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Author Topic: 3DI Fonts  (Read 2751 times)

Mergingtraffic

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3DI Fonts
« on: June 26, 2017, 12:28:30 AM »

What are the best fonts for a 3DI?  I'm not a big fan of the tall thin numbers but understand it's how you fit in wider numbers.
The I-695 and I-276 shielda have tall numbers, but I've seen worse.





Thoughts?


or



or

« Last Edit: June 26, 2017, 12:35:54 AM by Mergingtraffic »
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Pink Jazz

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Re: 3DI Fonts
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2017, 01:33:27 AM »


The wider numerals are FHWA (aka Highway Gothic) Series D, while the thinner numerals are FHWA Series C.  Even narrower than FHWA Series C is FHWA Series B.
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jakeroot

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Re: 3DI Fonts
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2017, 01:42:01 AM »

Use of the narrower Highway Gothic fonts depends on the jurisdiction, and sometimes the engineer. Most interstate shields in the Seattle area use Series D, though there is some series C and the occasional bubble shield. There's also one 2di-width 3di, with Series E numerals in Tacoma. Now that's a tight fit: http://i.imgur.com/4zRFrzu.png (I know, I know, that's what she said).

Series D looks best in my opinion, but both Series D and C are acceptable in 3di shields.
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vdeane

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Re: 3DI Fonts
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2017, 01:01:14 PM »

I prefer series D, like this:


Until recently, NY did too, but now series C is used:
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Eth

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Re: 3DI Fonts
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2017, 01:18:56 PM »

Georgia usually uses Series D, except on mile markers where they opt for C instead:



Series B used to be more common, but seems to have been phased out.

One notable exception, which appears to be in E(M):

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PHLBOS

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Re: 3DI Fonts
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2017, 02:19:43 PM »

What are the best fonts for a 3DI?
IMHO, if there's at least a single 1 in the numeral; Series D should be used.

   
For all other numerals not containing a 1; Series C.


Series B, IMHO, should not be used on 3DI signs.
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jakeroot

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Re: 3DI Fonts
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2017, 02:45:34 PM »

IMHO, if there's at least a single 1 in the numeral; Series D should be used.

http://image.nj.com/home/njo-media/width620/img/centraljersey_impact/photo/18534652-mmmain.jpg
   
For all other numerals not containing a 1; Series C.

https://www.interstate-guide.com/images295/i-295_nj_nt_13a.jpg

The issue I have with Series C, regardless of the numbers, is that it appears to be an attempt to fill up as much blue space as possible. In my experience, this becomes an issue as the white numerals start to blend in with the border (they're so close together that they're just about touching). Series D usually results in more blue area around the route number, and in my opinion, is easier to read.

FWIW, Series C can look good, it just often doesn't. Looking at Valerie's photos, you can see that both the old and new shields have good blue area, but the 295 shield in your post has the numerals blown up to maximum size, and in my opinion, isn't as visible.

tl;dr -- bigger numbers aren't always better.
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PHLBOS

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Re: 3DI Fonts
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2017, 03:33:42 PM »

IMHO, if there's at least a single 1 in the numeral; Series D should be used.

http://image.nj.com/home/njo-media/width620/img/centraljersey_impact/photo/18534652-mmmain.jpg
   
For all other numerals not containing a 1; Series C.

https://www.interstate-guide.com/images295/i-295_nj_nt_13a.jpg

The issue I have with Series C, regardless of the numbers, is that it appears to be an attempt to fill up as much blue space as possible. In my experience, this becomes an issue as the white numerals start to blend in with the border (they're so close together that they're just about touching). Series D usually results in more blue area around the route number, and in my opinion, is easier to read.

FWIW, Series C can look good, it just often doesn't. Looking at Valerie's photos, you can see that both the old and new shields have good blue area, but the 295 shield in your post has the numerals blown up to maximum size, and in my opinion, isn't as visible.

tl;dr -- bigger numbers aren't always better.
While you're entitled to your opinion (as I am entitled to mine); do keep in mind that many of these signs (especially ones mounted on BGS') need to be read from a distance & at highway speeds.  Since the primary purpose of these shields are to identify their route numbers; the numerals need to be of an adequate size & visible.

While more appropriate for stand-alone signs (or even state-named I-shields) that don't necessarily need to be seen from farther distances; the smaller numerals on I-shields (not just 3dis) tend to be harder to see at distance than their larger counterparts, especially if such are placed next to similar-sized US and/or state route shields that show larger-height numerals.  The numerals on the adjacent shields overpower the ones on the I-shields.

Additionally, the increased usage of paler-blue backgrounds with the smaller numerals on newer signs as of late tend to hinder the visibility of the white numerals even more.  Such shields also fade quicker than the darker blue ones.

If you're not found of the I-295 shield example in my earlier post, fine; then look at the examples of the I-695 & I-276 shields that the OP posted for Series C numerals.  Such, along with the darker blue background I-shields are examples of 3di shields done right IMHO.

For the Series D I-195 & Series C I-295 shield examples; I originally wanted to use this assembly at NJ Turnpike's/I-95's Exit 7A but couldn't find an available image of it outside of GSV.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2017, 05:48:42 PM by PHLBOS »
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jakeroot

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Re: 3DI Fonts
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2017, 06:12:27 PM »

the increased usage of paler-blue backgrounds with the smaller numerals on newer signs as of late tend to hinder the visibility of the white numerals even more.  Such shields also fade quicker than the darker blue ones.

