  He got his ass bounced out of the governor's office last November.

Evidently, there's a few more Pat Quinn's than I thought (five more, to be exact, according to Wikipedia).

And those are just the notable ones.  From census data on name frequency, we can estimate there are approximately 9 males named Pat Quinn living in the US today, and about 163 named Patrick Quinn.  (Most of the Pats are probably actually Patricks who choose to write the short form of their name on government forms.)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: AsphaltPlanet on March 19, 2015, 04:43:36 PM
Some Toronto Clearview:

(http://www.asphaltplanet.ca/ON/Ontroads/Clearview_Gdr_west_Mar15_1.jpg)

(http://www.asphaltplanet.ca/ON/Ontroads/Clearview_Gdr_west_Mar15_2.jpg)

(http://www.asphaltplanet.ca/ON/Ontroads/Clearview_Gdr_west_Mar15_3.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: SignGeek101 on March 19, 2015, 06:03:23 PM
Some Toronto Clearview:

(http://www.asphaltplanet.ca/ON/Ontroads/Clearview_Gdr_west_Mar15_1.jpg)

(http://www.asphaltplanet.ca/ON/Ontroads/Clearview_Gdr_west_Mar15_2.jpg)

(http://www.asphaltplanet.ca/ON/Ontroads/Clearview_Gdr_west_Mar15_3.jpg)

This can't be from the MTO, they dont use Clearview, right? Must be from the city.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: cl94 on March 19, 2015, 06:54:39 PM
Some Toronto Clearview:

[images snipped]

This can't be from the MTO, they dont use Clearview, right? Must be from the city.

They did for a short time. A few months ago, I saw some on 406 and there's some on the QEW (https://www.google.com/maps/@43.242867,-79.74309,3a,75y,296.91h,89.74t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1slIkCo26AUCNc8_REKi_qMg!2e0).
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: AsphaltPlanet on March 19, 2015, 07:12:53 PM
^ About 6 or 7 years ago, MTO put up about a dozen or so signs along the QEW and 406 using clearview font as a trial.  They haven't put any up since (and actually have replaced a few clearview signs with FHWA since the trial).

The signs that I have put up are along the City of Toronto maintained portion of the Gardiner Expressway (former QEW).  The City of Toronto exclusively uses Clearview signage on the expressways that it maintains.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Pink Jazz on April 30, 2015, 04:21:05 PM
Going back to the subject of Virginia, it appears that most of the logo signs on I-64 on the Virginia Peninsula have been replaced by new ones in Clearview fairly recently.  I wonder if these were installed or fabricated before or after Virginia updated its policy on its use of Clearview.  Perhaps Virginia's logo sign contractor (Interstate Logos subsidiary Virginia Logos) hasn't yet gotten the word on the state's current policy on the use of Clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jakeroot on April 30, 2015, 04:23:18 PM
Going back to the subject of Virginia, it appears that most of the logo signs on I-64 on the Virginia Peninsula have been replaced by new ones in Clearview fairly recently.  I wonder if these were installed or fabricated before or after Virginia updated its policy on its use of Clearview.  Perhaps Virginia's logo sign contractor (Interstate Logos subsidiary Virginia Logos) hasn't yet gotten the word on the state's current policy on the use of Clearview.

I know the "policy" changed but I'm not convinced the practice is changing. I don't think any state has, in writing, a directive to use Clearview outside of destination legends, but it happens anyway. I think Clearview on blue/purple/etc will continue until Clearview is discontinued altogether, policy be-damned.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Pink Jazz on April 30, 2015, 05:54:27 PM

I know the "policy" changed but I'm not convinced the practice is changing. I don't think any state has, in writing, a directive to use Clearview outside of destination legends, but it happens anyway. I think Clearview on blue/purple/etc will continue until Clearview is discontinued altogether, policy be-damned.

Well, it seems that this policy is being followed for BGS, since the new signs at the I-85/I-95 interchange have Clearview only for the destination legends and Highway Gothic for everything else.  There are also reports of a new sign on I-95 southbound at Exit 161 (Woodbridge) that uses Highway Gothic Series D.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: codyg1985 on April 30, 2015, 08:00:25 PM

I know the "policy" changed but I'm not convinced the practice is changing. I don't think any state has, in writing, a directive to use Clearview outside of destination legends, but it happens anyway. I think Clearview on blue/purple/etc will continue until Clearview is discontinued altogether, policy be-damned.

Well, it seems that this policy is being followed for BGS, since the new signs at the I-85/I-95 interchange have Clearview only for the destination legends and Highway Gothic for everything else.  There are also reports of a new sign on I-95 southbound at Exit 161 (Woodbridge) that uses Highway Gothic Series D.

I have seen new BGSs in Houston where the exit tabs were in FHWA and the rest of the sign was in Clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Zeffy on May 11, 2015, 10:03:18 AM
Crossposted from the New Jersey thread. A week or two ago, I emailed NJDOT asking them if Clearview was intended to be present on new sign installs on I-195/I-295 in the Trenton area. While the email confirmed that, it also brought to light the future of the typeface:

Quote
Hello Matthew,
Thank you for contacting the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT). NJDOT is aware of all signs in the field using Clearview font. FHWA gave NJDOT interim approval in 2007 for the use of Clearview lettering on I-676 and I-76 as a test case. Based on positive feedback, Clearview font was installed on additional signs on Rt. 18, Rt. 295, and Rt. 195. A representative from FHWA has reached out to us recently and told us that they will no longer be pursuing the standardization of the Clearview font. Based on this direction, NJDOT will not be fabricating or installing more signs using Clearview. These signs will be replaced in the future with signs using the EC* Modified font.

I hope this information is helpful. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact the office of Community and Constituent Relations at (609) 530-2110.
NJ DOT Correspondence Unit

* Note - I believe "EC" was intended to be either EM or E.

It should seem that Clearview is effectively dead at this point. I wonder how many states will begin to re-transition to the FHWA fonts? Big ones that come to mind near me are Pennsylvania and Delaware, as well as the New York Thruway Authority.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: cl94 on May 11, 2015, 11:01:11 AM
Crossposted from the New Jersey thread. A week or two ago, I emailed NJDOT asking them if Clearview was intended to be present on new sign installs on I-195/I-295 in the Trenton area. While the email confirmed that, it also brought to light the future of the typeface:

Quote
Hello Matthew,
Thank you for contacting the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT). NJDOT is aware of all signs in the field using Clearview font. FHWA gave NJDOT interim approval in 2007 for the use of Clearview lettering on I-676 and I-76 as a test case. Based on positive feedback, Clearview font was installed on additional signs on Rt. 18, Rt. 295, and Rt. 195. A representative from FHWA has reached out to us recently and told us that they will no longer be pursuing the standardization of the Clearview font. Based on this direction, NJDOT will not be fabricating or installing more signs using Clearview. These signs will be replaced in the future with signs using the EC* Modified font.

I hope this information is helpful. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact the office of Community and Constituent Relations at (609) 530-2110.
NJ DOT Correspondence Unit

* Note - I believe "EC" was intended to be either EM or E.

It should seem that Clearview is effectively dead at this point. I wonder how many states will begin to re-transition to the FHWA fonts? Big ones that come to mind near me are Pennsylvania and Delaware, as well as the New York Thruway Authority.

Good question. I know NYSTA has FHWA in its plans. Anyone know what font was installed on the new Exit 50 BGS on the monotube?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: SignGeek101 on May 11, 2015, 12:14:07 PM
Crossposted from the New Jersey thread. A week or two ago, I emailed NJDOT asking them if Clearview was intended to be present on new sign installs on I-195/I-295 in the Trenton area. While the email confirmed that, it also brought to light the future of the typeface:

Quote
Hello Matthew,
Thank you for contacting the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT). NJDOT is aware of all signs in the field using Clearview font. FHWA gave NJDOT interim approval in 2007 for the use of Clearview lettering on I-676 and I-76 as a test case. Based on positive feedback, Clearview font was installed on additional signs on Rt. 18, Rt. 295, and Rt. 195. A representative from FHWA has reached out to us recently and told us that they will no longer be pursuing the standardization of the Clearview font. Based on this direction, NJDOT will not be fabricating or installing more signs using Clearview. These signs will be replaced in the future with signs using the EC* Modified font.

I hope this information is helpful. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact the office of Community and Constituent Relations at (609) 530-2110.
NJ DOT Correspondence Unit

* Note - I believe "EC" was intended to be either EM or E.

