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 [fr] 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
Austria Austria road typeface, is being phased out since 2013
Bitstream Vera Sans Developed to replace Taiwanese Highway Gothic typefaces
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 General Directorate of Highways in Turkey Proprietary typeface commissioned for this purpose, used on intracity road signs. Highway Gothic is used on intercity and highway signs instead.
Casey Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation
Clarendon U.S. National Park Service road signs[3]
Clearview Destination signs of Quebec autoroutes (shields are in Highway Gothic) 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
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority
Also used in the Greek motorway network
Drogowskaz the Polish transport typeface one of a few digitalisations; officially the typeface used in Polish road signs has no defined name
Enigmatic Formerly used for road signs in Japan and South Korea.
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 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
Frutiger Swiss road signs

Across the public transport network of Oslo, Norway
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)
Amtrak signage[10]
Signage at most PANYNJ airports
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Budapest Public Transport Authority

FHWA Series fonts – sometimes called Highway Gothic.[3] United States Developed for U.S. road signage, and also used in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Turkey.
Futura BSK Italian railways[11]
Giaothong1 and Giaothong2[12] Vietnam
Gill Sans British Railways until 1965
Also the official font for all the signage system of the Spanish Government.
Helvetica New York City Subway system

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

Formerly used in Hong Kong's MTR and Stockholm Metro, has also been used on some Toronto Subway and RT 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.
Helvetica Neue road signs in Cambodia
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
LLM Lettering Used for road signs in Malaysia.
LTA Identity Typeface Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit[14]
Metrolis Lisbon Metro Custom font for the 1995 rebranding, designed by the Foundry (Freda Sack and David Quay)
Metron Prague Metro Created in 1973 forby Jiří Rathouský
Motorway Motorway route numbers in the United Kingdom and Ireland
Myriad Hong Kong's Mass Transit Railway
Neris Manila International Airport, Manila, Philippines replacement for Helvetica on airport signage
NPS Rawlinson United States National Park Service Developed as a replacement for Clarendon[3]
NR Brunel Network Rail railway stations in the United Kingdom
Parisine Paris Métro
Osaka Municipal Subway
Pragmatica Saint Petersburg Metro since 2002; currently (2010—11) is being replaced by Freeset, Cyrillic variation of Frutiger
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.
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[15]
Rotis Serif Street signposts in Singapore
Ruta CL Chilean roads.[16]
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.[17]
Stilu Used for road signs in Andorra.
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.[18]
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.
Toronto Subway Font 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
Transport British roads

Road signs in Hong Kong

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
Bay Area Rapid Transit || Also used for the Walt Disney World Resort road system (route numbers are in Highway Gothic)

Vejtavleskrift ("Road sign typeface") Road signs in Denmark[19]
Verdana Used for road signs in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Slovenia
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
Used in signage for Rio de Janeiro's metro system Metro Rio, El Dorado International Airport, and the city of Santa Cruz, California.

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.
  10. ^ "Branding Guidelines" (PDF). Amtrak. 2009-04-23. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-02-26. Retrieved 2012-03-07.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 2009-10-09. (in Italian)
  12. ^ According to National Technical Regulation on Expressway Guidance Signs ( Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  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. ^
  15. ^ Two Twelve Harakawa Inc.; Maestri Design Inc.; Jon Bentz Design (September 2004). "System-Wide Signage Design Manual, Second Edition" (PDF). Sound Transit. p. DS-17. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 13, 2010. Retrieved October 18, 2014. |chapter= ignored (help)
  16. ^ "Manual de Señalización de Tránsito - Conaset". CONASET, Ministerioa de Transporter Telecomunicaciones. Feb 2015.
  17. ^ &#0133; (2008-11-18). "The (Mostly) True Story of Helvetica and the New York City Subway". AIGA. Retrieved 2012-11-09.
  18. ^ (in Italian)
  19. ^ (in Danish) Q&A by the Danish road authority Archived November 15, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.