Highway Gothic

Need something meaty to read this morning? Try “The Road to Clarity,” The New York Times Magazine’s six-page story about highway sign fonts. (Use BugMeNot if you don’t have a NYT login and it asks for one.)

I’m still on page one, but here’s what makes it relevant to Eugeneans:

The typeface is the brainchild of Don Meeker, an environmental graphic designer, and James Montalbano, a type designer. … As a teenager in Portland, Ore., Meeker ran a small business out of his parents’ house making signs for local stores, cutting letters out of Plexiglas with a band saw. He majored in fine art at the University of Oregon and went on to get a master’s degree in graphic and industrial design at Pratt Institute in New York.

Fonts have been in the news a surprising bit lately, between this story and the documentary Helvetica. And then there’s Achewood’s nastily funny anti-Comic Sans cartoon. (Don’t use that font. Ever. Same goes for Mistral and Grunge, but those are my own personal hatreds. Comic Sans is the enemy.)