It should seem that Clearview is effectively dead at this point. I wonder how many states will begin to re-transition to the FHWA fonts? Big ones that come to mind near me are Pennsylvania and Delaware, as well as the New York Thruway Authority.

What about E with EM spacing? I forget what the name is.

It should seem that Clearview is effectively dead at this point. I wonder how many states will begin to re-transition to the FHWA fonts? Big ones that come to mind near me are Pennsylvania and Delaware, as well as the New York Thruway Authority.

I guess Manitoba isn't on that bandwagon. But I don't expect anything more coming from my end of the fence.

(http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b551/slik_sh00ter/Untitled_zpscojypy3j.png)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: cl94 on May 11, 2015, 12:25:18 PM
Crossposted from the New Jersey thread. A week or two ago, I emailed NJDOT asking them if Clearview was intended to be present on new sign installs on I-195/I-295 in the Trenton area. While the email confirmed that, it also brought to light the future of the typeface:

Quote
Hello Matthew,
Thank you for contacting the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT). NJDOT is aware of all signs in the field using Clearview font. FHWA gave NJDOT interim approval in 2007 for the use of Clearview lettering on I-676 and I-76 as a test case. Based on positive feedback, Clearview font was installed on additional signs on Rt. 18, Rt. 295, and Rt. 195. A representative from FHWA has reached out to us recently and told us that they will no longer be pursuing the standardization of the Clearview font. Based on this direction, NJDOT will not be fabricating or installing more signs using Clearview. These signs will be replaced in the future with signs using the EC* Modified font.

I hope this information is helpful. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact the office of Community and Constituent Relations at (609) 530-2110.
NJ DOT Correspondence Unit

* Note - I believe "EC" was intended to be either EM or E.

It should seem that Clearview is effectively dead at this point. I wonder how many states will begin to re-transition to the FHWA fonts? Big ones that come to mind near me are Pennsylvania and Delaware, as well as the New York Thruway Authority.

What about E with EM spacing? I forget what the name is.

It should seem that Clearview is effectively dead at this point. I wonder how many states will begin to re-transition to the FHWA fonts? Big ones that come to mind near me are Pennsylvania and Delaware, as well as the New York Thruway Authority.

I guess Manitoba isn't on that bandwagon. But I don't expect anything more coming from my end of the fence.

(http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b551/slik_sh00ter/Untitled_zpscojypy3j.png)

Canada operates under different standards. FHWA showed Clearview the door.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: TXtoNJ on May 11, 2015, 12:35:37 PM
I wonder if Texas will comply. My suspicion is that they will not until funding is threatened.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jeffandnicole on May 11, 2015, 12:41:04 PM
I wonder if Texas will comply. My suspicion is that they will not until funding is threatened.

Comply with what?  Not pursuing is not the same as an outright ban on it.  If FHWA has given approval to Texas, that approval could be good for several years.  In terms of things to withhold money for, I would think this is going to be pretty low on the list.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: cl94 on May 11, 2015, 12:49:22 PM
I wonder if Texas will comply. My suspicion is that they will not until funding is threatened.

Comply with what?  Not pursuing is not the same as an outright ban on it.  If FHWA has given approval to Texas, that approval could be good for several years.  In terms of things to withhold money for, I would think this is going to be pretty low on the list.

But with the highway trust fund how it is, the feds might try anything to try and lessen the money they have to pay out.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jeffandnicole on May 11, 2015, 01:20:51 PM
I wonder if Texas will comply. My suspicion is that they will not until funding is threatened.

Comply with what?  Not pursuing is not the same as an outright ban on it.  If FHWA has given approval to Texas, that approval could be good for several years.  In terms of things to withhold money for, I would think this is going to be pretty low on the list.

But with the highway trust fund how it is, the feds might try anything to try and lessen the money they have to pay out.

We have 291 pages filled with examples of 'Erroneous' and 'Worst Of' signage.  If the feds were going to do something, they could start with the thousands of non-compliant signs that already exist.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jakeroot on May 11, 2015, 02:55:53 PM
* Note - I believe "EC" was intended to be either EM or E.

What about E with EM spacing? I forget what the name is.

Enhanced E Modified. Some studies showed it being superior to Clearview and regular E(M).

I don't know all of the states using it, but probably a third of all new sign installs in Washington State over the last year have EE(M) (at least in the area where I live).

It should seem that Clearview is effectively dead at this point.

A lot of people said that after the interim approval was denied to Gray's Harbor. So far, I haven't seen a slowdown.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on May 11, 2015, 03:01:35 PM
It should seem that Clearview is effectively dead at this point.

A lot of people said that after the interim approval was denied to Gray's Harbor. So far, I haven't seen a slowdown.

I have--Iowa DOT has definitely thrown it overboard.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jakeroot on May 11, 2015, 03:10:30 PM
It should seem that Clearview is effectively dead at this point.

A lot of people said that after the interim approval was denied to Gray's Harbor. So far, I haven't seen a slowdown.

I have--Iowa DOT has definitely thrown it overboard.

Meant that to be a figure of speech.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: SignGeek101 on May 11, 2015, 03:29:37 PM
Crossposted from the New Jersey thread. A week or two ago, I emailed NJDOT asking them if Clearview was intended to be present on new sign installs on I-195/I-295 in the Trenton area. While the email confirmed that, it also brought to light the future of the typeface:

Quote
Hello Matthew,
Thank you for contacting the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT). NJDOT is aware of all signs in the field using Clearview font. FHWA gave NJDOT interim approval in 2007 for the use of Clearview lettering on I-676 and I-76 as a test case. Based on positive feedback, Clearview font was installed on additional signs on Rt. 18, Rt. 295, and Rt. 195. A representative from FHWA has reached out to us recently and told us that they will no longer be pursuing the standardization of the Clearview font. Based on this direction, NJDOT will not be fabricating or installing more signs using Clearview. These signs will be replaced in the future with signs using the EC* Modified font.

I hope this information is helpful. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact the office of Community and Constituent Relations at (609) 530-2110.
NJ DOT Correspondence Unit

* Note - I believe "EC" was intended to be either EM or E.

It should seem that Clearview is effectively dead at this point. I wonder how many states will begin to re-transition to the FHWA fonts? Big ones that come to mind near me are Pennsylvania and Delaware, as well as the New York Thruway Authority.

What about E with EM spacing? I forget what the name is.

It should seem that Clearview is effectively dead at this point. I wonder how many states will begin to re-transition to the FHWA fonts? Big ones that come to mind near me are Pennsylvania and Delaware, as well as the New York Thruway Authority.

I guess Manitoba isn't on that bandwagon. But I don't expect anything more coming from my end of the fence.

(http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b551/slik_sh00ter/Untitled_zpscojypy3j.png)

Canada operates under different standards. FHWA showed Clearview the door.

I know, but I still have my hopes. Quebec seems to at least notice the Mutcd. There is already a thread on this in the Canada boards, so I won't talk about it.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: freebrickproductions on May 12, 2015, 09:33:08 AM
ALDOT's currently using a mixture of Clearview and Highway Gothic (I believe Series E(M)) on all new signs. E(M) on brand new signs at new interchanges and Clearview on replacement signage.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Thing 342 on May 12, 2015, 05:36:44 PM
VDOT has reigned in its use of Clearview in the past two years or so, with most new signs following a fairly strict interpretation of the FHWA's rules. Before, the font was used everywhere on most new signage.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: cl94 on May 16, 2015, 09:55:46 PM
Saw some brand-new BGSes on a new sign structure over I-190 in Buffalo. Might just be because the project is part of something done by NYSDOT, but I-190 (maintained by NYSTA) recently got some new signs that weren't Clearview. First non-Clearview signs in years. Maybe this is the beginning of the end?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: KG909 on May 16, 2015, 10:02:07 PM
Saw some brand-new BGSes on a new sign structure over I-190 in Buffalo. Might just be because the project is part of something done by NYSDOT, but I-190 (maintained by NYSTA) recently got some new signs that weren't Clearview. First non-Clearview signs in years. Maybe this is the beginning of the end?
Good
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jakeroot on May 17, 2015, 02:40:55 PM
Tacoma uses Clearview in the strangest places:

(http://i.imgur.com/11rxAPA.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: codyg1985 on May 17, 2015, 02:42:42 PM
Eww, and a borderless sign, at that.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vdeane on May 17, 2015, 05:13:13 PM
Saw some brand-new BGSes on a new sign structure over I-190 in Buffalo. Might just be because the project is part of something done by NYSDOT, but I-190 (maintained by NYSTA) recently got some new signs that weren't Clearview. First non-Clearview signs in years. Maybe this is the beginning of the end?
Maybe.  There's also this relatively new sign down in Yonkers:
(http://nysroads.com/images/gallery/NY/i87/100_9404-s.JPG)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Pink Jazz on May 19, 2015, 04:15:50 PM
Just as a thought, does anyone find Clearview to be more "feminine" than Highway Gothic?  I wonder if the FHWA doesn't want American road signs to be in a girly font.  It seems that humanist sans-serif fonts are sometimes viewed as more feminine than grotesque or neo-grotesque fonts.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jakeroot on May 19, 2015, 04:26:17 PM
Just as a thought, does anyone find Clearview to be more "feminine" than Highway Gothic?  I wonder if the FHWA doesn't want American road signs to be in a girly font.

