Talk:Clearview (typeface)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Writing systems (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article falls within the scope of WikiProject Writing systems, a WikiProject interested in improving the encyclopaedic coverage and content of articles relating to writing systems on Wikipedia. If you would like to help out, you are welcome to drop by the project page and/or leave a query at the project’s talk page.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Typography (Rated Start-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Typography, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of articles related to Typography on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the importance scale.


There was an article about in New York Times Magazine about Clearview. The article can be found at It will probably become subscriber only soon. Seano1 21:38, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Indeed, great article; it was referenced along with information added yesterday, as it was available online before its stated publication date. It would provide a good basis for a "history" or "development" section on the typeface, if someone is so inclined. -Agyle 00:32, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't really agree that it was a good article, or a good reference citation. There are several other experts out there who can give a broader and more objective view of this topic that aren't quoted in the article. More critically, some of the quotes in the article, specifically the ones attributed to me, are taken out of context. After learning during the final editing that I had been quoted out of context, I specifically requested to be removed from the article. This request was denied by the Times editor, stating that the quotes provided "emotional resonance", even if taken out of context. RCMoeur 03:36, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
The NYT Magazine article's summary of the development of the FHWA alphabet series is very broad-brush and inaccurate in some details. It is not strictly true, for example, that the FHWA alphabet series were developed by Caltrans in 1949-50, so I have reworded that sentence in the Wikipedia article. What actually happened is that the letterforms for FHWA Series A-F were developed by the Bureau of Public Roads during World War II. Draft versions of the typeface, with some glyphs different from those eventually published in 1945, were used for signs on the Pentagon road network. Later, the then California Division of Highways (now Caltrans) developed the two components of what is now FHWA Series E Modified separately, as part of its ongoing research into freeway guide signing. The uppercase letters were adapted from plain Series E by widening the stroke width to accommodate button reflectors; this new uppercase-only alphabet was meant for use on ground-mounted freeway guide signs which, at that time in California, had uppercase-only legend. The lowercase letters (whose origins remain obscure, at least to me, but which I think were probably adapted from shopfront gothic) were developed for mixed-case legend on overhead signs, which were externally illuminated and not, at that time, reflectorized. Initially the lowercase letters were matched with Series D rather than Series E Modified, the Series D letters having a height equal to half again the lowercase loop height (i.e., a 3:2 ratio), as opposed to a third again the lowercase loop height with Series E Modified (a 4:3 ratio). California Division of Highways documentation continued to show lowercase with Series D for mixed-case legend well into the 1950's, although the current practice of pairing the lowercase alphabet with Series E Modified became a national standard in 1958 with the publication of the AASHO Interstate signing manual. It is not until comparatively recently that it has become accepted as correct to use "Series E Modified" to refer to a full alphabet with both uppercase and lowercase letters--at first Series E Modified was just the uppercase letters while the lowercase letters were simply Lowercase. Argatlam 17:27, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
There was a claim in the article's sidebar that the Series E Modified letterforms were invented by Ted Forbes of Caltrans. You might want to give FHWA Series fonts a look, that article probably has inaccuracies too. —Scott5114 21:17, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Now fixed (I had put most of that information in the article's Talk page anyway, but hadn't had time to write it up properly before). By the way, "Ted Forbes" is Theodore W. Forbes. He was the dean of human factors researchers for about thirty years. In 1942 he developed a set of formulas which quantified the amount of information which could safely be put on a highway sign given the intrinsic legibility of the typeface used, in 1949-50 he was involved in the development of California's freeway guide signing standards, and in the late 1950's/early 1960's he assisted in the development of early VMS on the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan. In 1972 he published an important volume (now long out of print) on human factors. I don't know that he was ever called "Ted" to his face or, indeed, that he personally designed the lowercase alphabet used by Caltrans (and I don't think the author of the NYT article has information which addresses this point either). Argatlam 18:44, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
I can sympathize with out-of-context quotes; a media staple! Good read anyway. -Agyle 08:51, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
Too bad the Pennsylvania guide signs that they chose to illustrate the differences in the two fonts did not present an apples-to-apples comparison: who knows how many viewers of these pictures are going to think the Clearview panel is better just because its sheeting is newer, cleaner, and shinier, and was constructed from sheet, rather than extruded, aluminum (and therefore does not have the latter's faint horizontal lines). SixSix 16:25, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Font vs. typeface[edit]

I've met purists in the past who wince at using "font" and "typeface" interchangably (as a font can be an italic or bold instance of a typeface, I gather, in some contexts)...this article reads fine to my layperson ears, but if there is a wincing purist reading this, perhaps you could change "font" to "typeface" or "typeface" to "font" in instances where you think it makes sense. -Agyle 08:51, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

I am a graphic Design major and what they tell us is this. Typeface is a name like Clearview, Helvetica, Adobe Garamond and the rest. A font is let's say Adobe Garamond 10 pt Bold, it is a specific type of typeface. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:09, 11 November 2008 (UTC)


Does Clearview have worse kerning than the FHWA Series fonts, or is the example just not very good? To my eye it looks very widely spaced.

Then again, the real life example doesn't look that bad... Bigpeteb (talk) 15:25, 8 August 2010 (UTC)


Denmark's typeface doesn't yet have an article, but doesn't Clearview look a lot (I mean a LOT) like Denmark's? Any relation or can anyone take a look at that? --MPD T / C 18:05, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

The typeface in the linked site similar in some ways, but it lacks some of the more noteworthy characteristics of Clearview, such as a relatively higher height for lower case letters, the horizontal line in the e being pushed much higher up, and the space above the descender in the g being increased. Agyle (talk) 06:37, 18 December 2013 (UTC)


Why there are Clearview signs in Oregon in the Portland Metropolitan Area?-- (talk) 06:51, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

Remove section on state adoption, unless references supplied[edit]

I added the template

to the "States using Clearview signs" section. A lot of the data in the section currently seems like it's ultimately based on peoples' personal impressions from driving around. I'm skeptical there are reliable sources detailing statewide typeface usage in that amount of detail (e.g., "ITR and also street signs in the Plainfield area only", "KC loop, I-70 in Kansas City, and street signs in Kirkwood only", "Somerset and Union counties, county roads and I-676 only"). I am extremely doubtful about the accuracy of all the information, and I think any data that can't be referenced should be removed. Even the claims of "statewide" seem too unequivocal and free of explanation/disclaimer to be credible. I'm aware that there are many road sign enthusiasts, who maintain amazingly detailed websites about road signs throughout the world; these would fall short of what I'd consider a Wikipedia-worthy reliable source. Agyle (talk) 06:22, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Agreed. Not only that but the section is full of obvious errors that makes me wonder what is not-so-obvious (I defy anybody to replace hundreds of thousands of signs on as $27 budget, and there is no federal agency called FWA, it's most likely referring to the FHWA). Also, this section, as written is guaranteed to be out-of-date as many road maintenance agencies quietly update signage with no sources to back it up. As nobody has stated a reason to keep in a month. I'm going to be bold and delete it.Dave (talk) 17:26, 30 January 2014 (UTC)


Still do not know if there are signs containing "Clearview" in Idaho. Do not know if anybody see the signs containing "Clearview" in Idaho? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:50, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Global now?[edit]

This seems to have a very much enhanced international section: No need for the US-percpectivie warning now?