I can't comment on the blue-ness of the shield (I've never noticed a difference from sign to sign), but I've always found the opposite to be true: the shields with super-large numerals stretched to the edge are harder for me to read from a distance.

The 695 and 276 shields are okay but I don't like how close the numbers are to the edge. That's all.
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vdeane

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Re: 3DI Fonts
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2017, 07:55:04 PM »

I don't like the jumbo sized numbers either.  I find them ugly and have no trouble reading the shields with normal (NY) sized numbers.  IMO the interstate shield should be elegant, not gaudy.
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JJBers

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Re: 3DI Fonts
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2017, 08:02:54 PM »

I don't know if it is just regional preference, but I prefer Series C for 3di signs.
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ilpt4u

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Re: 3DI Fonts
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2017, 09:23:34 PM »

https://goo.gl/maps/wNJ5zQWtYTB2

What font is the I-294 font here?

I've noticed some 294 and 355 shields in the Chicago area use that taller, skinnier font
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MNHighwayMan

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Re: 3DI Fonts
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2017, 09:27:26 PM »

https://goo.gl/maps/wNJ5zQWtYTB2

What font is the I-294 font here?

I've noticed some 294 and 355 shields in the Chicago area use that taller, skinnier font

That's Series B.
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ilpt4u

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Re: 3DI Fonts
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2017, 09:33:29 PM »

https://goo.gl/maps/wNJ5zQWtYTB2

What font is the I-294 font here?

I've noticed some 294 and 355 shields in the Chicago area use that taller, skinnier font

That's Series B.
Gotcha. And it does look not quite right, but it does work
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thenetwork

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Re: 3DI Fonts
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2017, 09:57:18 PM »

Ohio, in recent years, has really taken a liking to Series B 3-dis.  I kind of prefer that font overall.
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ilpt4u

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Re: 3DI Fonts
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2017, 10:11:14 PM »

What are the best fonts for a 3DI?
IMHO, if there's at least a single 1 in the numeral; Series D should be used.

Series B, IMHO, should not be used on 3DI signs.
I think IDOT missed your memo

I-55 north of Lincoln, IL, BGS for I-155 to Peoria: https://goo.gl/maps/sK7nw7wB8N22

And the aforementioned I-294 shield that is Series B
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MNHighwayMan

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Re: 3DI Fonts
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2017, 10:24:38 PM »

The I-294 shield is indeed series B but that I-155 shield is series C.
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ilpt4u

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Re: 3DI Fonts
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2017, 10:46:05 PM »

Really?

Maybe I need the eyes checked, but it looks like the same font to me...

Oh well. I am corrected!
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jakeroot

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Re: 3DI Fonts
« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2017, 11:23:25 PM »

Yeah, the 155 shield is Series C. The 294 shield is Series B. They definitely shrunk the 155 down to be the same width as Series B, just not the same height.
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ilpt4u

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Re: 3DI Fonts
« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2017, 11:36:26 PM »

I'm still searching for the funky 355 shields, but a lot of those have been replaced in the last few years, and are more "normal" 3DI fonts
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PHLBOS

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Re: 3DI Fonts
« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2017, 09:01:38 AM »

I can't comment on the blue-ness of the shield
I know that; I just brought such up as an additional observation.

The 695 and 276 shields are okay but I don't like how close the numbers are to the edge. That's all.
Okay; maybe a text height that's in-between the larger & the smaller numerals can be the happy medium.
Example:


Ohio, in recent years, has really taken a liking to Series B 3-dis.  I kind of prefer that font overall.
The main issue w/the Series B font is that it's too narrow for long-distance reading.  At a quick glance & far away, some of the numerals can look similar to each other.  This can especially be an issue in areas where there are more than one 3di are present and interchange w/one another.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 01:21:33 PM by PHLBOS »
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seicer

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Re: 3DI Fonts
« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2017, 09:42:01 AM »

Clearview
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Re: 3DI Fonts
« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2017, 10:24:38 AM »

Personally, I think Series B or C works better for 3di shields, because you can fit the numbers in easier than you would D or E(M), which should be left to 2di's only.
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PHLBOS

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Re: 3DI Fonts
« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2017, 01:30:21 PM »

During the button-copy era(s); Series E(M) was mostly used for numerals on I-shields:


Occasionally, some button-copy I-shields (even 3dis) did feature Series D (modified(?)) numerals.


Clearview
Not/never allowed per FHWA.
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jakeroot

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Re: 3DI Fonts
« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2017, 01:35:52 PM »

Occasionally, some button-copy I-shields (even 3dis) did feature Series D (modified(?)) numerals.
http://www.teresco.org/pics/fishercats-20070530/DSCF0004-close.jpg

That 495 shield is excellent. With or without the button copy, the spacing between the edge of the shield and the edge of the numbers is excellent.

The 695 and 276 shields are okay but I don't like how close the numbers are to the edge. That's all.

Okay; maybe a text height that's in-between the larger & the smaller numerals can be the happy medium.
Example:
http://www.alpsroads.net/roads/nj/i-76/w1_1.jpg

Yes, that's quite a bit better.

There are some shields in California that I think are very nice. They use Series D (probably modified):

(image from scpr.org)

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