September 30, 2010

Enjoy Your Nanny State

A $27.5 million mandate to change the font on street signs in New York.

The Federal Highway Administration is behind this, providing yet more evidence that branches of our nation's bloated bureaucracy need more than pruning; they need to be lopped off entirely at the trunk.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at September 30, 2010 07:38 AM

It might be interesting to see who owns the copyright & trademark on that ClearView font. Want to bet it's some Obama crony.

Posted by: Jerry in Detroit at September 30, 2010 05:26 PM

Meh. This is not the hill I want to die on. This rule went into effect in 2003 (pre-Obama), municipalities have until 2018 to replace all signs. Typical service life of a street sign is approximately 10 years, so basically all the regulation really affects is that replacement signs are upper & lower case instead of all caps.
As far as the font goes, studies have demonstrated that sans serif fonts (such as Arial) are more legible that a serif font (such as Times New Roman.) There's a reason eye charts don't use serifs!
I haven't seen the regulation, but from what I do know about Federal regulations, proprietary specifications are discouraged and require a special exemption. More likely the regulation specifies a "sans serif font, such as Clearview, Helvetica or Arial."

Posted by: SicSemperTyrannus at October 1, 2010 10:08 AM