List of public signage typefaces

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This is a list of typefaces used for signage in public areas, such as roads and airports:

Typeface Used by Notes
Achemine (Article for font is in French) SNCF, France Created in 2008 to improve station accessibility.
Alfabeto Normale and Alfabeto Stretto Italy Alfabeto Normale ("Normal Alphabet") is a bolder variant of the British Transport typeface.[1] Alfabeto Stretto ("Narrow Alphabet") is a condensed version of Alfabeto Normale, and is used for long names that wouldn't fit otherwise. The typeface Traffic type Spain D,[2] used in Spain, is identical to Alfabeto Normale.
Antique Olive California Department of Transportation Some regulatory Signs
Arial Used for mentioning line alerts on the D.C. Metro

Station signage on the Warsaw Metro

Some regulatory signs

Bengaluru Metro (Namma Metro) PIDS

Used for road signs in Estonia, North Macedonia, Slovenia, Taiwan, Turkey and Ukraine.
Austria Austria road typeface, is being phased out since 2013
Bembo Smithsonian signage in Washington D.C.
Brusseline Brussels' public transport company
Calvert Tyne & Wear Metro, United Kingdom
Caractères France Used for road signs in France and in some countries in Africa.
Carretera Directorate-General for Traffic
Road signs in Spain
Proprietary typeface commissioned for this purpose, used on intracity road signs. Highway Gothic is used on intercity and highway signs instead.
Casey Singapore MRT (since 2019)
Used by Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation until its merger with MTR in 2007. Being gradually replaced by Myriad, which is used by MTR on its networks.
Clarendon U.S. National Park Service road signs[3]
Clearview Destination signs of Quebec autoroutes (shields are in Highway Gothic)

Road signs in Indonesia, Israel, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka

Developed to replace U.S. FHWA (Federal Highway Administration) typefaces[3]
Deutsche Bahn WLS Deutsche Bahn (German Railways) station signage[4] Developed in close reference to Helvetica
DIN 1451 German transport typeface
Czech road signs
SADC road signs
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Bengaluru Metro (Namma Metro) Signage

Also used in the Greek motorway network

The DIN typeface for the Namma Metro is in English and Kannada

Drogowskaz the Polish transport typeface one of a few digitalisations; officially the typeface used in Polish road signs has no defined name
Esseltub previously used in Stockholm Metro
Eurostile California Department of Transportation Some regulatory signs
FIP signage typeface Government of Canada A modified version of Helvetica Medium used by the Government of Canada[5]
FF Fago ADIF Used as official font for signage system of all Spanish railway stations owned by the state-owned administrator, ADIF.
FF Meta Stockholm Metro, California Department of Transportation, Birmingham Airport, TransLink (British Columbia) Some mile marker signs.
FF Transit Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe[6]

Verkehrsverbund Berlin-Brandenburg[7]

Düsseldorf Airport

Société de transport de Montréal[8]

Developed by MetaDesign for Berlin's public transport company BVG and later adopted by other transport systems. Especially designed for use in public transportation, contains a lot of pictograms for public signage. Based on Frutiger.[6]
Freight Sans Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru, India

Charles de Gaulle Airport
Swiss road signs
Amtrak Across the public transport network of Oslo, Norway
Dulles International Airport (IAD)

Dutch National Railways
BAA Airports in the UK,[9] in the National Health Service in England
Frankfurt Airport
Buenos Aires Subte
Tokyo Metro (English signage)
Signage at most PANYNJ airports
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Budapest Public Transport Authority until 2018
Österreichische Bundesbahnen

Ottawa street name signage

The Frutiger typeface was commissioned for use at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport in 1975.
FHWA Series fonts – sometimes called Highway Gothic.[3] United States Developed for U.S. road signage, and also used in the Americas, Australia, China, Indonesia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Taiwan and Turkey.
Futura BSK Italian railways[10]
Giaothong1 and Giaothong2[11] Vietnam Modification of DIN 1451 typeface with Vietnamese extension
Gill Sans British Railways until 1965
Also the official font for all the signage system of the Spanish Government.
Goudy Old Style Used on Public Transport Corporation railway station signs in the 1990s, replacing the green The Met signs. The blue Metlink signs replaced these signs in 2003 after a short trial of Connex signs (using Verdana) at Mitcham and Rosanna stations.
Helvetica New York City Subway system
Road signs in Cambodia

Chicago Transit Authority system
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority system
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority system
Baltimore Metro SubwayLink
Toronto subway (destination signs)
Madrid Metro