It has a more humanist feel than Highway Gothic, I believe by design. In that sense, I suppose you could consider it more feminine.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: SignGeek101 on May 19, 2015, 04:32:14 PM
Just as a thought, does anyone find Clearview to be more "feminine" than Highway Gothic?  I wonder if the FHWA doesn't want American road signs to be in a girly font.  It seems that humanist sans-serif fonts are sometimes viewed as more feminine than grotesque or neo-grotesque fonts.

No, I don't think you can say it looks more "feminine". I'll admit, it looks more modern and "smooth" than FHWA though.

Calibri is another example. It looks smoother than Arial or Times New Roman, even though Times New Roman is a serif font, and calibri is humanist sans-serif.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: hbelkins on May 19, 2015, 05:15:27 PM
Just as a thought, does anyone find Clearview to be more "feminine" than Highway Gothic?

No.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: 6a on May 19, 2015, 05:21:32 PM
Figured you guys would appreciate this...

(http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/05/19/d992b7fc0f15d7a82d3b8fd9160c764f.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: SignGeek101 on May 19, 2015, 05:48:25 PM
Figured you guys would appreciate this...

(http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/05/19/d992b7fc0f15d7a82d3b8fd9160c764f.jpg)

I find it ironic. The "road to progress" is converting all road signage to Clearview!  :-D
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Duke87 on May 19, 2015, 09:17:13 PM
I can totally see that. Clearview is curvier than Highway Gothic, and there is definitely an association that blocky = masculine while curvy = feminine. This not only matches the forms of men's and women's bodies, it also mirrors their handwriting. I've noticed that women's handwriting is usually curvier than men's.

Of course it's a chicken-egg problem. Do we perceive curvy text as feminine because women have curvy writing, or do girls develop curvy writing when they learn to write because it's perceived as more feminine?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vtk on May 19, 2015, 10:49:23 PM
Figured you guys would appreciate this...

(http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/05/19/d992b7fc0f15d7a82d3b8fd9160c764f.jpg)

I think you found the "smallest BGS in your area" too…
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Brandon on May 20, 2015, 02:23:30 PM
Just as a thought, does anyone find Clearview to be more "feminine" than Highway Gothic?

No.  Clearview reminds me of Transport (which I have a strong dislike for).  It's not the overall shapes of the letters (and numbers for that matter) that bother me, it's the stupidness with some of them.  The silly tail on the lowercase "l", the extra long tail on the "g", the "2", the "6", and the "9".
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Kacie Jane on May 20, 2015, 08:29:14 PM
I can totally see that. Clearview is curvier than Highway Gothic, and there is definitely an association that blocky = masculine while curvy = feminine. This not only matches the forms of men's and women's bodies, it also mirrors their handwriting. I've noticed that women's handwriting is usually curvier than men's.

Of course it's a chicken-egg problem. Do we perceive curvy text as feminine because women have curvy writing, or do girls develop curvy writing when they learn to write because it's perceived as more feminine?

It didn't occur to me when Pink Jazz originally posed the question, but for this reason (comparing it to handwriting), I'm going to go ahead and say yes as well.  Specifically, I think the larger loops in letters like a and e are a trait of stereotypically feminine handwriting.  Also, I think in part because of those larger loops, there's an optical illusion in effect (to me at least) where lower case letters look larger as a whole in Clearview than they do in Highway Gothic, which would also be a feminine trait.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vtk on May 20, 2015, 09:22:23 PM
Also, I think in part because of those larger loops, there's an optical illusion in effect (to me at least) where lower case letters look larger as a whole in Clearview than they do in Highway Gothic,

The lowercase letters actually are larger in Clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: mwb1848 on May 28, 2015, 11:41:05 PM
While driving across Southern Arizona, I noticed a subtle inconsistency on a handful of BGS's. They are clustered along I-10 east of Downtown Tucson. All legend on the BGS's is in Clearview EXCEPT the numeral or fraction indicating mileage to the exit.

(http://i907.photobucket.com/albums/ac274/martinbartlett/27ad33bb-39e9-4412-8366-add8f82a7f2e_zpsccqaqocf.jpg) (http://s907.photobucket.com/user/martinbartlett/media/27ad33bb-39e9-4412-8366-add8f82a7f2e_zpsccqaqocf.jpg.html)

(Sorry about the glare; It is Arizona, after all.)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: SignGeek101 on May 29, 2015, 12:42:16 AM
While driving across Southern Arizona, I noticed a subtle inconsistency on a handful of BGS's. They are clustered along I-10 east of Downtown Tucson. All legend on the BGS's is in Clearview EXCEPT the numeral or fraction indicating mileage to the exit.

(http://i907.photobucket.com/albums/ac274/martinbartlett/27ad33bb-39e9-4412-8366-add8f82a7f2e_zpsccqaqocf.jpg) (http://s907.photobucket.com/user/martinbartlett/media/27ad33bb-39e9-4412-8366-add8f82a7f2e_zpsccqaqocf.jpg.html)

(Sorry about the glare; It is Arizona, after all.)

It's not just I-10. And it appears Arizona has been doing this for awhile:

http://goo.gl/maps/ZAZGH  :spin:

These signs were installed in Jan 2012.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Pink Jazz on May 29, 2015, 03:28:20 AM
Based on my observations, distance numerals are not usually in Clearview here in the Phoenix area, although there are some exceptions.  Some even use Clearview for the whole numbers but the fractions in FHWA Series E(M).
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vdeane on May 29, 2015, 03:19:01 PM
Those Arizona signs remind me of the Thruway ones, especially the exit tab.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: cl94 on May 29, 2015, 04:04:58 PM
Those Arizona signs remind me of the Thruway ones, especially the exit tab.

And as reflective
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vtk on June 02, 2015, 10:40:08 AM
I seem to recall reading about an early complaint Arizona had regarding Clearview, their sign design software, and composing fractions.  I would guess they made it a policy to make their fractions in EM because they had so much trouble getting them to look right in Clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on June 04, 2015, 06:57:15 AM
FHWA guidance is to use FHWA Series for the distance legend anyway, so there you go.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on June 04, 2015, 12:50:15 PM
I seem to recall reading about an early complaint Arizona had regarding Clearview, their sign design software, and composing fractions.  I would guess they made it a policy to make their fractions in EM because they had so much trouble getting them to look right in Clearview.

Their complaint was with SignCAD, which they require for all of their signing plans (produced in-house and by consultants).  At about the time Arizona adopted Clearview, SignCAD allowed users to enter precomposed fraction rectangles:  the problem was that the numerals were of the correct size when Series E Modified was used, but were too small when Clearview was used.  The initial fix was to require designers to confect the fraction rectangles by hand, rather than using precomposed ones, but this was considerably less convenient.  (TxDOT had the same problem and it is very evident in their Clearview signing plans, but they are less fussy about their signing than Arizona DOT and did nothing to address the issue.)  The current solution--using Series E Modified for all numerals, not just ones in fraction rectangles--came later and seems to have been driven by a general dissatisfaction with Clearview numerals.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Pink Jazz on June 04, 2015, 04:35:27 PM

The current solution--using Series E Modified for all numerals, not just ones in fraction rectangles--came later and seems to have been driven by a general dissatisfaction with Clearview numerals.

