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The Cold Filtered Ramblings of Gene Mueller

More Than You Ever Wanted To Know About: Highway Sign Lettering

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       The road to self-awareness means occasionally embracing your inner-geek.

       He and I had a REALLY big hug just a few minutes ago when I spotted this article in this weekend's New York Times Magazine concerning highway road signs, particularly the national font change many of us travelers, vacationers and commuters are anxiously awaiting.

       Well, at least some of us are anxiously awaiting.

       I'm a nerd about stuff like this--it's driving me crazy that my Village of Hales Corners has no less than three different kinds of street signs including some that seem back to our incorporation in 1953.       They're getting harder and harder to read as the ravages of time and weather have the green background fading into the white lettering to the point where you almost have to get out of your car and FEEL the letters so you figure out what street you're on.       Replacements are going up sporadically, but they aren't always the same size.     The change is noticeable...at least, to a geek like me.    I've always liked the modern blue and white signs in neighboring Franklin--the minute you cross the line, you know where you are.       Other burbs, like Tosa, have their own unique signs including the city/village seal.     Cool.     Distinctive.    Local.

       The national changes are far more subtle--white letters on a green background.      The switch is in the font: easier to read from a distance and at night, as more and more of us grow older with the accompanying deterioration of our eyesight.       And, they should be less confusing.      Anyone who's every tried matching Mapquest directions to overhead signs on an alien interstate cloverleaf will appreciate that.

        Thank you for sharing my geekdom--now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to take a swing through the Marquette Interchange to see if the new fonts are here in Milwaukee.   

        Kids?!?     Wanna go for a ride?!?    Dad will even buy ice cream!

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