Fort Lauderdale International Airport Signage

Formerly used on Hong Kong's MTR, Stockholm Metro, portions of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's system, and Melbourne's The Met, has also been used on some Toronto subway station signage. Less commonly, the typeface has been used on street signs in the United States, most notably in some suburbs of the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area, parts of Pennsylvania, and Contra Costa County Transportation Authority. Was also used for English-language text by the Shutoko expressways system between circa 1989-2010. Previously used on road signs in Japan, South Korea, and Sri Lanka.
Helvetica Neue

Metlink/Public Transport Victoria
Swiss Federal Railways

Being phased out on the Victorian public transport network in favour of Network Sans, but still commonly seen.
SBB uses its own version of Neue Helvetica named SBB.[12]
Hiragino East Nippon Expressway Co., Ltd. (NEXCO East Japan), Central Nippon Expressway Co., Ltd. (NEXCO Central Japan), and West Nippon Expressway Co., Ltd. (NEXCO West Japan) Japan Highway Public Corporation (decided into three NEXCO group companies in 2005) had used its own Japan Highway Public Corporation Standard Text until 2010. Since 2010, Hiragino is used for main Japanese text, and Frutiger for numbers and Vialog for English text.[13]
Johnston Transport for London Some Citybus and New World First Bus route displays in Hong Kong
LL Circular/Circular Std Indonesian Railway Company Replacing Wayfinding Sans used from end of 2016 by Indonesian Railway Company[14]
LLM Lettering Road signs in Malaysia. Based on the Italian Alfabeto Normale and Alfabeto Stretto.
LTA Identity Typeface Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit[15]
Metrolis Lisbon Metro Custom font for the 1995 rebranding, designed by the Foundry (Freda Sack and David Quay)
Metron Prague Metro Created in 1973 by Jiří Rathouský
Moscow Sans Public transport and wayfinding in Moscow, Russia since 2015 Custom font family by Scott Williams and Henrik Kubel (A2-TYPE) in collaboration with Ilya Ruderman (CSTM Fonts)
Motorway Motorway route numbers in the United Kingdom and Ireland
Myriad Hong Kong's Mass Transit Railway
Signages in Istanbul Airport
Neris Manila Metro Rail Transit System signage since 2016 Designed by Eimantas Paškonis.
Network Sans[16] Transport for Victoria, Public Transport Victoria Replaces Helvetica Neue
New Frank Transport for New South Wales, Australia Used for all transport signage around Sydney and New South Wales.
New Rubrik Manila International Airport, Manila, Philippines replacement for Helvetica on airport signage
News Gothic NYC Subway (Mid 20th Century) Used on the NYC Subway in the mid 20th century
Nimbus Sans Used for Digital PIDS on the DC Metro
NPS Rawlinson United States National Park Service Developed as a replacement for Clarendon[3]
NR Brunel United Kingdom railway stations. Primarily major stations managed by Network Rail, introduced in the mid-1990s.
Parisine Paris Métro
Osaka Metro
Pragmatica Saint Petersburg Metro since 2002; currently (2010–11) is being replaced by Freeset, Cyrillic variation of Frutiger
Public Gothic Japan Used from 1963-2010. Replaced by Hiragino
Rail Alphabet British Rail, British Airports Authority, DSB, NHS Designed for British Rail in 1964. Still in use on parts of the UK rail network, but mostly superseded elsewhere.
Rail Alphabet 2 United Kingdom railway stations. An evolution of Rail Alphabet commissioned by Network Rail and planned for use on new station signage projects from 2020 onwards.
Rambla Budapest Public Transport Authority since 2018 Designed by Martin Sommaruga. Replacing the old Frutiger since 2018.
Rodoviária Road signs in Portugal prior to 1998 Typeface closely identical to the Transport typeface, combined with FHWA Series.
Rotis Semi Sans Metro Bilbao used by its own creator, Otl Aicher, for the corporate design of Metro Bilbao
Rotis Semi Serif Station signs of Sound Transit[17]
Rotis Serif Street signposts in Singapore
Ruta CL Chilean roads.[18]
Seoul Type Seoul Metropolitan Government Developed by the Seoul Metropolitan Government in 2008 for usage in official Seoul Metropolitan Government documents and institutions, signage and public transport within Seoul. The structure was designed to resemble the gradual curves of a traditional hanok roof.
Sispos and Sisneg Sweden Designed by Bo Berndal – old Swedish standard (SIS 030011, 1973) for public road signs, displays, etc.
SNV Belgium, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Romania, Countries of the former Yugoslavia
Switzerland until 2003
Used on road signs in several European countries
Standard (also known as Akzidenz-Grotesk) New York City subway signs Sometimes seen on older New York City subway signs. Was sometimes used in place of Helvetica.[19]
Sweden Sans Swedish Government Commissioned by the Swedish government, and designed by Stefan Hattenbach with the partnership of Stockholm-based design agency Söderhavet, designed to represent "Swedishness" both abroad and at home, and aims to become default in official sites in Sweden.[20]
TERN (Trans-European Road Network) Austria, Slovakia Developed by the International Institute for Information Design with the aim of unifying the road signage in all of the European Union.
Times New Roman Station signage for MARTA
Toronto Subway (typeface) Toronto Transit Commission Used in maps, publications, and most stations of the Toronto subway
Trafikkalfabetet ("The traffic alphabet") Norway Used for Norwegian road signs and (until 2002) motor vehicle registration plates

