Arizona’s fabulous roadsign typography

I remember reading a story about designing typography for roadsigns. A higher x height and better spacing and letter shapes makes it easier to read and recognize the information on the sign. (maybe it was this story/slideshow about the development of the font Clearview, designed especially for road signage)

When we crossed the state line from California to Arizona, I thought, Oh, this state has done it. Each sign we drove by, I marveled at the readability of the type. Gorgeous. It felt like getting new glasses; I had that “I can see! I can read!” sensation. But no. It’s just the difference between California signage and Arizona signage.

Two samples here (I’ll add some California signage when I pass some of it again so you can compare):
Exit Sign

Miles To Exit sign

Get your Clearview on at (more on the typeface) — read up on the research & Design of Clearview. As my old boss Kai Krause used to say, “It isn’t very easy to make things look so easy.”

Also: Compare Welcome to Arizona with the graphics on the back of the Basha’s truck. (Basha’s is an Arizona grocery store chain)

Welcome to Arizona

Basha's Truck