02 October 2010

Not My Type

NYC has been mandated to change all of its street signs. Why? Because they are in all caps. The Federal Highway Administration has determined that a mixed case of uppers and lowers are easier to read. Which they are. It looks like the FHA is just now catching on to what typographers have known for ages. Of course a mix of uppercase and lowercase are easier to read. In this day and age, most people equate all caps to someone yelling.

In printed matter, serif typefaces have more readability than sans serif. On a computer screen, most would argue that sans serifs are easier on the eyes. I wonder if they thought about this before deciding to keep these signs in sans serif fonts. The new font that will adorning these new signs is called Clearview and these new signs will cost the city approximately $27.5 million.

It seems fitting to me that, in NYC especially, there was always a sign that appeared to be yelling at you.

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