Numerals for exit numbers continue to use Clearview, however, it seems that distance numerals on most of the newest signs are now in Series E Modified.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Pink Jazz on August 04, 2015, 12:03:08 PM
BTW, I wonder if ADOT is doing away with Clearview, since I saw two newly installed signs (for Loop 101 South and McClintock Drive) in Series E Modified at the US 60 Superstition Freeway westbound and the Loop 101 Price Freeway, replacing two of the few leftover button copy signs on the Superstition Freeway.  However, it is possible that these signs may be recycled, since the hazmat prohibition sign displays "HC" instead of the current MUTCD standard "HM".  If they were recycled perhaps they may have been pulled off from the Loop 202 Red Mountain Freeway, considering there is a construction project going on there.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: roadfro on August 08, 2015, 03:21:52 PM
^ Are surrounding signs in Clearview? Maybe it's a case of it looking better to not have one Clearview sign in a stretch of E Modified signage...?

Could it be a carbon copy of a previous sign plan?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on August 08, 2015, 04:33:18 PM
I think recycling is the likeliest explanation.  Arizona DOT doesn't carbon-copy and they are still calling for Clearview in recent signing plans.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Pink Jazz on August 08, 2015, 05:44:39 PM
^ Are surrounding signs in Clearview? Maybe it's a case of it looking better to not have one Clearview sign in a stretch of E Modified signage...?

Could it be a carbon copy of a previous sign plan?

The gantry isn't shared with other signs, so I assume they are recycled then, probably taken from the Loop 202 Red Mountain Freeway as part of its widening project and moved to the US 60 Superstition Freeway to replace the old button copy signage.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: busman_49 on August 12, 2015, 01:14:07 PM
I drove to the Cleveland area last week from Dayton.  In recent years, just about everything on 70 from Dayton to just outside Springfield, then on I-71 from the Delaware County line until I exited the highway in West Salem has been changed to Clearview...the more I see it, the more I hate it.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: cl94 on August 12, 2015, 03:39:58 PM
I drove to the Cleveland area last week from Dayton.  In recent years, just about everything on 70 from Dayton to just outside Springfield, then on I-71 from the Delaware County line until I exited the highway in West Salem has been changed to Clearview...the more I see it, the more I hate it.

I-70 is pretty much all-Clearview west of US 42. Makes sense, as a lot of that stretch has been widened or reconstructed recently. Same thing on I-71 - most of it south of I-271 was widened in recent years and overhead signage was installed. Except for services signs, most of the button copy is gone as well, save a few assorted signs mainly in cities.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Pink Jazz on August 20, 2015, 09:02:20 PM
Today, I just noticed a newly installed sign in Series E Modified at US 60 and Loop 101 North, this time in the eastbound direction.  This one has the correct MUTCD standard "HM" hazmat prohibition sign on it.

So it looks like ADOT may indeed be doing away with Clearview.  We will know for sure I think once the logo signs go up on the Superstition Freeway sometime in the fall, since all of the Phoenix area logo signs (not counting those that existed prior to 2013 which are part of the rural program) are entirely in Clearview (even though they shouldn't be since the service types on them are in all-caps).
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Pink Jazz on October 02, 2015, 12:18:47 AM
I just got an update about ADOT, and I got confirmation that ADOT will be discontinuing the use of Clearview due to it likely being rescinded by the FHWA.  However, here is where it gets interesting: ADOT is actually developing new signage specifications, and the plans call for new freeway signage to use Series E, rather than Series E Modified.  Signage for non-freeway roads will primarily use Series D, with some smaller signs (such as street name signs) and width-constrained signs using Series C.

Since the new sign specifications have not been finalized yet, ADOT is probably using Series E Modified for now.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Pink Jazz on November 18, 2015, 08:15:21 PM
Looks like most of the logo signs have gone up on the US 60 Superstition Freeway, and to my surprise, they are still in Clearview.  I have seen a few new BGS that use Series E Modified in the interim until ADOT finalizes its new signage specifications, which will use plain Series E for freeways and Series D for non-freeway roads.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jakeroot on November 18, 2015, 08:36:41 PM
Looks like most of the logo signs have gone up on the US 60 Superstition Freeway, and to my surprise, they are still in Clearview.  I have seen a few new BGS that use Series E Modified in the interim until ADOT finalizes its new signage specifications, which will use plain Series E for freeways and Series D for non-freeway roads.

I'm no DOT employee, but AFAIK signage specifications can take a long time to develop and implement when a font change occurs.

As for Series E, is it just plain "E", or is it EE(M), which is plain Series E with wider spacing? Like this:

(http://i.imgur.com/RWMvkWI.png)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Pink Jazz on November 18, 2015, 08:48:45 PM
Looks like most of the logo signs have gone up on the US 60 Superstition Freeway, and to my surprise, they are still in Clearview.  I have seen a few new BGS that use Series E Modified in the interim until ADOT finalizes its new signage specifications, which will use plain Series E for freeways and Series D for non-freeway roads.

I'm no DOT employee, but AFAIK signage specifications can take a long time to develop and implement when a font change occurs.

As for Series E, is it just plain "E", or is it EE(M), which is plain Series E with wider spacing? Like this:

(http://i.imgur.com/RWMvkWI.png)

It will be plain Series E.  I have seen a few new signs in Series E Modified (mostly on the US 60 Superstition Freeway), and I assume it is being used in the interim until the new sign specifications are finalized, so I assume ADOT may be reusing a prior specification for these signs. 

As for the logo signs still using Clearview, note that when ADOT launched its urban program in 2013 the specifications for logo signs were changed, with all new logo signs (even in rural areas) now using an exit tab regardless of how many service types are on the sign.  Prior to these new specifications, logo signs with only one service type had both the service type and the exit number in the body of the sign (originally in Series E Modified on older button copy logo signs, then changed to Series D on the switch to retroreflective sheeting).  In addition, the exit tabs are now much larger than they were under the old specifications, with the tab now spanning the entire sign on vertical layout signs.  Since ADOT never used the FHWA series fonts with the current layouts, perhaps this could be the reason why Clearview is still being used for logo signs.  In truth, logo signs really shouldn't be in Clearview due to the all caps text and numerals.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: blanketcomputer on December 01, 2015, 06:38:25 PM
I noticed a crew replacing signs along Loop 202 Red Mountain in Mesa last night. I drove by today to check them out. They are all Clearview, replacing the original Highway Gothic signs that were installed during initial construction of Loop 202.

(http://s22.postimg.org/v65qd40h9/image.jpg)


(http://s22.postimg.org/ry1902e7h/image_1.jpg)
This sign used to read "Val Vista Dr 1/4 Mile". Does anyone know about ADOT's policy on listing exit distances?


(http://s22.postimg.org/5ktid9d9p/image_2.jpg)

ADOT has plans to install signs several more nights this week so we can probably expect more Clearview.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Pink Jazz on December 01, 2015, 08:36:14 PM
I noticed a crew replacing signs along Loop 202 Red Mountain in Mesa last night. I drove by today to check them out. They are all Clearview, replacing the original Highway Gothic signs that were installed during initial construction of Loop 202.

(http://s22.postimg.org/v65qd40h9/image.jpg)


(http://s22.postimg.org/ry1902e7h/image_1.jpg)
This sign used to read "Val Vista Dr 1/4 Mile". Does anyone know about ADOT's policy on listing exit distances?


(http://s22.postimg.org/5ktid9d9p/image_2.jpg)

ADOT has plans to install signs several more nights this week so we can probably expect more Clearview.

Interesting that even the numerals on that distance sign are in Clearview.  Early Clearview distance signs used Clearview for all distance numerals including the fractions, but this resulted in the fractions being taller than the whole numbers when using the SignCAD software.  ADOT tried to mitigate this issue by allowing sign designers to draw fraction rectangles in Clearview by hand, but this was too much of a hassle and resulted in fractions that looked funky, thus ADOT reverted to using Series E Modified for fractions.  Later on, the standard practice became to use Series E Modified for all distance numerals, and not just those in fraction rectangles.  I wonder why Clearview is being used for the distance numerals on that sign.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: NJ on December 01, 2015, 08:38:48 PM
(http://www.asphaltplanet.ca/PQ/A/15/A15_dv_62_north.jpg)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on December 02, 2015, 12:16:14 PM
Looks like most of the logo signs have gone up on the US 60 Superstition Freeway, and to my surprise, they are still in Clearview.  I have seen a few new BGS that use Series E Modified in the interim until ADOT finalizes its new signage specifications, which will use plain Series E for freeways and Series D for non-freeway roads.

