01 May 2021

"Highway Gothic" and "halation" explained

A surprisingly interesting brief video about the fonts used on Interstate Highway signs.  With quick pacing and excellent graphics, it illustrates the perceptual significance of minor variations in the shapes of letters.  

I had to look up "halation" - an entirely new word for me ("the creation of a halo" - duh).  I have enjoyed lots of interstate driving, and have always admired the quality of signage on these routes.   Here's an example of what happens when you DON'T have good signage (via Neatorama):

I used to drive a lot in rural Kentucky as well, and the clusterfuck filmed above at the interesection of two-way roads doesn't surprise me at all.


  1. It's rural Kentucky. What did they expect?

  2. i like the slanted tops of some of the letters in the highway gothic font; if that was incorporated into the clearview font, they would have a sure winner!


  3. One of the reasons that Clearview dropped in popularity with USDOT is that the designers wanted royalties for their work, while Highway Gothic is free (I think because USDOT owns the rights). It's sad because it's obviously a better font.


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