|Foundry||Terminal Design Inc.|
Clearview, also known as Clearview Hwy, is the name of a humanist sans-serif typeface family for guide signs on roads in the United States. It was developed by independent researchers with the help of the Texas Transportation Institute and the Pennsylvania Transportation Institute, under the supervision of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). It is expected to gradually replace the FHWA typefaces over the next few decades in many applications.
The standard FHWA typefaces, developed in the 1940s, were designed to work with a system of highway signs in which almost all words are capitalized. The designers of Clearview sought to create a typeface adapted for mixed-case signage, initially expecting it would be based on an existing European sans-serif typeface. Instead, using a similar weight to the FHWA fonts, a new font was created from scratch. Two key differences are much larger counter spaces, the enclosed spaces in letters like the lower case "e" or "a," and a higher x-height, the relative height of the lower case "x" to the upper case "X." Smaller counter spaces in the FHWA fonts reduced legibility, particularly when the letters glowed from headlight illumination at night. The typeface's general appearance resembles the design of the Transport typeface family, designed by Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert in 1957–63 for the British highway sign system.
Clearview was granted interim approval by the FHWA for use on positive contrast road signs (light legend on dark background, such as white on black, green, blue, brown, purple or red) on September 2, 2004. The FHWA has not granted approval for Clearview to be used on negative-contrast road signs (dark legend on light background, such as black on white, yellow or orange), given its inferior legibility to the existing FHWA typefaces in these applications. Despite this, it is used in negative-contrast applications by some states such as PennDOT, and the same-state PTC. The FHWA also refused to add Clearview to the 2009 MUTCD, citing lack of testing on Clearview's numerals, symbols, and narrower typefaces.
In addition to its appearance on road signage, a customized version of the ClearviewText typeface was adopted by AT&T for corporate use, including advertising, beginning in 2006. ClearviewText and ClearviewADA are versions of the typeface intended for use in general graphic design and ADA-compliant signage.
States using Clearview signs
|California||On I-5 in Orange County and some street signs only.|
|Illinois||Statewide; with a few older signs still using the old FHWA fonts.|
|Indiana||ITR and also street signs in the Plainfield area only|
|Kentucky||Newer signage; older signs still use the FHWA fonts.|
|Missouri||KC loop, I-70 in Kansas City, and street signs in Kirkwood only|
|Nevada||US 395 in Reno only|
|New Jersey||Somerset and Union counties, county roads and I-676 only|
|New Mexico||Backlit street signs in Los Alamos and Rio Rancho only|
|New York||NYST, NYCDOT, and Westchester County DPW only|
|Oregon||Portland Metropolitan Area streets|
|Utah||Legacy Parkway only|
|Washington||Kennewick and roads serving SeaTac Airport|
|Wisconsin||Madison Beltline only|
- Yaffa, Joshua (August 12, 2007). "The Road to Clarity". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved June 5, 2009.
- Meeker and Associates / Terminal Design, Inc. ClearviewHWY Research & Design Development. Retrieved on 15 April 2007.
- Federal Highway Administration. Interim Approval for Use of Clearview Font for Positive Contrast Legends on Guide Signs. 2 September 2004. Retrieved on 8 May 2006.
- Evaluation of the Clearview Font for Negative Contrast Traffic Signs, January 2006
- Publication 236M: Handbook of Approved Signs. Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. 2006.
- 74 F.R. 66740
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Clearview (typeface).|