I'm no DOT employee, but AFAIK signage specifications can take a long time to develop and implement when a font change occurs.

The AHTD rep that sometimes posts here said, in Arkansas at least, switching back to the traditional fonts is as easy as the engineer clicking a button.

I would imagine it's simpler to go from Clearview back to FHWA Series than the other way around because the FHWA fonts are in the MUTCD, there's no approvals outside of the agency that have to be obtained, the old standards for most signs probably still exist in the archives, etc.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on December 02, 2015, 12:33:47 PM
Interesting that even the numerals on that distance sign are in Clearview.  Early Clearview distance signs used Clearview for all distance numerals including the fractions, but this resulted in the fractions being taller than the whole numbers when using the SignCAD software.

The real problem, as I understand it, is that the fraction numerals were too small.

The AHTD rep that sometimes posts here said, in Arkansas at least, switching back to the traditional fonts is as easy as the engineer clicking a button.

I would imagine it's simpler to go from Clearview back to FHWA Series than the other way around because the FHWA fonts are in the MUTCD, there's no approvals outside of the agency that have to be obtained, the old standards for most signs probably still exist in the archives, etc.

Considering that all-uppercase primary destination legend on guide signs is no longer permitted (per 2009 MUTCD), the path of least resistance for Clearview-using agencies wishing to go back to the FHWA Series is probably just to substitute the typefaces in their current Clearview-oriented standards.  For example, IIRC the old Texas standard for D-series signs was 6" all-uppercase Series D with 4.5" interline spacing, while the current standard is mixed-case with 8" uppercase and 6" interline spacing.  Frankly I like this approach better than just substituting mixed-case with same UC letter height for all-uppercase, which is what KDOT has done for its D-series signs.  This compromises legibility and looks awful.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Scott5114 on December 02, 2015, 02:30:41 PM
I'm not very familiar with KDOT's D-series signs. Do you have an example handy of what the newer mixed-case ones look like?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: SignGeek101 on December 02, 2015, 02:39:54 PM
(http://www.asphaltplanet.ca/PQ/A/15/A15_dv_62_north.jpg)

I've always liked the way Quebec does 'Exit Only' tabs and Clearview. Not too much, no negative contrast and numerals in shields, and looks clean.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Quillz on December 04, 2015, 03:49:48 PM
I know the Wiki isn't the most reliable source, but it's been updated recently to state that the interim Clearview permits are going to be canceled, implying Clearview will no longer be allowed in the future.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: NJ on December 04, 2015, 03:55:47 PM
I know the Wiki isn't the most reliable source, but it's been updated recently to state that the interim Clearview permits are going to be canceled, implying Clearview will no longer be allowed in the future.

So clearview font no longer being used on MUTCD?  :hmmm:
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jakeroot on December 04, 2015, 04:04:07 PM
I know the Wiki isn't the most reliable source, but it's been updated recently to state that the interim Clearview permits are going to be canceled, implying Clearview will no longer be allowed in the future.

About a year and a half ago, an FHWA employee sent a letter to Gray's Harbor, Washington denying their request for Clearview, stating that the FHWA doesn't intend to issue further approvals. This (https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.atssa.com/Resources/Interpretation+Letters/IA-5.31+%28DENIED%29+Clearview-Grays+Harbor+Co+WA-REPLY.pdf) is the letter in question. Unless there's another part of the article that you're referencing?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Quillz on December 04, 2015, 04:07:25 PM
I know the Wiki isn't the most reliable source, but it's been updated recently to state that the interim Clearview permits are going to be canceled, implying Clearview will no longer be allowed in the future.

So clearview font no longer being used on MUTCD?  :hmmm:
It seems this might be the case, although districts that got permission in the past can probably keep using it.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: hbelkins on December 05, 2015, 09:35:06 PM
I know the Wiki isn't the most reliable source, but it's been updated recently to state that the interim Clearview permits are going to be canceled, implying Clearview will no longer be allowed in the future.

citation needed

Seriously, what does the Wiki entry cite as the source for such a blanket statement? We've all seen the Gray's Harbor letter. But I haven't seen anything definitive that existing permits are going to be cancelled.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: ztonyg on January 25, 2016, 03:14:09 AM
Looks like most of the logo signs have gone up on the US 60 Superstition Freeway, and to my surprise, they are still in Clearview.  I have seen a few new BGS that use Series E Modified in the interim until ADOT finalizes its new signage specifications, which will use plain Series E for freeways and Series D for non-freeway roads.

It looks like the signage specifications are finalized and ADOT is indeed going to plain Series E for freeways and Series D for non-freeway roads.

The sign specifications are here:

https://www.azdot.gov/business/engineering-and-construction/traffic/manual-of-approved-signs/guide-and-information-signs (https://www.azdot.gov/business/engineering-and-construction/traffic/manual-of-approved-signs/guide-and-information-signs)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: busman_49 on January 25, 2016, 09:46:59 AM
I THINK this is breaking news...
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/01/25/2016-01383/national-standards-for-traffic-control-devices-the-manual-on-uniform-traffic-control-devices-for?utm_campaign=subscription+mailing+list&utm_medium=email&utm_source=federalregister.gov

I believe there were rumblings before, but the notice was posted today, making it official.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: cl94 on January 25, 2016, 09:57:40 AM
I THINK this is breaking news...
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/01/25/2016-01383/national-standards-for-traffic-control-devices-the-manual-on-uniform-traffic-control-devices-for?utm_campaign=subscription+mailing+list&utm_medium=email&utm_source=federalregister.gov

I believe there were rumblings before, but the notice was posted today, making it official.

There we go. Effective in 30 days. As of February 24, 2016, fonts other than the FHWA series will no longer be permitted on new signage. Clearview is dead in the United States.

Existing signs that meet requirements can remain.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Zeffy on January 25, 2016, 10:06:51 AM
It will definitely be interesting to see new signs that pop up in Clearview-heavy states (Maryland, New York Thruway, etc.) that will utilize the FHWA series again. Maybe this will help curtail the ugly sign population.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: noelbotevera on January 25, 2016, 10:09:32 AM
So now all of the Clearview signs get thrown out, and whatever sign plans were in place to put up Clearview signs after Feb. 24th, are then thrown out after being mounted? Well, now Clearview is gonna be a rarity, so I can't complain.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: cl94 on January 25, 2016, 10:19:25 AM
So now all of the Clearview signs get thrown out, and whatever sign plans were in place to put up Clearview signs after Feb. 24th, are then thrown out after being mounted? Well, now Clearview is gonna be a rarity, so I can't complain.

No. Signs in service can remain. Knowing how PennDOT and NYSTA do things, we'll still be seeing Clearview for a long time. I don't know if this applies to signs that have plans out but will not be installed before the deadline.

It will definitely be interesting to see new signs that pop up in Clearview-heavy states (Maryland, New York Thruway, etc.) that will utilize the FHWA series again. Maybe this will help curtail the ugly sign population.

NYSTA has a new batch of signs in Buffalo that are FHWA. They look quite sharp.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: PHLBOS on January 25, 2016, 10:42:50 AM
So now all of the Clearview signs get thrown out, and whatever sign plans were in place to put up Clearview signs after Feb. 24th, are then thrown out after being mounted? Well, now Clearview is gonna be a rarity, so I can't complain.

No. Signs in service can remain. Knowing how PennDOT and NYSTA do things, we'll still be seeing Clearview for a long time. I don't know if this applies to signs that have plans out but will not be installed before the deadline.
My guess would be that signage plans w/Clearview already approved but not yet erected will still proceed as scheduled.  OTOH, signage plans still under design and not yet submitted for bids will be impacted by this rescinding.

In short & at least for PA; such could mean a variation of styles on installations like one sees at the I-76/US 202/422 interchanges in King of Prussia (when the interim approval first took effect) or more recently the new/replacement BGS' near the I-95/476 and I-476/MacDade Blvd. interchanges.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vdeane on January 25, 2016, 12:57:45 PM
NYSTA has a new batch of signs in Buffalo that are FHWA. They look quite sharp.
I was wondering what the new FHWA Thruway signs would look like.  Are they made to the modern standards, just without the clearview, or did they go back to older standards or something completely different?  Maybe I'll have to swing by on the way to the Toronto meet.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: cl94 on January 25, 2016, 01:08:58 PM
NYSTA has a new batch of signs in Buffalo that are FHWA. They look quite sharp.
I was wondering what the new FHWA Thruway signs would look like.  Are they made to the modern standards, just without the clearview, or did they go back to older standards or something completely different?  Maybe I'll have to swing by on the way to the Toronto meet.

