San Francisco street signs are getting a makeover. As you can see from the montage below, our street signs have decided to stop yelling at drivers and instead use their lower-case voice. Which is shocking at first glance, but has kind of grown on me the more I look at it.
Ive got a slideshow at the bottom of the post showing all of the individual street signs in better detail, for those of you that want to obsess about kerning, pixels, and other fine points of graphic design.
My first impression was that the signs somehow looked cheaper. I think it was all the extra white space on the signs, like we couldn’t afford letters that were big enough for the sign. But the more I’ve stared at the new and old San Francisco street signs side-by-side, the more the new look grows on me. While at first it felt too timid, it now just seems like a more polite sign since the letters aren’t screaming in all caps.
I spotted these signs in Forest Hill Extension while on broker’s tour today, but I’m curious where else people have been seeing them? Is there an orderly city-wide rollout of new signs? Or will they be replaced as needed, methodically rolled out over time? I’m really hoping we get new signs everywhere – and soon – not because I’m wild about the new sign, but just because seeing both old and new next to other really bothers me!
Any sign experts out there? I’m curious about what goes into sign design. Safety, readability, tradition… how did it all come together for the new San Francisco street sign? Anyone that knows anything about the backstory on our signs, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment or get in touch.
Additional pictures of new and old San Francisco street signs:
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