British road signs Road signs in Hong Kong
Vast Majority of European road signage

Also used in Portugal, Greece and other countries
Tratex Road signs in Sweden
TS Info and TS Mapa Transantiago Created by the DET (Departamento de Estudios Tipográficos, Universidad Católica de Chile) for the Transantiago, the public transport network in Santiago de Chile.
Univers Montreal Metro
Hong Kong International Airport
Frankfurt Airport (Univers condensed)
Bay Area Rapid Transit
Also used for the Walt Disney World Resort road system (route numbers are in Highway Gothic).
Formerly used on the destination rolls of Comeng trains in Melbourne, Australia prior to refurbishment (converted to dot-matrix displays), as well as Hitachi trains which had their original destination rolls replaced in the 1980s with the Comeng type.
Vejtavleskrift ("Road sign typeface") Road signs in Denmark[21]
Verdana Used for road signs in Hungary.
Vialog Renfe, directional signs on Japanese expressways Used in signage and all corporative communications of the state-owned Spanish Railway Operator in a custom-made variant called Renfe Vialog.
Wayfinding Sans Metro Rio
El Dorado International Airport
Santa Cruz
Indonesian Railway Company (December 2016–20)
Used in signage for Rio de Janeiro's metro system Metro Rio, El Dorado International Airport, the city of Santa Cruz, California and Indonesian Railway Company.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Traffic Sign Typefaces: Italy
  2. ^ "Traffic Type Spain D - Desktop font « MyFonts". 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2012-11-09.
  3. ^ a b c d Joshua Yaffa (August 12, 2007). "The Road to Clarity". The New York Times.
  4. ^ "Schrift in der Wegeleitung" [Fontface in route guidance]. Deutsche Bahn AG Marketingportal (in German). Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  5. ^ "4.5 Signage Typeface." FIP Manual. Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, n.d. Web. 17 August 2011. <>.
  6. ^ a b "FF Transit fonts from the FontFont Library". Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  7. ^ "Handbuch VBB-Richtlinien Fahrgastinformation" [VBB guideline for passenger information] (PDF) (in German). Verkehrsverbund Berlin Brandenburg. November 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  8. ^ "The STM rolls out new signage in métro stations". Société de transport de Montréal. Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-28. Retrieved 2010-10-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Archived copy" (in Italian). Archived from the original on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 2009-10-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ According to National Technical Regulation on Expressway Guidance Signs ( Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  12. ^ SBB Schrift
  13. ^ East Nippon Expressway Co., Ltd. (NEXCO East Japan), Central Nippon Expressway Co., Ltd. (NEXCO Central Japan), and West Nippon Expressway Co., Ltd. (NEXCO West Japan)「より視認し易い高速道路案内標識を目指した 標識レイアウトの変更について」[1]
  14. ^ Subekti, R. (2020-12-11). "Jelang Libur Akhir Tahun, KAI Modernisasi Signage" (in Indonesian). Retrieved 2020-12-12.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "PTV Network Sans Typeface". The Dots. Retrieved 2019-02-17.
  17. ^ Two Twelve Harakawa Inc.; Maestri Design Inc.; Jon Bentz Design (September 2004). "Typography" (PDF). System-Wide Signage Design Manual, Second Edition. Sound Transit. p. DS-17. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 13, 2010. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  18. ^ "Manual de Señalización de Tránsito - Conaset". CONASET, Ministerioa de Transporter Telecomunicaciones. Feb 2015.
  19. ^ "The (Mostly) True Story of Helvetica and the New York City Subway". AIGA. 2008-11-18. Retrieved 2012-11-09.
  20. ^ (in Italian)
  21. ^ (in Danish) Q&A by the Danish road authority Archived November 15, 2008, at the Wayback Machine