Modern. They look a lot like the signs where the Thruway was widened. They are fully reflective. Near Exit 9, mostly NB. Have a look at one (https://www.google.com/maps/@42.8966203,-78.8959602,3a,15y,327.04h,91.95t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sOF4ekD5v9Cc5lFaxRwFc-A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656). This one (https://www.google.com/maps/@42.8995824,-78.8987631,3a,15.9y,359.67h,90.9t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sChlR6_YB0xJngfOp7OoPgA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656), put up by God knows who, is quite the oddity in the US, though.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: freebrickproductions on January 25, 2016, 01:30:34 PM
ALDOT was already moving away from Clearview, so nothing much will change here.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vdeane on January 25, 2016, 01:38:43 PM
NYSTA has a new batch of signs in Buffalo that are FHWA. They look quite sharp.
I was wondering what the new FHWA Thruway signs would look like.  Are they made to the modern standards, just without the clearview, or did they go back to older standards or something completely different?  Maybe I'll have to swing by on the way to the Toronto meet.

Modern. They look a lot like the signs where the Thruway was widened. They are fully reflective. Near Exit 9, mostly NB. Have a look at one (https://www.google.com/maps/@42.8966203,-78.8959602,3a,15y,327.04h,91.95t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sOF4ekD5v9Cc5lFaxRwFc-A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656). This one (https://www.google.com/maps/@42.8995824,-78.8987631,3a,15.9y,359.67h,90.9t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sChlR6_YB0xJngfOp7OoPgA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656), put up by God knows who, is quite the oddity in the US, though.
Cool.  Looks just like what NYSDOT puts up these days.  Glad they got rid of all that nonreflective stuff too (though I'll withhold final judgement until later - often for these bigger projects, contractors will build the signs to NYSDOT specs instead of NYSTA specs, so that could be why; the same thing happened to the EB signs for I-690 during the exits 39-40 rebuild).  I wouldn't be surprised if the second one was installed by the Peace Bridge.  Looks like a misunderstanding how how APL signs are supposed to work.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: cu2010 on January 25, 2016, 02:30:45 PM
Modern. They look a lot like the signs where the Thruway was widened. They are fully reflective. Near Exit 9, mostly NB. Have a look at one (https://www.google.com/maps/@42.8966203,-78.8959602,3a,15y,327.04h,91.95t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sOF4ekD5v9Cc5lFaxRwFc-A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656).

The arrows on that I-190 pull-through sign are still much too small, though!
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: cl94 on January 25, 2016, 02:47:13 PM
Modern. They look a lot like the signs where the Thruway was widened. They are fully reflective. Near Exit 9, mostly NB. Have a look at one (https://www.google.com/maps/@42.8966203,-78.8959602,3a,15y,327.04h,91.95t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sOF4ekD5v9Cc5lFaxRwFc-A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656).

The arrows on that I-190 pull-through sign are still much too small, though!

They are, but I'll take them over what NYSDOT has been installing.

NYSTA has a new batch of signs in Buffalo that are FHWA. They look quite sharp.
I was wondering what the new FHWA Thruway signs would look like.  Are they made to the modern standards, just without the clearview, or did they go back to older standards or something completely different?  Maybe I'll have to swing by on the way to the Toronto meet.

Modern. They look a lot like the signs where the Thruway was widened. They are fully reflective. Near Exit 9, mostly NB. Have a look at one (https://www.google.com/maps/@42.8966203,-78.8959602,3a,15y,327.04h,91.95t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sOF4ekD5v9Cc5lFaxRwFc-A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656). This one (https://www.google.com/maps/@42.8995824,-78.8987631,3a,15.9y,359.67h,90.9t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sChlR6_YB0xJngfOp7OoPgA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656), put up by God knows who, is quite the oddity in the US, though.
Cool.  Looks just like what NYSDOT puts up these days.  Glad they got rid of all that nonreflective stuff too (though I'll withhold final judgement until later - often for these bigger projects, contractors will build the signs to NYSDOT specs instead of NYSTA specs, so that could be why; the same thing happened to the EB signs for I-690 during the exits 39-40 rebuild).  I wouldn't be surprised if the second one was installed by the Peace Bridge.  Looks like a misunderstanding how how APL signs are supposed to work.

I know the stuff that isn't on the Thruway is a NYSDOT project, but the signs installed in I-190 do not match Region 5 signage of the same age.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vdeane on January 25, 2016, 02:58:26 PM
Could be contractor too.  Reminds me of this: https://www.google.com/maps/@43.1066549,-76.2891397,3a,38y,106.36h,84.14t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1strJeeD2jBi5FAvZ7ILZuLA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Or this:
(http://www.nysroads.com/images/gallery/NY/i87/100_9404-s.JPG)

I really, really hope that's the new NYSTA spec, but off-spec signs have snuck onto the Thruway before, even without NYSDOT influence.

EDIT: Come to think of it, I've never been able to figure out where those exit 6A signs came from (the exit 39 ones came from the 39-40 reconstruction project and are likely contractor installs), especially since it's all of them, even on a gantry with other signs in a different style.  Makes me wonder if they were a test installation.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Pink Jazz on January 25, 2016, 03:46:58 PM
I wonder if most Clearview states will go back to Series E Modified for most signage, or will they use another FHWA variant?  ADOT has decided to use plain Series E instead of Series E Modified on freeways, Series D on non-freeways, and Series C on street blades.  I also wonder if the FHWA will approve Enhanced E Modified.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: cl94 on January 25, 2016, 03:52:31 PM
I wonder if most Clearview states will go back to Series E Modified for most signage, or will they use another FHWA variant?  ADOT has decided to use plain Series E instead of Series E Modified on freeways, Series D on non-freeways, and Series C on street blades.  I also wonder if the FHWA will approve Enhanced E Modified.

Assuming the new NYSTA signs are indeed the new standard, they went back to E(m). Of course, we won't necessarily know until the next batch of replacements unrelated to a major project are installed.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Bobby5280 on January 25, 2016, 04:53:39 PM
In the press release the FHWA says there will be no further development on alternative alphabets for highway signs. That leaves us stuck with Series Gothic, which is just fine and dandy for road geeks who love the look of that typeface. But functionally Series Gothic has a woefully minimal, primitive and inadequate character set when compared to modern commercial quality OpenType typefaces.

Since the FHWA insisted on going back to Series Gothic they really ought to take the existing type design, clean it up a bit (because some of the characters are really clunky) and expand it into a range that is more acceptable for modern type use. IIRC some of the weights in Series Gothic didn't even have any lower case characters until the Series 2000 release. The current Series Gothic fonts have no foreign language support due to the very limited range of punctuation and next to nothing in terms of diacritic marks.

Clearview had its own inadequacies, but its character set was more developed than Series Gothic. Each Clearview font file had around 340 characters, which really isn't all that much compared to some commercial typefaces that boast 1000, 2000 or even more glyphs for each font file. Versions of Series Gothic I've seen since 2000 vary between 83 or 111 characters. Font Bureau's Interstate has around 245 glyphs in each font, covering a bunch of basic territory Series Gothic fails to cover.

Clearview had extended Latin and Western European diacritics. Although its fractions were flawed, Clearview had more built-in fractions and (unlike Series Gothic) a complete set of numerators and denominators for making any fraction combination.

Neither Clearview or Series Gothic had numeral sets to support both proportional and tabular lining. Neither had native small capitals character sets, despite elements like cardinal direction signs and elements requiring large cap/small cap treatment. Neither had alphabets other than Latin; modern typefaces often add Cyrillic and Greek character sets. Clearview could have been more successful if Terminal Design had fixed a few issues and added some other missing features.

So while lots of road geeks are seeing this bit of news as a victory, I see this as a functional step backward. Series Gothic is a very deficient type family that needs a radical overhaul.

Quote from: Pink Jazz
I wonder if most Clearview states will go back to Series E Modified for most signage, or will they use another FHWA variant?  ADOT has decided to use plain Series E instead of Series E Modified on freeways, Series D on non-freeways, and Series C on street blades.  I also wonder if the FHWA will approve Enhanced E Modified.

Who knows for sure? That very situation contradicts one of their main knocks against Clearview, that somehow Clearview was making sign designs inconsistent due to its different widths, weights, etc. That problem was already present with the existing Series Gothic alphabet!

