San Francisco Street Signs: Before and After

Years ago we wrote about the new font for San Francisco street signs. Since that time, I’ve been looking for an intersection where there were street signs with identical street names but one set of signs used our older font (THE ONE THAT YELLS AT YOU) and the other set of signs used the newer font (which has its own issues, IMHO).

The old font for San Francisco street signs

Old above, new below

The new font for San Francisco street signs

Over the weekend, when I was in Silver Terrace, I managed to find a set of signs that met this incredibly challenging set of criteria! As you can see from the two pictures above, the intersection of Thornton and Mercury (which is a non-contiguous intersection, if you are wondering why there are two sets of signs) has the San Francisco street signs with both the old font and the new font.

I’ll confess: when the signs rolled out in 2012-ish, I wasn’t super thrilled at all with the new font, but I did appreciate that the letters were no longer all in uppercase. In the age of texting, IM’ing, and emailing, all caps suggests that you are YELLING, and who wants to live and drive around in a town where the signs are always yelling at you. This is NorCal, and we try to be a little bit more chill than that (at least, I do).

So, now that I can finally show you two sets of signs, what are your thoughts about the old sign and the new sign? Has the new font gotten less objectionable to you as the years go on? Or are you so occupied with texting and changing musical playlists that you haven’t even noticed the change in San Francisco street signs?

We’d love to hear your thoughts here on our blog, on our facebook page, or on the twitter!

Comments

  1. Brian Brantner says

    I handsdown prefer the old ones. The characters are bigger and easier to read when my eyes are frantically searching to see if I need to turn now or later. I’m in my car shouting “WTF STREET IS THIS!?”

    So if the street sign shouts back, all to the better.

  2. says

    Ha, Brian makes a good point. I guess I’m so dependent on my phone for directions that just seeing if the little blue dot is on the right street does it for me.

    I’ll take a sign that IS more mellow, whispering “Hi there, this is Ocean, look, a bar is just over here…”

    • Matt Fuller, GRI says

      When the street signs start whispering to you, stop looking for more bars to visit! Just saying :-)

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