The real problem is people who don't know what they're doing regarding sign design. It does require some typographical knowledge and talent in graphic design. People who can't tell the difference between one font weight or another are unqualified to design signs as far as I'm concerned. They wouldn't last long at all in my sign company. We deal literally with thousands of typefaces, including numerous variants of the same typeface (one vendor's Futura isn't the same as another). I'm not sympathetic to people who can't tell the difference between various weights in Clearview and Series Gothic.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Pink Jazz on January 25, 2016, 05:22:06 PM

Since the FHWA insisted on going back to Series Gothic they really ought to take the existing type design, clean it up a bit (because some of the characters are really clunky) and expand it into a range that is more acceptable for modern type use. IIRC some of the weights in Series Gothic didn't even have any lower case characters until the Series 2000 release. The current Series Gothic fonts have no foreign language support due to the very limited range of punctuation and next to nothing in terms of diacritic marks.


I know Puerto Rico has diacritics on some signs due to the use of Spanish; I presume they might have been custom-designed by DTOP.  I have never seen Clearview used at all in Puerto Rico.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Quillz on January 25, 2016, 05:26:39 PM
Can I see
I wonder if most Clearview states will go back to Series E Modified for most signage, or will they use another FHWA variant?  ADOT has decided to use plain Series E instead of Series E Modified on freeways, Series D on non-freeways, and Series C on street blades.  I also wonder if the FHWA will approve Enhanced E Modified.
Enhanced E Modified? Can I see a pic of this?

EDIT: Disregard, found an older thread here. Seems it would be Series E with the kerning of E(M).

One thing I like about Caltrans is they appear to have thicker variants of both C and D, akin to E(M). But as far as I know, it's never been adopted nationwide, although some Oklahoma and Iowa signage seem to do something similar.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: getemngo on January 25, 2016, 05:27:31 PM
This is the darkest timeline. :-(

Seriously though, I'm not surprised at all that the FHWA is halting all development of new typefaces. While I very much like Clearview's appearance, its testing and rollout was, to put it politely, very uneven. After this, "caution" will be the name of the game for many decades.

E(m) is tried and true, and there's nothing overtly wrong with it, so why would a state agency try out another unproven font? It is probably possible to develop something that works even better, but any gains in legibility are unlikely to outweigh the cost of development (or the risk of development going wrong).

(As a former Clearview evangelist, I can't believe I typed that last paragraph!  :pan:)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Bobby5280 on January 25, 2016, 05:36:20 PM
If they have to stick with the existing Series Gothic design the FHWA just needs to expand it. The character set is puny even by freebie font standards. Actually there are some open source typefaces that have huge character sets. Check out a newly released typeface, Tehuti at Font Squirrel. It's not appropriate for traffic sign use, but it has an exhaustive character set. Over 4300 glyphs per font weight.
http://www.fontsquirrel.com/fonts/tehuti (http://www.fontsquirrel.com/fonts/tehuti)

Series Gothic doesn't have to be expanded to those extremes. But it does need to satisfy a check list of modern typeface requirements, otherwise it's only going to be good for use in the United States writing out only American sounding terms and not even being properly functional for that.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: corco on January 25, 2016, 05:46:26 PM
I don't know why the FHWA font for use on roadsigns in the USA needs 4300 glyphs. If we can cover English, French, and Spanish characters (for Puerto Rico and signing destinations in Quebec and Mexico), and whatever punctuation is allowed in the MUTCD, that is sufficient.

If somebody needs to expand the font to cover more than that, I'm not sure why the FHWA needs to fund that, unless it is for use on signs in the United States. We're not going to start using interrobangs on road signs or start dual signing things in Cyrillic at any time in the foreseeable future...
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Zeffy on January 25, 2016, 06:04:24 PM
I don't know why the FHWA font for use on roadsigns in the USA needs 4300 glyphs. If we can cover English, French, and Spanish characters (for Puerto Rico and signing destinations in Quebec and Mexico), and whatever punctuation is allowed in the MUTCD, that is sufficient.

This. We're talking about road signs here - so 26 characters for each letter, in both upper and lowercase format, 10 digits for numbers 0-9, punctuation marks, a set of accented characters for the main vowels, some extra symbols, and that's it. What else do we need?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: thenetwork on January 25, 2016, 07:21:24 PM
What really turned me off on Clearview was that some states were so eager to switch out BGSs which were only a few years old with new Clearview signs, while there are other BGSs which are well over 15-20 years old that are still standing.

<Church Lady Mode ON> Well, I wonder what state I could be speaking of...I don't know, could it be, ummmmm.....OHIO??? </Church Lady>
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jakeroot on January 25, 2016, 07:22:10 PM
I wonder if most Clearview states will go back to Series E Modified for most signage, or will they use another FHWA variant?  ADOT has decided to use plain Series E instead of Series E Modified on freeways, Series D on non-freeways, and Series C on street blades.  I also wonder if the FHWA will approve Enhanced E Modified.

This is also something I'm interested in knowing. I'm fairly certain that Series E(M) was introduced for button copy installations, but its use has continued anyways.

I seem to remember recent studies showing Series EE(M) to be superior to Clearview and E(M). But I couldn't provide a link.

So while lots of road geeks are seeing this bit of news as a victory, I see this as a functional step backward. Series Gothic is a very deficient type family that needs a radical overhaul.

I very much agree, Bobby. Certainly there was a reason that Clearview was developed in the first place (out of curiosity or otherwise, there wouldn't have been an interest in Clearview if Highway Gothic were perfect).
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: cl94 on January 25, 2016, 07:41:03 PM
What really turned me off on Clearview was that some states were so eager to switch out BGSs which were only a few years old with new Clearview signs, while there are other BGSs which are well over 15-20 years old that are still standing.

<Church Lady Mode ON> Well, I wonder what state I could be speaking of...I don't know, could it be, ummmmm.....OHIO??? </Church Lady>

Yeah. That's what I was thinking of. They still have a boatload of button copy, but noooooooooo. Some of the replaced signs were post-button copy. There were a bunch of those on the NE corner of I-270 and downtown, such as this sign (https://www.google.com/maps/@39.9755794,-82.9958422,3a,75y,322.85h,103.49t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1skBQXwZVqPnl9LgdUXBr1ag!2e0!5s20150801T000000!7i13312!8i6656). ODOT didn't finish dumping button copy until 2003ish.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: TravelingBethelite on January 25, 2016, 08:08:39 PM
I found Clearview in Connecticut...send help.

https://www.google.com/maps/@41.7102675,-72.759674,3a,37.5y,318.84h,95.3t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sE8D6ykU3w5XBHNfrp1ApvA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656 (https://www.google.com/maps/@41.7102675,-72.759674,3a,37.5y,318.84h,95.3t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sE8D6ykU3w5XBHNfrp1ApvA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656)
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Bobby5280 on January 25, 2016, 08:50:09 PM
Quote from: corco
I don't know why the FHWA font for use on roadsigns in the USA needs 4300 glyphs. If we can cover English, French, and Spanish characters (for Puerto Rico and signing destinations in Quebec and Mexico), and whatever punctuation is allowed in the MUTCD, that is sufficient.

I didn't say the Series Gothic typefaces needed to be expanded that far. But the example of Tehuti shows just how far some typefaces are being developed. And that's just for typefaces geared for predominantly Latin-alphabet use. It's common for Asian typefaces to go well beyond 8,000 glyphs. OpenType can support up to 64,000 glyphs in one font file.

Quote from: corco
If somebody needs to expand the font to cover more than that, I'm not sure why the FHWA needs to fund that, unless it is for use on signs in the United States. We're not going to start using interrobangs on road signs or start dual signing things in Cyrillic at any time in the foreseeable future...

No, but extended Latin and Western European character sets should be mandatory. The fastest growing segment of population in the United States is the Latino/Hispanic segment. A bunch of people in Canada speak French. Some points of interest and geographic names within the US have Latin or European names that require the use of accented characters in order to be spelled out correctly. At least Clearview managed to cover that. Series Gothic won't let you do that unless you make some home-made, non-standard diacritics yourself.

It would be nice to have more than 3 built-in fractions, or better yet a full set of superior/inferior figures for auto-generating any fraction possible. It would be nice to have numeral sets with spacing tables that support tabular and proportional spacing. It would be nice to have a native small capitals character set, complete with all the accents available to upper and lowercase characters. An acceptably well featured OpenType typeface that covers those bases will have between 500 and 700 glyphs.

If the FHWA isn't interested in getting road sign design standards out of 1960's quality and mindset the FHWA should just get out of the font design business, study the best commercially available alternatives and settle on that for road sign standards.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: vdeane on January 25, 2016, 08:55:45 PM
We're not going to start using interrobangs on road signs or start dual signing things in Cyrillic at any time in the foreseeable future...
What if we build the tunnel under the Bering Strait?

I found Clearview in Connecticut...send help.

(https://www.google.com/maps/@41.7102675,-72.759674,3a,37.5y,318.84h,95.3t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sE8D6ykU3w5XBHNfrp1ApvA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656)
For those who don't want to parse out the street view link from the img tag: https://www.google.com/maps/@41.7102675,-72.759674,3a,37.5y,318.84h,95.3t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sE8D6ykU3w5XBHNfrp1ApvA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Pink Jazz on January 25, 2016, 09:20:00 PM
As far as diacritics go, does Mexico use them on their signs?  FHWA is the official sign font for Mexico as well.  Why just don't borrow the accented characters from the Mexican MUTCD and add them to the American MUTCD to accommodate for Spanish?
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Duke87 on January 25, 2016, 09:40:12 PM
Come to think of it, I've never been able to figure out where those exit 6A signs came from (the exit 39 ones came from the 39-40 reconstruction project and are likely contractor installs), especially since it's all of them, even on a gantry with other signs in a different style.  Makes me wonder if they were a test installation.

The reason it's all of them is because prior to 2011 Ridge Hill Blvd did not exist and the signs merely said Stew Leonard Drive. With the opening of the new street, the signs were all changed out to include it.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: hbelkins on January 25, 2016, 09:43:07 PM
Michigan was a lot worse than Ohio for replacing perfectly good signs with Clearview signs just because.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: J N Winkler on January 25, 2016, 10:52:00 PM
As far as diacritics go, does Mexico use them on their signs?

Mexico uses all-uppercase for direction signing and the almost ubiquitous white-background general informatory signs.  Spanish allows diacritics except for the tilde to be omitted when uppercase letters are used, so it is fairly rare to see accented characters on Mexican signs.  However, the tilde is always used, and is typically rendered as a macron with bias-cut ends (as in Spain), not as an elongated S-curve as on American signs that try to be correct with Spanish placenames.

FHWA is the official sign font for Mexico as well.

Actually, it is not.  Mexico has its own typeface family for traffic signing purposes.  The glyphs look similar to the (loosely) corresponding FHWA alphabet series for most letters, but some, such as P and R, are noticeably different, with larger loops.  One of the Mexican alphabet series falls midway between FHWA Series C and Series D in condensation level (typical letter width).

It is not uncommon to see the FHWA alphabet series used on traffic signs in Mexico, but this is generally because the fabricator has cheated and failed to use the actual Mexican typefaces.

Why just don't borrow the accented characters from the Mexican MUTCD and add them to the American MUTCD to accommodate for Spanish?

I'd suggest copying the strategy MTQ used for alphabet extension in pre-Clearview days, which was to borrow the diacritics from Univers.

It is more important that whatever approach is followed be consistent across the country and show adequate recognition of the fact that reading a traffic sign is not the same as reading a book.  There are far too many one-of-a-kind "swoopy" book tildes on US road signs in historically Spanish-speaking areas.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: SignGeek101 on January 25, 2016, 11:06:51 PM
For me, it's going to be interesting to see what happens in other jurisdictions (outside the US) that currently use Clearview. Will they continue to use it, or revert back?

I made a thread about this a while back:

http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=13684.msg2012851#msg2012851
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Pink Jazz on January 25, 2016, 11:07:42 PM
As far as diacritics go, does Mexico use them on their signs?

Mexico uses all-uppercase for direction signing and the almost ubiquitous white-background general informatory signs.  Spanish allows diacritics except for the tilde to be omitted when uppercase letters are used, so it is fairly rare to see accented characters on Mexican signs.  However, the tilde is always used, and is typically rendered as a macron with bias-cut ends (as in Spain), not as an elongated S-curve as on American signs that try to be correct with Spanish placenames.


"Ñ" is actually a distinct letter in Spanish, so I can see why the tilde is always included.

BTW, Puerto Rico uses an "S curve" style tilde.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Pink Jazz on January 25, 2016, 11:10:51 PM
For me, it's going to be interesting to see what happens in other jurisdictions (outside the US) that currently use Clearview. Will they continue to use it, or revert back?

I made a thread about this a while back:

http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=13684.msg2012851#msg2012851

In Canada, Quebec will probably stick with Clearview since they have actually made it mandatory, but other Canadian provinces may consider a reversion to FHWA.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: jakeroot on January 25, 2016, 11:15:44 PM
In Canada, Quebec will probably stick with Clearview since they have actually made it mandatory, but other Canadian provinces may consider a reversion to FHWA.

This has already been discussed to death...BC will probably stick with Clearview but other provinces may switch. For reasons that have been discussed here:

http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=13684.msg2012851#msg2012851
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: cl94 on January 25, 2016, 11:19:35 PM
For me, it's going to be interesting to see what happens in other jurisdictions (outside the US) that currently use Clearview. Will they continue to use it, or revert back?

I made a thread about this a while back:

http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=13684.msg2012851#msg2012851

In Canada, Quebec will probably stick with Clearview since they have actually made it mandatory, but other Canadian provinces may consider a reversion to FHWA.

Ontario ended their trial (and replaced many of the signs), so the question in that province is whether or not Toronto will switch back.

This has already been discussed to death...BC will probably stick with Clearview but other provinces may switch. For reasons that have been discussed here:
http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=13684.msg2012851#msg2012851

I agree. BC has gone full Clearview and I don't see that changing. The Praries and Maritimes are the big unknowns.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: Bobby5280 on January 26, 2016, 12:50:22 AM
Clearview certainly has the advantage over Series Gothic in Quebec since it has diacritics for upper and lowercase characters.

Quote from: J N Winkler
Mexico uses all-uppercase for direction signing and the almost ubiquitous white-background general informatory signs.  Spanish allows diacritics except for the tilde to be omitted when uppercase letters are used, so it is fairly rare to see accented characters on Mexican signs.  However, the tilde is always used, and is typically rendered as a macron with bias-cut ends (as in Spain), not as an elongated S-curve as on American signs that try to be correct with Spanish placenames.

In Spain their highway signs do use diacritics for more uppercase characters than Ñ. Their typeface looks a lot like Series Gothic, but there are some subtle differences. As far as using a slightly altered macron for Ñ that practice might work okay until you get into a situation where the characters like Ũ and Ū come into play.
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: PurdueBill on January 26, 2016, 12:57:19 AM
Hooray!

I wonder if agencies who bought the license for Clearview, especially recently, might be looking for their money back because they were sold a dud. 

The statements in the FHWA reasoning for yanking Clearview are not a surprise.  It has seemed that a lot of places have had sign layout quality go way downhill at the same time they introduced Clearview, which is probably not a coincidence.  I like how they basically called out the offenders who either would not or could not read the explicit limits on Clearview usage and used it all over the place.  Those offenders probably are what really caused it to fail in the end.  Had Clearview only ever been used as approved, it might have survived.

Kudos to INDOT and MassDOT, agencies of two states I have a relationship with, for never jumping on the bandwagon. 
Title: Re: The Clearview thread
Post by: PHLBOS on January 26, 2016, 08:28:32 AM
What really turned me off on Clearview was that some states were so eager to switch out BGSs which were only a few years old with new Clearview signs, while there are other BGSs which are well over 15-20 years old that are still standing.

<Church Lady Mode ON> Well, I wonder what state I could be speaking of...I don't know, could it be, ummmmm.....OHIO??? </Church Lady>

Michigan was a lot worse than Ohio for replacing perfectly good signs with Clearview signs just because.
Add Pennsylvania to the list as well.  They were one of the first states to offer & adopt such.

During a recent sign replacement job along US 202/322 near West Chester; PennDOT even went as far as transferring an existing BGS onto a new gantry but mask the Gothic Exton control city with one in Clearview.  Exhibit A (https://www.google.com/maps/@39.985381,-75.5896044,3a,75y,7.27h,87.6t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1solOJ6kbCkZfHjnfhpeiNEQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656).  The a